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10/23/11

Iran's Finance Minister Summoned by Parliament for Questioning

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iran's Parliament officially announced a motion on Sunday to impeach the Minister of Finance in connection with the $3-billion bank fraud that came to light in the past month.

Iran's Minister of Finance, Shamseddin-Hosseini
Iran's Minister of Finance, Shamseddin-Hosseini

Parliament recognized the motion presented by a group of MPs. According to the rules, the minister now has 10 days to prepare for questioning in Parliament.

The motion, which has been signed by 28 lawmakers, questions the minister's choice of incompetent appointees to senior positions. It also questions the minister's failure to heed the warnings of supervisory bodies.

The minister is also to be questioned over failing to resist "the forced influence of executive officials."

Since the news of the great bank fraud hit the media, the head of Melli bank has resigned and the heads of the Bank of Saderat and the Saman Bank have been dismissed.

The Minister of Finance has previously been summoned for questioning before Parliament, but the MPs maintain that his explanations were not satisfactory.

Parliament also acknowledged the resignation letter of Ali Motahari, who recently stepped down as a Tehran MP.

Motahari resigned over Parliament's refusal to call the president for questioning about a series of irregularities.

The announcement of Motahari's resignation was followed by a challenge from a Semnan representative, Mostafa Kavakebian, who said: "You were supposed to announce the motion to question the president and instead you have announced the resignation of Mr. Motahari."

The head of Parliament responded that the motion to question the president will be considered if it still carries the necessary number of signatures.

According to regulation, the president cancalled for questioning if one third of the MPs sign the motion.

Two days ago, the deputy head of Parliament said that the "elders of the system" have decided that the issue of summoning the president for questioning is not in the best interest of the country. However, he added that if the signatories continue to press for the matter, the presiding board is bound by duty to call the president.

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