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Tehran Lawmaker Criticizes Conservative Body For 'Boundless' Expansion

Members of the Iranian parliament talking during a session in August 2017. Mahmoud Sadeghi is seen on the right.

An outspoken Tehran lawmaker, Mahmoud Sadeghi has lambasted the Islamic Republic's powerful Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) for its “boundless” expansion.

Speaking to pro-reform daily E'temad, Sadeghi said, "EDC was supposed to just hold meetings, but it has turned into a highly expansive entity, and it is currently building a residential complex of 370 units for its staff in Tehran's posh Kan area."

"Regardless of violating environmental regulations, the complex shows that EDC is practically going toward the wrong direction", the lawmaker said and added, "How many people are employed by the EDC that it needs such a large complex to house them?"

Iran is in the grips of an economic crisis and shortfall in revenues, as U.S. sanctions have chocked off its oil exports.

Sadeghi has argued that the EDC was supposed to employ the same people who are actually serving in other state institutions, including the government, judiciary, and parliament, “but we are witnessing that it has taken another route”, he said.

The Expediency Discernment Council is an assembly appointed by the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader and packed by conservatives. It was created upon the revision of the constitution in 1988 to resolve disagreements between parliament and the Guardian Council, and to advise the Supreme Leader.

Members of the council are chosen by the Supreme Leader every five years.

EDC has recently been criticized for trying to legislate, while its constitutional duty is limited to resolving disputes between parliament and the Council of Guardians.