Majlis, the Iranian parliament, questioned President Ahmadinejad today on what the deputies termed as his mismanagement of the country’s economy and more importantly his past defiance of the authority of the country’s supreme leader. The session was unprecedented in the history of the Islamic Republic.
Ali Motahari, an influential member of the parliament, read out a series of 10 questions. Some of the most hard-hitting focused on Ahmadinejad’s defiance of Ayatollah Khamenei over the firing of Khamenei’s handpicked intelligence minister and later reversal of the order by Khamenei. Ahmadinejad, in protest, then sat out for some 11 days, refusing to go to his office or chairing his cabinet meetings. Ahmadinejad denied that he challenged Khamenei.
The deputies also questioned Ahmadinejad on his support for his political confident and chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, who hard-iners accuse of heading a "deviationist" movement within the Islamic Republic for allegedly believing in Iranian identity as opposed to an Islamic one for the country. Ahmadinejad said he supports Iran's history and doesn't regret doing so.
Ahmadinejad was defiant and fought back in sarcastic and at times insulting tone against his detractors. Many lawmakers angrily denounced Ahmadinejad's performance, saying he insulted the elected parliament instead of responding to questions politely.
"The parliament is now very much against the president. He didn't respect the house," said parliamentarian Ghodratollah Ali Khani. "Hopefully, the next step is Ahmadinejad's impeachment."