First Step to an Ahmadinejad Impeachment?

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The New York Times reports that some members of the Iranian parliament recently sent a letter detailing the faults of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Iran's Guardian Council. Whether or not the letter signifies a real threat of impeachment, it certainly shows significant tension between the Ahmadinejad government and the conservatives in Parliament. But it's unclear as to what the impact will be: Many of its signatories are denying their involvement.

The letter to the Guardian Council was released to the news media by the Parliament's in-house news agency. It listed 14 "infringements," including foot-dragging by the administration on the implementation of a variety of laws, as well as financial irregularities.

Those included three years of unauthorized imports of gasoline and diesel worth around $10 billion and the failure to account for up to 40 percent of Mr. Ahmadinejad's spending on his numerous visits to Iran's regions.

Subsequent news reports said that the petition had been signed by more than 40 members of Parliament, among them a number of prominent critics of the president. But on Monday, several members who had been named publicly as supporters of the plan distanced themselves from the letter, some issuing stern denials that the plan had been presented to members for their signatures.

"I did not sign this letter and know nothing about it," one of them, Elias Naderan, was quoted as saying in Jam-e-Jam, a Web site that is linked with Iran's state broadcaster, IRIB.

Another member, Hamid-Reza Fuladgar, in the same report, said, "There has been no letter to pose questions to the president, let alone have 40 M.P.'s sign it."

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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Elizabeth Weingarten is an editorial assistant at the New America Foundation. A former Slate editorial assistant, she also previously wrote for and produced the Atlantic's International Channel.

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