President Ebrahim Raisi at the parliament

Iran Lawmakers Cautiously Hope To Summon Raisi For Questioning

Friday, 02/03/2023

Iranian media say several lawmakers are mulling the idea of questioning President Ebrahim Raisi at the parliament amid the country’s political and economic crises.

Moderate Aftab News website reported that the lawmakers were going around in the parliament (Majles) on January 31, gathering signatures in support of the motion. However, those who support the idea do their best to conceal their identity before the motion is tabled at the Majles.

The website said that the lawmakers appear to fear reactions by Raisi and other ultraconservatives to what they are doing. Nonetheless, their names cannot be kept a secret for long. Aftab News said that they even refused to talk to reporters about the motion that signifies their dissatisfaction about Raisi's performance.

Others at the Majles, including hardliner Mohsen Pirhadi told Aftab News that questioning the president about his performance is not wrong and is part of the parliament's supervisory mandate.

Lawmaker Mohsen Pirhadi

It appears that some cabinet ministers' manoeuvres to evade impeachment pushed the President into the questioning trap. After all, Raisi was the one who did his best to prevent the impeachments regardless of lawmakers' complaints about several cabinet ministers' inefficiency, wrote Aftab News.

Although lawmakers appear to be more determined this time to question Raisi, the website said that it is unlikely most deputies would vote for the motion. Meanwhile, Lawmaker Ahmad Alireza Beigi said he does not believe that Majles would take such a step. However, he said that first, cabinet ministers should be impeached and then if the plan for impeachment does not go ahead smoothly, the lawmakers can question Raisi.

Meanwhile, a Khabar Online website report on February 1 said lawmakers are planning to question Raisi on 6 grounds. According to the website, this is the second call for questioning Raisi during the past 8 months. The first time, only two lawmakers signed the motion. According to the law, at least a quarter of the 290 lawmakers at the Majles need to sign a questioning motion if it is going to go any further.

The Islamic Republic’s parliament

According to Khabar Online, if the motion progresses this time, the lawmakers will ask questions about "the chaotic situation of the forex market and failing to issue electronic coupons to provide essential commodities to the nation."

Khabar Online quoted one of the unnamed lawmakers who was collecting signatures in support of the motion as having said some of his peers have welcomed the idea of questioning the President, but some others are too scared to sign the request for the motion."

In April last year, Lawmaker Mostafa Hosseini Ghotbabadi had even said that lawmakers have called for designating the president as incompetent, a motion that kicked out Iran's first President Abolhassan Banisadr in June 1981.

Raisi has been most recently criticized for feeding the nation with false information and fabricated statistics about his achievements during a televised interview earlier this week. During the past months the figures he presented about inflation, employment and economic growth were seriously challenged by the media and even by hardliner newspapers published by the IRGC.

The media have been questioning Raisi's performance in the areas of housing, employment and controlling prices. The most important point made against Raisi's figures is that while the official inflation rate in January was 51 percent, He still insists that it is no higher than 40 percent.

Iran’s currency, rial has fallen to 450,000 to the US dollar speeding up inflation that is expected soon to surpass the official rate of 51 percent. All government attempts to manipulate the forex market have so far failed.

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