An outspoken lawmaker in Iran has announced that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rejected the impeachment of the interior minister who is accused of triggering widespread protests in November that killed at least a few hundred people.
Ali Motahari, who had demanded the impeachment, told ILNA news website in Iran that “Parliament presidium says the Leader is against [impeachment] and it will not happen”.
Motahari last week had said that Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli’s impeachment will take place if the Supreme Leader agrees with the move. He told ILNA that the impeachment process can be launched by a petition of ten lawmakers and he currently has 20 signatures.
After bloody protests in mid-November it was announced that the interior minister, as head of the National Security Council was responsible for coordinating government reactions to the protests and that would include the order to security forces to shoot protesters.
However, now it is almost clear that the order to shoot came from Khamenei himself and he will defend officials who carried out his wishes.
Rahmani Fazli has already received a “Jihadi Management” award after the protests; a sign that his role in the crackdown is appreciated by Khamenei.
Motahari accuses the interior minister of mismanaging a gasoline price rise that led to the protests, which “damaged the Islamic Republic”.
As officials scrambled to blame each other for the protests, President Hassan Rouhani had earlier said that all the issues relating to the implementation of the price rise was delegated to the interior ministry.