Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi after a cabinet meeting (April 2023)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi after a cabinet meeting (April 2023)

Iran Lawmakers, Former President Criticize Government's Performance

Tuesday, 04/25/2023

An Iranian lawmaker says the recent changes in the Raisi administration will not lead to any positive result as the president has not changed his approach.

Gholamreza Nouri Ghezeljeh added in an interview with Khabar Online in Tehran that although the highlight of the reshuffling was the removal of Agriculture Minister Javad Sadatinejad, several other ministers who needed to be replaced are still in the government because of problems in the dynamics between the parliament and the government.

Apart from changing some cabinet ministers, President Ebrahim Raisi also needs to remove some of the local officials and replace them with efficient executives, the lawmaker said. He charged that inefficiency is a shared characteristic by the parliament and the government – both dominated by hardliners loyal to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Ghezeljeh further added that the administration has a limited vision marked by factional interests, which prevents it from seeing the bigger picture and realizing the gravity of Iran's problems.

MP Gholamreza Nouri Ghezeljeh

Ghezeljeh pointed out that there are many capable political figures within the conservative camp, but the government has limited its choices to a few individuals. He insisted that the country's executive management has many problems and change is badly needed in the cabinet.

Apart from the economic crisis that is the government's biggest problem, the Raisi administration is facing another major issue which is holding parliamentary elections next March while ensuring a good turnout. Media reports and opinions say voters are deeply disappointed with the regime’s engineered elections and might see no point in turning out to vote.

Although Iranian media have interpreted a statement by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei about the need for cooperation among the heads of the three branches of the government as an order to stop the impeachment motion to replace Industry Minister Reza Fatemi Amin, some of the members of the parliament have told Rouydad24 website that the impeachment will go ahead as planned.

Industry Minister Reza Fatemi Amin

The impeachment was called for by at least 40 lawmakers. Although lawmaker Kamal Hosseinpour told reporters that the motion has been stopped, others including Lotfollah Siahkali insist that the motion will go ahead, while 15 of those who had signed the motion have taken back their support for the impeachment.

Meanwhile, another lawmaker, Ahmad Rasoulijead told Rouiydad24 that according to regulations, lawmakers cannot take back their signature once an impeachment motion is handed over to the presidium. In another development as the spokesman for the Ministry of Industry has charged that some lawmakers had personal demands from the minister, Rasoulinejad called on Fatemi Amin to name those lawmakers.

MP Ahmad Rasoulijead

Criticism of the government among the members of the parliament is not simply about impeachments and the ministers of Industry and agriculture. Jalal Mahmoudzadeh has harshly criticized the performance of Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and said with a minister like him, “we cannot maintain ties even with small countries” that have less than one million population. He also criticized the Raisi administration for dividing the nation as insiders and outsiders, with regime insiders winning the lion's share of all the privileges the government can offer.

Meanwhile, mysteriously a two-year old video of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad emerged last week in which he criticizes compulsory hijab. He also criticizes hardliners who charged unveiled women advocate nudity and called for respect for women's choice of what the wear.

However, many social media users have dismissed Ahmadinejad's comment as one of his tactics to grab attention, citing his policies during his presidency. Although Ahmadinejad had since 2005 spoken in support of young Iranians choice of lifestyle and dress code, he never stopped hardliners and vigilante groups from attacking women when he was president.

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