Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says it was “illegal” for parliament to impeach his minister of transportation, Hamid Behbahani, and he will soon reveal the details to the people.

“Usually during Fajr celebrations [the anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Revolution] even government critics refrain from criticism and thank those who are at the service of the people day and night,” Iranian media quotes Ahmadinejad as saying. “But this year the MPs gave us a present on the first day of the celebrations by taking away the best minister of our cabinet.”

The criticisms brought against the transport minister are more applicable to the impeachers, said Ahmedinejad. He added that the ministry of transportation will be merged with a different ministry, so he will not appoint a new minister.

Behbahani was dismissed as minister of transportation on February 1 after being blamed for numerous fatal plane crashes, unprofessional public statements about transportation accidents, mismanagement of ministry resources and the high death toll from road accidents. Parliament voted 147- 78 with nine abstaining. The minister was absent from the vote, and Ahmadinejad failed to attend the impeachment.

One day before the impeachment, Ahmadinejad’s representative in parliament had presented a letter to the speaker, Ali Larijani, maintaining that 13 MPs had withdrawn their names from the impeachment order, rendering it invalid. Regardless, Larijani proceeded with the impeachment. Ahmadinejad insists, however, that the parliament has breached regulations.