Iran Briefing :
Khamenei Tries to Manage Ahmadinejad’s Presence in Parliament
On March 11, 2012, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused his opponents of plotting against his government, aiming to interrupt the government’s economic plans and programs for what he called administration of justice in society.
He said that what happened in recent months in the currency and gold market was a preplanned plot for disrupting the Economic Development Plan and the Subsidies Reform Plan.
Such allegations are being made at the time when Ahmadinejad has been summoned by the parliament, and he must appear before the parliament to answer lawmakers’ questions on his policies and leadership abilities.
Following is an interview with Reza Alijani, political analyst and expert on Iran’s political affairs.
Mr. Alijani, what does president Ahmadinejad mean by inside opponents?
Reza Alijani: Ahmadinejad considers all critics his opponents. But I think he is specifically talking about a military-security team in the Revolutionary Guard that is loyal to the Supreme Leader. Although he is not directly addressing the Supreme Leader, he believes that other conservatives who are critical of his government, are conspiring against his government. Before, he had talked about traffickers in the Revolutionary Guard, and by that he was pointing out the certain segment of the Revolutionary Guard involved with economic activities. I think Ahmadinejad is trying to find an enemy on whom he can put the blame for his inefficiency, as he did during his campaign for the 2009 presidential election. By attacking Hashemi Rafsanjani in a TV debate at that time, he successfully deceived the lower class of the society which usually doesn’t follow the political news and issues. By creating an enemy, he tried to justify his inefficiencies for this class of the society.
We know that Ahmadinejad is called by the lawmakers to appear before the parliament on Wednesday to answer the parliamentarians’ questions. Can his statements be regarded as a reaction to the MPs’ move?
To some extent yes. He took the same position when he was under heavy criticism because of the turbulence in the currency and gold market. If we look at those days’ news, we can see that both parties, parliament and the government, were blaming each other for being responsible for crisis in gold and currency market. From the point of view of outside observers, the entire story shows the system’s inefficiency. However, both parties inside the system are blaming one another. Ahmadinejad is trying to show that he is not going to make any compromises during the questioning motion.
Some of the members of the parliament who are surprisingly critics of the government of Ahmadinejad have put forward the idea of inviting Ahmadinejad to the parliament for a face to face dialogue with the MPs instead of questioning him. Can it be said that they have changed their position due pressure exerted on the parliament by outside sources like Khamenei or his associates?
It is less likely to have something to do with outside pressure. Unlike the MPs who have only 15 minutes to talk and pose the questions, one hour is allocated to the president to reply. So in case of face to face dialogue, the time would be equally divided between them. However, what is still unclear in the MPs’ proposal is that they have not made it clear whether the session is going to be held open or not. At the moment, the dispute is over the tactical issues. For example, the critics are worried that Ahmadinejad might politicize the economic issues or use the opportunity to reprimand his critics and refuse to accept the criticisms.
Both the government and the parliament know weak points of each other. Ahmadinejad has already lost the game to the Supreme Leader and his associates, and I think he will use the opportunity to turn the already win-lose situation to lose-lose one.
Therefore, the entire procedure has to be methodically managed somehow. My prediction is that the Supreme Leader is trying to manage the entire process, and it is predictable that pressure would be exerted on both side, parliament and the government, to make the session just a ceremonial one.
Source : Radio Farda
English translation of this report is exclusive to Iran Briefing