News / Middle East

    Khamenei Lets Ahmadinejad off the Hook

    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 30, 2012.
    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, August 30, 2012.
    Spurred by Iran’s supreme leader, Iran’s parliament has backed off plans to bring president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before the body for questioning about the faltering economy.

    "Up to this point, the plan to question the president has been positive because of the sense of responsibility of parliament and the readiness of government officials," said Grand Ayatolla Ali Khamenei, according to the Mehr news agency. "But if this issue goes any further, it will be what the enemies want, and so I ask the honorable representatives not to continue with it."

    Soon after Khamenei’s warning, those in parliament who had wanted to question Ahmadinejad withdrew their request.

    Avaz Heydarpour, a spokesman for the group of legislators, confirmed that the summons had been withdrawn following Khamenei's request, Mehr reported.

    The move was not surprising to Iran watchers.

    “It could only become an uglier public spat with little benefit for Khamenei himself,” said Alex Vatanka, a scholar at the Middle East Institute. “It was the supreme leader who set this cycle in motion and now has chosen to stop it as he has already made his point to Ahmadinejad and gotten the president to re-think his tendencies to challenge the supreme powers of Ayatollah Khamenei.”

    Bringing Ahmadinejad before the parliament would not have been without precedent. Earlier this year, he was called before the 290-seat body to answer questions about his public feud with Khamenei. This time, the questioning would have been ostensibly about the economy.

    Iran’s economy has been facing strong headwinds in the face of Western sanctions. Its currency, the rial, has lost as much as 80 percent of its value over the past year, and the official inflation rate is 25 percent. Furthermore, sanctions have severely restricted the country’s ability to sell oil on the world market and limited its access to the international banking system.

    The sanctions have been imposed over Iran’s refusal to stop its uranium-enrichment program. Iran claims the uranium is for nuclear energy, while the U.S. and its allies say Iran is striving to build nuclear weapons.

    During a press conference in October, Ahmadinejad blamed “psychological pressures” linked to Western sanctions for Iran’s economic woes and criticized other politicians who have said the collapse of the currency has been worsened by his economic policies.

    Ahmadinejad directly named parliament speaker Ali Larijani, who said 80 percent of Iran’s economic problems are a result of government mismanagement and only 20 percent because of sanctions.

    Larijani is among the possible candidates for next June's presidential elections that will select Ahmadinejad's successor.

    Some information from this report came from Reuters

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora