Iran parliament summons Ahmadinejad to explain economic policies

Sun Nov 4, 2012 5:42am EST
 

By Yeganeh Torbati

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's parliament on Sunday told President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad he must appear before the assembly within a month to explain his economic policies at a time of crisis, his second such summons in less than a year.

Ahmadinejad's conservative rivals in the 290-seat assembly have harshly criticized his handling of an economic crisis that they blame as much on his mismanagement as on Western sanctions aimed at derailing Iran's disputed nuclear programme.

Economic problems have seen the Iranian rial plummet and oil exports dwindle, exacerbating divisions within Iran's factionalized political system, despite calls from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for officials to stop bickering.

Last week, Khamenei renewed his demands for unity, saying public infighting amounted to a betrayal of the country.

But the stern warning from Iran's most powerful leader has not stopped lawmakers hostile to Ahmadinejad from pressing ahead with a plan to question him publicly for a second time.

On Sunday, according to a statement read in Parliament and printed by the parliamentary news agency, legislators said they planned to question Ahmadinejad on his administration's economic policies.

Questions would focus on its response to the rial's fluctuations and what they said was the mistaken allocation of limited government-subsidized dollars, including for the import of thousands of foreign cars.

The petition was signed by 77 lawmakers, Iranian news agencies reported, and will be delivered to the president on Sunday.   Continued...

 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attends a news conference on the sidelines of the 67th United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 26, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid