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Iran’s Economy Minister Denies Apologizing To Lawmaker

Newly appointed Economy minister in Rouhani Cabinet Farhad Dejpasand, in a meeting on ministry's official with President Hassan Rouhani, on November 05, 2018.

Iran’s economy minister says authorities are looking into a dispute between a lawmaker and customs officers.

Speaking to reporters on December 19, Economy and Finance Minister Farhad Dejpasand denied earlier reports that he had apologized to lawmaker Mohammad Baset Dorrazehi, who claimed that customs officers had insulted him.

“I said we will look into it and I will comment accordingly,” Dejpasand was quoted as saying by Iran’s semi-official ILNA news agency.

A short video of the exchange posted online appears to show Dorrazehi using crude language in what appears to be an office.

Dorrazehi claims that the video, which he said was recorded at the customs headquarters in the capital, Tehran, has been doctored to make him look bad.

He’s accused customs officers of having been disrespectful during the exchange that he said lasted for 45 minutes. Dorrazehi said he had gone to the customs headquarters for a working meeting with the Iranian customs chief.

The incident was reportedly discussed in a closed-door session of the parliament on December 18.

A group of lawmakers have reportedly gathered signatures to impeach the economy minister over the incident while some have also called for the head of the customs office to be fired.

Based on reporting by ILNA, BBC, and RFE/RL’s Radio Farda