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Home / World / UPDATE 2 – Iran's parliament accuses Rohani of economic problems, referring him to the judiciary

UPDATE 2 – Iran's parliament accuses Rohani of economic problems, referring him to the judiciary



* Rouhani interviewed by parliamentarians in public session broadcast live

* MPs agree that he is referred to the judiciary

* Rouhani calls on MPs to support his Cabinet (adds voting results, recasts) [19659002] By BozorgMore Sharafedin [1859002] LONDON, Aug. 28 (Reuters) – Pressure on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday when lawmakers urged him to answer questions on weak economic growth and rising prices, but Parliament did not abandon his answers was convinced and the case to the judiciary.

Rouhani defended his cabinet's performance and said the economic problems had only begun when Washington resumed sanctions on Tehran, but many legislators disagreed with the answer, as the poll results at the end of the session showed.

If the majority of lawmakers are unconvinced of the President's answers, they may view it as a "breach of the law" and refer the case to the judiciary.

Legislators have the power to sue the President and vote on his lack of competence, but such a motion is not in Parliament at this stage.

On Sunday, the Iranian parliament dismissed the Minister of Economy and Finance because of the sharp decline in the national currency and the worsening economic situation. At the beginning of August, Iranian legislators elected the Labor Minister and Rouhani replaced the head of the central bank last month.

Rouhani, a pragmatist who eased tensions with the West by concluding a nuclear deal with the world powers in 201

5, is now facing a hard-line setback after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact in May.

Rouhani said that the protests against the government in early January prompted Trump to withdraw from the nuclear deal, hoping that economic hardship would trigger more unrest in Iran.

The demonstrations, which began with economic hardship and high prices and contained slogans against the government and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, spread to more than 80 cities, resulting in 25 deaths.

"The protests have led Trump to retire from the nuclear agreement," he said, calling on legislators to support his Cabinet and not contribute to an anti-government sentiment.

Although critical of economic issues, Rohani said, "More important than that is that many people have lost faith in the future of the Islamic Republic and doubt its power."

LAWMAKERS DEMAND ANSWERS [19659016] The nuclear agreement lifted the sanctions against Tehran in return for curtailing its nuclear program.

But Washington imposed a new round of sanctions in August, targeting Iran's trade in gold and other precious metals, its dollar purchases, and its auto industry. A new round of sanctions imposed in November targets Iranian oil sales.

"I want to assure the Iranian nation that we will not allow the US conspiracy against the Islamic Republic to succeed," Rohani told parliament in a session broadcast live on state television.

"We will not allow this group of anti-Iranians in the White House to fight against us."

Lawmakers asked Rohani about the failure of the government to fight unemployment, slow economic growth, and the country's foreign currency reserves – as well as high-income cross-border smuggling.

Rouhani said his government has asked the powerful Revolutionary Guards to help them fight smuggling.

Legislators also asked why the government had not adopted reforms in the financial sector and the foreign exchange market, and sought to explain why more than two years after the nuclear agreement, Iranian banks had limited access to global financial services.

The parliament found Rouhani's response to the banking business only satisfactory and referred the rest to the harsh judiciary. (Report by BozorgMore Sharafedin; Editing by Alison Williams)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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