A-Jad in Tehran's Hot Seat
Iran's palriament on Tuesday announced it would summon President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning over a long list of alleged policy failures.
It follows a petition by a group of lawmakers for a review of policy decisions by Ahmadinejad, who has come under increasing attacks in recent months from the same hard-liners who brought him to power.
Mohammad Reza Bahnoar, the parliament deputy speaker, said lawmakers have demanded that Ahmadinejad answer a slew of questions on the economy, including purportedly bypassing a special budget for the Tehran subway and public transportation.
He is also to be queried about foreign and domestic policy decisions, his failure to promote the Islamic dress code, and the unexplained dismissal of foreign minister Maouchehr Mottaki.
"There is a requirement for the president to answer questions in an open session of the parliament," said Bahnoar, whose parliament speech was broadcast live on Iranian state radio.
Under Iranian law, Ahmadjinejad has up to appear in parliament after one month. It's unclear what would happen if Ahmadinejad refuses to obey the summons.
The summons is the first of its kind for an Iranian president since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and comes ahead of the March 2 paliamentary elections and 2013 presidential race.
While questioning will be ostensibly focused on Ahmadinejad's foreign policy and economic decisions some analysts say the real source of parliament's ire is Ahmadinejad's power struggle with Supreme Leader Ayatolla Khameini
In 2011, Khamenei decided to reinstate intelligence minister, Heidar Moslehi, who was sacked by Ahmadinejad earlier that year. The incident led to Ahmadinejad bizarrely refusing to perform his duties for 11 days and is said to have fallen into a depression.
Khameini recently referred to Ahmadinejad as the leader of a 'deviant movement' after the Iranian president reportedly said he believed the 12th Imam - the final Imam and final savior of mankind - would reveal himself on June 5.
While some 85% of Iranian Shiite muslims are "twelvers" - adherents of the 12th Imam doctrine - most, including Khameini, object to ascribing a specific date to the event and instead maintain the 12th Imam is 'occluded.'
June 5th marks the day Israel launched its pre-emptive air strike in the 1967 'Six Day War" as Arab army's massed for the attack, which ultimately resulted in Israel's liberation of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.