Iran parliament begins impeachment of Salehi

Saleh had appointed an aide to the president`s beleaguered chief of staff as one of his deputies.

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

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.


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