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Avaz Heydarpour, a spokesman for the group of legislators, confirmed that the summons had been withdrawn following Khamenei's request, Mehr reported.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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid