A prominent and influential conservative ayatollah has come to the defense of Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is facing a call for impeachment by a group of MPs.
Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, who is an official “source of emulation” or Marja’a for Shiites, called Zarif’s possible impeachment or replacement “wrong”.
Yesterday, a member if Iranian parliament’s presidium announced that 22 MPs have presented an official request to kick-off an impeachment procedure against Zarif “on eleven counts”, including his remarks alleging money laundering by Islamic Republic officials and institutions.
On Wednesday, the official government news agency IRNA quoted ayatollah Makarem Shirazi as saying, “If we want to change any ministers, especially ministers who are facing the enemy, it would the wrong move and the government should not be weakened in the current situation.”
Since Zarif’s November 11 remarks against money laundering, Iran’s conservatives unleashed a campaign against the foreign minister, culminating in the move for his impeachment. Many of Zarif’s colleagues and others have come to his defense, insisting that money laundering does in fact exisit.