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Iran: IRIB supervisors warn Larijani about anti-Parliament comments

The Council to Supervise the Performance of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on Monday served a notice to the IRIB President Ali Larijani for what it called "inappropriate" remarks on a recent report by a Parliament special inspection commission, IRNA reported from Tehrran.

The council decided to issue the warning for the IRIB's coverage of news about the contents of the report, the reaction of the organization, and the positions adopted against the Parliament and the inspection team.

It stressed that the notice to the IRIB was for highlighting that part of Larijani's remarks about the report that included inappropriate remarks against the Parliament and the report.

The council decided to take the required measures to complete the Parliament's investigations and make them more precise "considering the importance of the inspection team's efforts".

It also decided to set up a committee to supervise the IRIB's financial affairs at the earliest.

The Parliament Special Inspection Commission on IRIB's Revenues and Expenses in a report last Wednesday stressed that the organization had committed gross financial offenses totalling as much as Rls 525 billion (about Dlrs 656 million) in several cases.

The commission stressed that the report had been based on only "very limited" data obtained from other institutions, as well as a few banking accounts of the IRIB. It also lashed out at the organization for failing to cooperate with commission investigations.

The inspection commission furthermore urged the Parliament Presiding Board to sue the IRIB for flouting Article 201 of the Parliament Bylaws, which stipulates that state organizations must cooperate with its probes.

The press on Saturday quoted Larijani as terming the report as cursory, stressing that it had been politically motivated.

He rejected all the Parliament's charges of financial misconduct, and vowed to follow the issue through the Judiciary.

Larijani's remarks immediately drew the ire of parliamentarians with an MP from Tehran, Davoud Soleymani, urging Parliament Speaker, Mehdi Karroubi, to respond to what he called Larijani's flagrant insults to the MPs.

Meanwhile, Karroubi said Larijani in a letter had stressed that his remarks only addressed the details of the report, and not the Parliament, the Inspection Commission, or the report, itself.

The speaker said the letter had failed to remove the grudges that Larijani's remarks had caused, stressing that he was still hurt by those remarks.

Under Article 175 of the Iranian Constitution, the IRIB is only answerable to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

The IRIB's Supervising Council comprises two representatives from the Executive Branch, two from the Legislative, and two from the Judiciary.

... Payvand News - 5/12/03 ... --

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