Reformists Say Rouhani Possibly Subject for Parliamentary Grilling

Reformists Say Rouhani Possibly Subject for Parliamentary Grilling

Thursday, 12 July, 2018 - 10:30
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani gestures during a news conference in Tehran, Iran, May 22, 2017. TIMA via REUTERS
London – Asharq Al-Awsat
Iran’s pro-reform Hope bloc chairman at the parliamentary Mohammad Reza Aref said that the coalition will move to holding Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accountable and viable for questioning by the Iranian parliament.

Speaking at a press conference Aref addressed questions on imminent reshuffles facing the Iranian government which touch on the reformist First Vice President Ishaq Jahangiri’s future. Some believe that the ultra-conservatives in the country will replace Jahangiri with his conservative rival, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf.

Ghalibaf faced a major real estate scandal in the summer of 2016, months before he entered the presidential race against Rouhani.

Iran’s reformists are currently batting against a threatening rise among conservatives who engagingly attempt to put Rouhani’s presidency to question.

Supporters of the Revolutionary Guard and the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei accuse Rouhani of “losing political capacity” and seek to remove him from the presidency.

The questioning step is a political blow to the Iranian president, which may prompt him to make concessions to other parties, if this is achieved, but most parties deny that its goal is more than improving the performance of the government.

“The view of the Hope faction is that the president do some actions to promote the competence of the government’s economic team, however, if under any reasons the president does not see it expedient the Majlis will do its duty and now some impeachments are under study,” Meher News Aref told the press conference.

In the past few months, Rouhani has been under pressure to reshuffle his cabinet. Last month, pressure reached a point were some parties demanded for Rouhani's resignation, but he announced he will not be stepping down or resigning.

“We need more serious actions in the economic team of the government,” Aref said.

At least 200 lawmakers have signed a letter urging Rouhani to shake up his economic team, IRNA reported.

He said Rouhani’s efforts to resolve the country’s economic issues is “visible”, adding though the government is “facing numerous problems, we believe that the president is capable of resolving the issues.”

The lawmaker dismissed rumors that his parliamentary faction is seeking to impeach the president, saying, “We might someday wish to ask question from the president but impeachment is not on our agenda at all.”

Commenting on the recent disagreements between reformist lawmakers and the Iranian government, Aref said it was nothing more than “support coupled with criticism.”

However, he said that "questioning and questioning the president is a right of Parliament.”

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