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March 31, 2023

Iran’s parliament questions a dismissive Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has defended his leadership style in the first appearance by an Iranian president before parliament since the Islamic republic was founded in 1979, the Voice of America informs.Ahmadinejad was summoned on March 14 by lawmakers who are dissatisfied over his handling of the economy and political management.Ahmadinejad, whose speech to the chamber was broadcast on state media, told legislators that if his government were judged to be “less than 100 percent, it would be unfair and cowardice.” The defiant Iranian president was asked 10 questions that were read out by one of his staunchest critics, lawmaker Ali Motahari. He responded dismissively and, at times, made jokes. Some of the questions focused on his differences with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – who has ultimate power in the Islamic republic. Ahmadinejad was asked about his refusal last year, for 11 days, to give in to a demand by Khamenei that he reinstate his fired intelligence minister. He was also questioned about his 2010 dismissal of an ally of Khamenei, former Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki, who was dismissed during a trip to Senegal. Ahmadinejad denied challenging the supreme leader and said as the president he had the right to dismiss ministers. The president deflected other questions from lawmakers who challenged him about Iran’s high inflation rate, suggesting it was a result of his policies to reduce Iran’s subsidies. In tongue-in-cheek responses, Ahmadinejad denied any wrongdoing and said that price hikes had nothing to do with slashing subsidies.

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