Iranian Parliament

The Presiding Board of Iran’s Parliament believes that a motion to summon Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning is not in the country’s best interest.

Board member Mohammad Dehghan told Mehr News Agency the board plans to talk with MP Ali Motahari, who helped initiate the motion, to dissuade him from pursuing the plan.

On Monday, Motahari told Fars News Agency that a petition to summon Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning had been signed by 100 MPs and presented to Parliament’s Presiding Board.

Dehghan says any move that may “weaken or destabilize” relations between the administration and Parliament is “not in the interests of the country.”

An editorial in Tuesday’s Keyhan daily says the MPs’ motion cannot be justified, in light of the Supreme Leader’s direct call for “unity and cooperation between the legislative and executive powers of the country.” The newspaper is believed to reflect the opinions of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

MP Motahari has urged the media to portray the questioning as a “natural” occurrence in the course of Parliament’s business and not to exaggerate its meaning.

This is the first time in the history of the Islamic Republic that a motion to question the president has been put forth. According to the constitution, so long as one quarter of MPs sign the motion to question the president, he must appear within a month to respond to their inquiries.

Political attacks against Ahmadinejad have intensified since news stories appeared about his disputes with the Supreme Leader over certain government appointments.

Some MPs believe Ahmadinejad must be impeached from his position for several legislative violations.

However, Ayatollah Khamenei has recently reproached Parliament for its treatment of Ahmadinejad and urged greater mutual respect.