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03/14/12

Ahmadinejad Defends Leadership In Iranian Parliament Hearing

Source: RFE/RL; photos by Mohammad Reza Abbasi, Mehr News Agency

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has defended his leadership style in the first appearance by an Iranian president in parliament since the founding of the Islamic republic in 1979.


Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad was summoned on March 14 by lawmakers dissatisfied over his handling of the economy and his political management.

Ahmadinejad, whose speech was broadcast on state-run media, told legislators that if his government were rated "at less than 100 percent, it would be unfair and cowardice."

The president deflected questions from lawmakers attempting to accuse him over the high inflation rate, his perceived declining loyalty to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his drive to loosen up Islamic rules on dress for women and gender relations.

The hearing has highlighted Ahmadinejad's dwindling fortunes as he nears the end of his second and final mandate in 2013.






With reporting by Reuters and AFP


Copyright (c) 2012 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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