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Avaz Heydarpour, a spokesman for the group of legislators, confirmed that the summons had been withdrawn following Khamenei's request, Mehr reported.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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More