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Iranian Lawmakers Summon Ahmadinejad for Questioning Over 'Irregularities'


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (file photo)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (file photo)

An Iranian news agency says lawmakers have summoned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning about what they call government "irregularities," in the latest sign of tensions among members of Iran's ruling conservative elite.

The Mehr news agency says 100 members of the conservative-dominated parliament filed a motion Sunday, demanding that Ahmadinejad explain delays in nominating a sports minister and spending parliamentary-approved funds on the Tehran Metro.

Under Iran's constitution, a president must appear before parliament when he is asked to do so by at least one-quarter of the members of the 290-seat assembly. The president must make the appearance within 30 days of the summons unless he persuades the lawmakers to withdraw it.

Ahmadinejad has engaged in months of disputes with fellow conservatives in parliament and Iran's clerical establishment about the direction of his government.

Earlier this month, lawmakers objected to the government's appointment of a deputy foreign minister who is a close ally of Ahmadinejad and who also faces corruption charges. The appointee resigned just three days into the job.

The Iranian president also upset lawmakers and Iran's clerical Guardian Council by dissolving the oil ministry and other government departments last month as part of what he called a plan to streamline the bureaucracy. The parliament and council called the president's actions "illegal."

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