Iran: Rouhani’s confrontation with Khamenei’s faction escalates (following impeachment of Minister of Science)
On Wednesday August 20, following parliamentary vote of no-confidence and impeachment of Reza Faraji Dana, Minister of Science and Technology, Rouhani introduced him as vice president and appointed Mohammad Ali Najafi as the head of Ministry of Science in an apparent confrontation with Khamenei’s faction. Previously, Najafi was introduced as the Minister of Science and Technology when Rouhani first formed his cabinet in 2013 but he was disqualified by the parliament.
Ali Motahari, Member of Parliament, described dismissal of Minister of Science as a negative point for the parliament and said that Faraji Dana was “the victim of political rivalry.” He described performance of Rouhani’s government as poor and said: “The government did not have strong and widespread association with members of parliament. The president did not even attend the parliamentary session [during the impeachment] and it was a mistake,” state-run ISNA news agency reported on August 22.
Ali Tajernia, a political activist affiliated with Rouhani’s faction, admitted that people are concerned about economic problems not issues like impeachment and higher education and said: “With the impeachment, the parliament’s record is not acceptable in the eyes of people because the issue of higher education is not people’s problem at the moment. If in the current situation the parliamentarians had put their hands on economic minister and issues such as people’s immediate needs, they would have been accompanied and accepted by people.”
He pointed out parliamentary confrontation and said: “This trend shows that the Members of Parliament are paying attention to the interests of their own factions rather than people’s demand.”
Tajernia said, “In fact, the action of the parliament sends this message that it is not after engagement but somehow wants to create problems for the government and from now on the president will have a deeper look at these currents. I hope that the Members of Parliament officially recognize the President and consider our national interests.”