More Intra-Governmental Infighting in Iran

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on December 14, 2010

People in the regime aren’t even trying to conceal their dislike of one another:

Two years ago, Iran’s parliament blocked several of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s key decisions and impeached one of his top ministers. But today, the leader routinely ignores parliament’s laws and undercuts its authority, leading some politicians and analysts to fear that Iran is slipping toward dictatorship.

A strong parliament is central to the Islamic republic’s political system, which mixes religion and democracy and divides power among the parliament, the president and councils of clerics.

But Ahmadinejad, emboldened by the support of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says he is merely exercising his rights under the constitution. The Majlis, or parliament, should stop creating an obstacle to Iran’s progress, Ahmadinejad argues.

In a recent open letter, leading parliamentarians demanded a resolution to the escalating dispute and warned they could start several procedures, including impeachment, against the president if his power is not checked.

Legislators complain that Ahmadinejad is refusing to sign off on decisions they make that are legally binding on his government. They also charge that he is spending billions of dollars without the consent of the 290-member assembly and blocking major payments to the municipality of Tehran, with which he and his administration are at odds.

They also say his government is not providing details on the upcoming national budget and is spending unknown sums on dozens of trips to Iran’s provinces – all in violation of the constitution.

Closely related. There continues to be instability in the Iranian political system, and much of that instability comes not from crowds in the streets, but from politicians who cannot get along with one another.

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