Tehran, Oct 23, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami here Tuesday
defended his constitutional rights as the second highest ranking
authority of the Islamic Republic after the supreme Leader.
A hyped-up controversy over the president's constitutional rights
has led to the exchange of notices between him and the Judiciary
Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, initiated with Khatami's
protest to the courts' prosecution of MPs.
"I stated to the judiciary chief that the president, according
to the Constitution, is the second supreme official of the country,"
he told reporters here Tuesday after briefing the parliament on his
"I announced that the president, besides being the head of the
state, is responsible for the execution of the Constitution," Khatami
"There is a law on this, which still remains in force, although
it has some deficiencies," Khatami said and asked Iranian officials
to assist him with his duties.
"I appeal to all state officials to help me, as the president
and the second highest ranking authority who is responsible for the
execution of the Constitution, with my grave responsibilities,"
The statements come following a controversy over the
constitutional rights of the president, after Khatami announced that
the prosecution of MPs contravened a political immunity which the
Iranian Constitution has provided for them.
The notice prompted Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi
Shahroudi to respond, calling Khatami's letter "a surprise."
President Khatami had protested Tehran courts' rulings on MPs from
central Hamedan province Hossein Loqmanian, and from Tehran Fatemeh
Haqiqatjou, saying deputies should not be arrested or put on trial for
expressing their opinions.
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