Mohammdreza Bahonar, the deputy head of Iran's Parliament, has begun negotiating with the MPs who filed a motion to summon the president for questioning.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivering a speech in the Parliament (file photo)
The Khaneh Mellat website reports that Omidvar Rezai, a member of the Presiding Board of Parliament, has said the motion has not gained enough support to be examined officially in Parliament; however, the MPs are still standing by their motion.
Last month, Iranian media reported that a motion to question Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Parliament has been submitted to the Presiding Board of the Parliament.
In recent weeks, conflicting reports have been published regarding the fate of this motion. While some have maintained that the motion is nullified because a number of MPs have retracted their signatures, others insist that it is still under review by Parliament's chief administration.
Rezai denied both reports, saying it has neither been canceled nor been put on Parliament's agenda. He added, however, that it is progressing through the "proper legal channels and its fate remains undetermined."
Ali Motahari, the chief initiator of the motion, had challenged those who said it was not the right time to summon the president, saying: "I ask you to describe the right time. Is it only right to question the president when the U.S. and Israel have been destroyed and all foreign media have been shut down?"
He insisted that all prejudice must be abandoned because questioning the president is in the interests of the country.
Mohammadreza Khabbaz, another signatory, has said that only a handful of MPs have withdrawn their support from the motion but it still has the number of signatures required to put it on Parliament's agenda.
According to Iranian parliamentary regulations, a motion to question the president needs the support of a quarter of MPs.
The motion to question Ahmadinejad cites 10 issues, including failure to provide approved funding for the Tehran subway system, ambiguity in official unemployment rates, the president's absence from office for around 10 days after the Supreme Leader reinstated the Minister of Intelligence, and the humiliating manner in which Manouchehr Mottaki, the former foreign minister, was dismissed.
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