Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s cabinet is once again being called into question, as 25 MPs call for the impeachment of Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar.
MP Mohammad Javad Abtai, who opposes the impeachment move, told reporters that the head of Parliament has called for a meeting with the disgruntled MPs in an attempt to dissuade them from continuing with their initiative.
He added: “In view of the general situation of the country at present, the impeachment of the Minister of the Interior is not in the interest of the regime, and this matter can be resolved through dialogue and coordination between Parliament and the government.”
However, one of the signatories to the impeachment order, MP Jaffar Ghaderi, told reporters that it will be officially introduced in Parliament on Sunday.
Among the reasons given for the impeachment attempt: “Assigning the appointment of governors and provincial prefects to non-officials, the weak performance of governors and prefects, the lack of proper distribution of adequate credit for development in the provinces, the lack of coordination between provinces and security bodies, and the failure to appoint governors and prefects in a timely manner.”
MP Ghaderi rose in Parliament to call for the impeachment of Mostafa Moahammad Najjar just after MPs announced that a previous attempt to impeach Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi had been withdrawn.
The Foreign Minister came under threat of impeachment for the appointment of a new deputy minister, whom Parliament deemed to be of questionable character. When Parliament moved to impeach the minister, the deputy was forced to resign, even though Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, an Ahmadinejad ally, reportedly had been appointed to the position by direct order of the president.
These moves are part of a series of steps being taken by Iran’s conservative elite to limit Ahmadinejad’s power in advance of the parliamentary election next March.
According to Iranian parliamentary regulations, at least 10 signatures are required to propose the impeachment of a cabinet minister. This is the third time MPs have moved to impeach the Interior Minister, often referred to as a “weak minister” who is incapable of carrying out his duties.