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Iran Parliament To Question Rouhani Over Economic Crisis Response

IRAN -- Iranian MPs chant anti U.S. slogans at the parliament in Tehran, May 9, 2018

Eighty members of the Iranian Parliament tabled a motion on August 1 to question President Hassan Rouhani about his administration's economic policy and its reactions to the country's ongoing economic crisis.

Iranian media noted that 80 MPs comprise more than a quarter of the total number of deputies in the parliament.

The call for the motion was signed by 92 MPs but 12 withdrew their request, and the presidium acknowledged the receipt of the questions on August 1, Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) quoted speaker Ali Larijani as saying.

However, Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Hosseinali Amiri said the acknowledgement was made "illegally," ISNA reported.

Amiri told reporters that the Rouhani administration had answered MP questions on three occasions in the past year and most MPs "were convinced" by the explanations given by Rouhani's aides.

He added that some of the MPs who had withdrawn their questions had repeated their questions for a fourth time and signed the motion.

The questions Rouhani has to answer within one month address the administration's failure in controlling foreign currency and goods smuggling, the failure to tackle the declining employment rate, the failure to stop banking sanctions as promised, the failure to control the economic recession that has lingered for several years, and the failure to control rising foreign exchange rates and the dramatic devaluation of Iran's national currency, according to the official news agency, IRNA.

Rial Problems July 30 2018
Rial Problems July 30 2018

In another development in the parliament, 193 out of 290 members called on Rouhani to start a major reshuffling of his cabinet and replace the economy, industry, and housing ministers in particular.

The MPs warned in the letter that this is the last time such a call is being made, alluding implicitly that they might impeach Rouhani over his cabinet's failure to rein in the economic crisis that has wreaked havoc on markets and gave way to protests in the streets of various Iranian cities.

The moves could further weaken the standing of Rouhani, whose foreign policy is being challenged by military commanders amid renewed U.S. sanctions.

While Rouhani could ease the economic difficulties facing the nation by accepting U.S. President Donald Trump's offer of unconditional negotiations, IRGC Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari has said the nation will not allow their leaders to enter negotiations with the United States.