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Conflict Between Conservatives and Ahmadinejad Print E-mail

Conflict Between Conservatives in Parliament and Ahmadinejad Intensifies

Shayan Ghajar

Prominent conservative parliament deputy from Tehran, Ahmad Tavakoli, launched a scathing verbal attack on the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad July 6, in yet another spat between conservative parliamentarians and Ahmadinejad’s administration, Alef News reports. Tavakoli, a cousin to the powerful Parliamentary Speaker, Ali Larijani, accused Ahmadinejad of deliberate corruption and disregard for the rule of law.

The source of Tavakoli’s anger stems from the unusual trials of individuals implicated in committing grievous crimes at the notorious Kahrizak detention center, a location previously used by Iranian authorities as a repository for protesters detained in the fallout of the June 12, 2009 presidential elections. After numerous allegations of torture, as well as two known deaths of prisoners resulting from physical trauma, a government investigation was launched to quell the outrage voiced across political boundaries.

Tavakoli asserted in his speech that Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran’s Chief Prosecutor during the abuses at Kahrizak, escaped punitive measures during the scandal due to his close political and personal ties to Ahmadinejad. To de-escalate the national protest of Mortazavi’s implication in the widespread torture and deaths at Kahrizak, state authorities had declared that Mortazavi would be punished for the human rights abuses. But this never happened; instead, Mortazavi was appointed by Ahmadinejad as head of an agency which aims to combat smuggling.

Tavakoli declared that Ahmadinejad’s “prejudiced legal practices will diminish the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic.” Tavakoli called for an acceptance of the diversity of opinions in the Islamic Republic, and said that the Iranian Constitution, above all, should dictate how to respond to the country’s current political impasse.

Ahmadinejad, Tavakoli continued, has operated outside the bounds of the Constitution by disregarding the authority and legitimacy of the judicial and legislative branches in a multitude of ways in his time as president. The result has been a system of cronyism rather than separation of powers.

Tavakoli concluded by saying that Ahmadinejad’s recent actions should “sound the alarm” that the Constitution of Iran is endangered, and that all three branches must respond.

The speech marks yet another instance in recent months of conservative MPs lashing out at Ahmadinejad’s heavy-handed domestic political games and overt acts of favoritism. Tavakoli, often aligned with Speaker of Parliament, Ali Larijani, shares his intense dislike of Ahmadinejad’s style of governance. As time goes on, the rifts between moderate conservatives in the legislative branch and Ahmadinejad’s administration grow ever wider.



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