Ali Larijani and Ahmad Jannati

Ahmadinejad administration received another blow from the Guardian Council today when Ahmad Jannati announced that the merging of ministries cannot be carried out without approval of the parliament.

Ali Larijani, Speaker of Iran’s parliament rebuked Ahmadinejad yesterday for failing to get parliamentary approval on his plans for merging ministries. He accused the president of acting against the law.

Ahmadinejad claims the government has been charged by Parliament to reduce the number of ministries and that it is moving ahead with this responsibility.

The head of parliament however maintains that the parliament has to be consulted every step of the way about the details of ministry mergers and the appointment of ministers to the newly formed ministries.

Ahmadinejad responded to Larijani’s statements saying that his government has been the “most law-abiding government in the history of the country” and accused the head of parliament of “creating unnecessary confusion.”

Ahmadinejad recently had to acknowledge the limits of his authority in a dispute with the Supreme Leader over the dismissal of the Intelligence Minister. Two hours after Ahmadinejad accepted the resignation of Heydar Moslehi, Ayatollah Khamenei reinstated the minister.

Ahamdinejad missed nine days of cabinet meetings and public duties only to finally give in to resuming work with Moslehi in his cabinet.

The recent challenge by Parliament, backed by the Guardian Council, appears to be another indication of Ahmadinejad’s waning stature in the Islamic Republic establishment.