The Iranian Parliament recently attempted to impeach President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the country's legislative body has revealed. They were blocked by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who exercises total control over the country's political institutions. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Parliament had accused Ahmadinejad of "illegally importing gasoline and oil, failing to provide budgetary transparency and withdrawing millions of dollars from Iran's foreign reserve fund without getting parliament's approval." Despite this, Members of Parliament have begun a motion to openly debate impeaching Ahmadinejad; they have 40 of the required 74 votes to move forward. Here's what this means and what experts say about Ahmadinejad's--and Iran's--future.
- Part of Backlash Against Subsidy Reductions The Wall Street Journal's Farnaz Fassihi writes, "The moves against Mr. Ahmadinejad come as the regime faces domestic pressure over his plans to gradually eliminate subsidies for fuel, food and utilities from an economy strained by a string of international sanctions over Tehran's controversial nuclear program. Authorities have tightened security and arrested members of the opposition to prevent riots and uprisings in response to the subsidy cuts, which economists say will drive up inflation."
- The Underlying Political Battle in Tehran Time's Joe Klein explains, "The most interesting political struggle in Iran isn't between the Green movement reformers and the conservative establishment. It's between conservative principalists like Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Majlis (the Iranian parliament), and hyper-conservatives like President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."
- The Sanctions Are Working The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan puts it plainly: "Part of the mess is due to Ahmadinejad's dictatorial floutng of parliamentary prerogatives; but part is also due to the remarkably successful sanctions regime Obama relentlessly put together."