Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU Staff

INU - Following a statement by Tehran MP Mahmoud Sadeghi, saying that parliamentarians won as a result of the Guardian Council and “not the votes of the people,” arguments arose in the Iranian parliament.

All candidates for the presidential election must be approved by the Guardian Council, who can disqualify candidates. “By disqualifying merited candidates, the Guardian Council has not allowed figures brave enough to fight corruption to have a seat in the parliament,” he said, adding, that the parliament was “the essence of the Guardian Council’s virtues” and not that of the nation.

A member of reformist Amal bloc, Sadeghi spoke about the most important challenges facing the Iranian regime — mainly corruption. He highlighted the importance of fighting corruption in parliament, the government, and the judiciary.

Sadeghi said, “If we really want to combat corruption, we should start right here among ourselves. All ruling bodies of the country, including the legislative, judicial and the executive powers, need an iron will to fight corruption.”

Media outlets reported that Sadeghi’s speech was criticized by other lawmakers, who accused him of “insulting” the status of parliament. In response to Sadeghi, MP Ali Adyani Rad said, “If the parliament is really the essence of the Guardian Council’s virtues, then, one should ask whether your presence is legitimate. Based on Islamic laws, do you even have the right to vote or make comments?”

Last week, President Hassan Rouhani submitted the new budget proposal of $104 billion. The proposal received varied reactions. The details that were published seemed to indicated that the president’s election promises will remain unfulfilled, as an aid program of between 30 million and 40 million riyals will end. Parliament has up to 40 days to study and vote on the draft.

Rouhani’s moderate and reformist allies are accusing him of not fulfilling his campaign promises and migrating towards the fundamentalist camp. Rouhani has requested more time to meet his pledges on domestic freedoms, and to improve the economy, as well as to work on Iran’s foreign policy.

Activists launched a “Nademoun” campaign on social network, expressing their remorse for voting for him in the last presidential election. Several political, artistic and sports figures also regretted calling for voters to participate in the elections. Former Iranian football star Ali Karimi apologized on his Instagram account for supporting the president because, as he said, “I thought he could help.” He added, “If only we could go back #ahmedinejad.”

However, political activist and reformist Abbas Abdi stated, “Those who say they regret participating in elections do not understand politics.”

Reformist newspaper Bahar wrote, “Several well-known Iranian figures expressed their remorse [for voting] and retracting their endorsement for Rouhani, which is a reason the president’s opponents celebrate.”

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