Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Iran's parliament speaker chairing a session. February 21, 2022

Parliament Getting Impatient With Iran’s President, Demands Changes

Wednesday, 06/01/2022

While Iran's president is struggling amid deteriorating economic situation and protests, lawmakers are again calling for impeachment of his economic ministers.

The move could be an attempt to divert attention from the sharp devaluation of the Iranian currency in the recent days, which has brought the rate of exchange for the US dollar to an all-time high of 318,000 rials. The devaluation heralds more inflation, already standing above 40 percent with food prices rising sharply in May. It could also be an attempt to show that the parliament or Majles is active as protests to government corruption and ineptitude continue.

However, it could be just as well a genuine attempt by Majles to make things right as the government seems to be incapable of mitigating the country's problems with its current makeup.

During the past months lawmakers trying to impeach several ministers including Labor Minister Hojjat Abdolmaleki and Industry Minister Reza Fatemi Amin, complained that there is more than enough support for the impeachment motion, but the Majles presidium opposes to move, apparently to give more time to Raisi and his ministers to catch up with worsening crises in the country.

This time it is different as according to ILNA website in Tehran, a member of the Majles presidium, Ahmad Amirabadi told the state TV on Monday, "We are waiting for the President to reshuffle his cabinet,” urging parliament members to wait.

Speaking on national television, Amirabadi said at least three or four ministers, one vice president and several provincial governors need to be replaced, without mentioning any names.

Amirabadi accused some of Raisi's ministers of thinking only about the interests of their hometowns, as if they are a member of parliament. He added: "It is good that current [hardliner] lawmakers helped a revolutionary government to take over the affairs of the state, but this should not lead to undermining of the parliament's supervisory role."

Meanwhile, in a May 31 report, moderate news website Rouydad24 said that parliament may not be willing to extend the time it gave Raisi to reshuffle his ministers, and lawmakers have already started to warn Raisi and even threaten him over the imminent impeachment of his ministers.

The website quoted several lawmakers as having said that "The Majles should quickly table impeachment motions if Raisi refuses to make changes in his cabinet." The lawmakers have also said: "Majles is considering to impeach five to six cabinet ministers, but the cases of the labor and industry ministers are being discussed more seriously."

Lawmaker Lotfollah Siahkali told Rouydad24 that "some of these ministers will certainly lose their post if they are ever summoned to the Majles." Apart from the two ministers, according to Amirabadi, there is also strong support for the impeachment of Communication Minister Isa Zarepour.

The move to impeach ministers seems more serious than ever as Majles Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, who a few months ago suggested to delay radical moves, last week changed his tune: "If the government's missions are not accomplished, the Majles might use its supervisory authority including impeachment and legal action."

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