Iran parliament begins impeachment of Salehi
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Last Updated: Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 14:48
  
Tehran: Iran's parliament on Tuesday launched impeachment procedures against Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi for appointing an aide to the president's beleaguered chief of staff as one of his deputies.

The motion to impeach Salehi, signed by 33 lawmakers, was officially "read out in the parliament today by an MP in the presiding board," as required by the law, a statement on the parliament website said.

Under the constitution, the signatures of 10 MPs in the 290-seat Majlis are needed to start impeachment procedures against an incumbent minister.

The move needs the approval of parliament's presiding board before being sent for a vote.

The targeted minister has to appear before parliament within 10 days to defend his case and ask for vote of confidence again.

The impeachment move comes after Salehi on Saturday, appointed Mohammad Sahrif Malekzadeh as a deputy foreign minister in charge of administrative and financial affairs.

Malekzadeh was a top official in the high council of Iranian affairs abroad, run by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, whom ultra-conservatives accuse of aiming to undermine the Islamic regime.

Ultra-conservatives, the Shiite clergy and the elite Revolutionary Guards have repeatedly called for Mashaie's dismissal, accusing him of leading "a current of deviation" and of exerting too much influence over the president.

Ahmadinejad has so far adamantly defended his aides, including Mashaie.

A number of influential deputies in the conservative-dominated parliament reacted to Salehi's appointment on Sunday by calling for his impeachment unless he sacks Malekzadeh.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 14:48


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