Iran’s Ayat. Khamenei nips Rouhani impeachment in the bud

Al-Monitor – Iranian lawmakers behind a motion to impeach President Hassan Rouhani immediately backpedaled on their bid after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei publicly opposed it.

A televised address by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the country’s new parliament July 12 covered a wide range of topics from foreign policy and the domestic economy to the coronavirus pandemic. But what grabbed the most media attention was his rejection of a plan by some lawmakers to impeach President Hassan Rouhani. “The closing year of any administration is usually the most sensitive one. … I do strongly believe that administrations should work hard to the very end of their tenure and fulfill their responsibilities,”Ayatollah Khamenei said.

For weeks, hard-line parliamentarians had been lobbying and collecting signatures to “bring down” the president before his second term came to an end. The project was shut down with a simple statement by the supreme leader that he did not find the impeachment effort to be in the best interest of the country.

Two days after the supreme leader’s speech, one of the dogged architects of the impeachment bid, Javad Nikbin reversed his previous confrontational stance, announcing that the motion “is no longer on our agenda.” The ultraconservative cleric from the Paydari Movement — the parliament’s most hard-line and anti-Rouhani faction — noted, however, “We still need close oversight of the government’s performance.”

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