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Iran's parliament summons President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

For the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Iranian parliament has summoned the president to testify and answer questions relating to the economy and foreign and domestic policy decisions.

Iran president parliament 2012 02 07Enlarge
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is required to come before Parliament within a month to answer questions relating to the state of the economy and his foreign and domestic policy decisions. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran’s parliament has summoned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning over a series of “irregularities,” including accusations that he has mismanaged the country’s struggling economy.

It is the first time that the parliament has summoned a president in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to the Associated Press.

The move comes on the back of a petition by lawmakers for a review of Ahmadinejad’s policies and amidst a power struggle in the country ahead of March 2 parliamentary elections and a presidential vote in 2013.

Ahmadinejad is required to come before the parliament within a month to answer questions relating to the state of the economy and his foreign and domestic policy decisions, the BBC reported.

He could therefore appear after the March elections, the first national polls since the disputed presidential vote in 2009.

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On Tuesday, Iran’s Fars news agency published a list of 10 questions which it said MPs will put to the president. Although they mainly focus on the economy, some touch on the widening rift between Ahmadinejad and Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei:

“What justification is there to your 11-day resistance against the verdict issued by the Revolution’s leader to reinstate Hojjat ol-Eslam [Heidar] Moslehi, the respected intelligence minister?” asks one.

Ahmadinejad sacked Moslehi last April, reportedly after Moslehi dismissed an official close to the president’s chief of staff, but Ayatollah Khamenei decided to overrule the president and reinstate Moslehi.

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Iranians are suffering the effects of an economic downturn and steep inflation, while authorities have also faced a wide-ranging, $2.6 billion banking scandal, The New York Times reported.

Dozens have been arrested in what Iranian authorities have called an embezzlement scheme, with Ahmadinejad’s opponents repeatedly accusing his close associates of ties to figures deeply implicated in the scandal. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120207/irans-parliament-summons-president-mahmoud-ahmadinejad