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Hardline Iranian lawmakers back off from move to impeach president

2020-07-15

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SULAIMANI — A group of Iranian parliamentarians has abandoned an attempt to impeach President Hassan Rouhani, the Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday (July 15), marking the end of a move sparked by growing economic hardship.

Approximately 10 parliamentarians who were seeking to impeach the president, and rally other members of the 290 seat body to their side, have backed down, Tasnim reported.

One MP quoted by Tasnim said that the motion had been dropped after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in the country, had expressed support for the government.

Iranians’ daily struggle to make ends meet has become harder since the reimposition of U.S. sanctions in 2018, and the economy has been further damaged by rising inflation, growing unemployment, a slump in the rial and the coronavirus crisis.

First elected in a landslide in 2013 and re-elected in 2017, Rouhani opened the door to nuclear diplomacy with six major powers that led to a 2015 nuclear deal, under which Iran agreed to curb its sensitive nuclear work in return for the easing of sanctions.

But hardliners opposed to the West were always lukewarm about the agreement, and they fiercely criticised Rouhani when US President Donald Trump quit the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions that have choked Iran’s vital oil exports.

(NRT Digital Media/Reuters)