The Iranian Parliament’s Presiding Board has announced that 29 MPs have withdrawn their support from the motion to question the president, thereby rendering it moot, but former MP Ali Motahari says the representatives were forced to withdraw their signatures.

The Mehr News agency reported today that the motion to question the president has been rejected after a number of signatories withdrew their support.

The deputy head of Parliament, Mohammadreza Bahonar, who had given the signatories a week to reconsider their motion, said today that some representatives decided that questioning the president was not in the best interests of the country at this time.

Previously he had said that the “regime’s elders” did not approve of having the president publicly questioned in Parliament.

Ali Motahari, who helped initiate the motion as a Tehran MP, resigned his seat two weeks ago in protest of Parliament’s refusal to consider questioning the president over a series of irregularities listed in the motion.

Motahari responded to the news of MPs withdrawing their support by saying the Presiding Board and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s parliamentary aides had pressured the MPs to quash the motion.

“The representatives are mere human beings,” Motahari said. “When they are pressured from all fronts and they are told that some such development project in your riding will be stopped, obviously they have to retreat.”

The motion to question the president was submitted to Parliament with 100 signatures, which was more than the necessary one-third of MPs’ signatures required to pass such a motion.

Motahari added that 71 MPs have so far withstood the pressure, and getting the two additional signatures required would not be so difficult.

Next week, Parliament will consider Motahari’s resignation.

Motahari has stated that his resignation is not a mere “political gesture” but that he is intent on breaking the “taboo around questioning the president.”