Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, March 16, 2012

Question time in Tehran

Before the losses suffered by his supporters in last week's elections, Iran's president Ahmadinejad was summoned to answer questions by the national legislature. Question time came.

Iranian Parliament Questions Ahmadinejad
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran appeared before the country’s Parliament… to be quizzed by lawmakers on issues including economic mismanagement and his tense relationship with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader… the first interrogation of its kind since the 1979 Islamic revolution…

His appearance seemed to directly challenge his prestige as president. But, as the hearing drew to a close, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s attitude to his questioners remained dismissive even as one lawmaker called for his impeachment…

An official catalog of 10 questions to be answered by the president, published before Wednesday’s hearing, listed issues ranging from personnel decisions reflecting power struggles within the elite, to price increases on fuel and other basic goods. Mr. Ahmadinejad was also taken to task over his policies to reduce state subsidies, the country’s failure to meet to an 8 percent economic growth target and questions relating to public transportation in Tehran…

Mr. Ahmadinejad reportedly remained dismissive of his interrogators.

One legislator, Mostafa Reza Hosseini, was quoted as saying: “The president’s language was insulting during his entire speech. He escaped answering the questions. As predicted, we didn’t receive any logical answer from the president.”

Another lawmaker, Ghodrotollah Ali Khani, reportedly declared: “Hopefully, the next step is Ahmadinejad’s impeachment.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad has been under attack by some of the same hardliners who once provided his power base…

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