Iran’s parliament has voted in favour of taking President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to court after he appointed himself as caretaker oil minister last month.
Lawmakers say this is a violation of the country’s constitution. Iran also holds the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ rotating presidency this year.
In May, Ahmadinejad dismissed the oil minister Masoud Mirkazemi and appointed himself caretaker minister (MEED 17:5:11).
“This illegal and hasty action will damage the Islamic Republic of Iran’s interests on the global level,” says a report from the parliament committee. “As [caretaker] oil minister, Ahmadinejad has issued and will continue to issue orders that are obviously illegal interference.”
It is unclear whether the vote will result in a lawsuit against Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad and Khamenei have been locked in a power struggle for some months. The rift between the two leaders began when Ahmadinejad forced the Interior Minister Heider Moslehi to resign from his position. Khamenei did not support the president and Moslehi was reinstated.
The rift comes ahead of parliamentary elections next year and a vote for Ahmadinejad’s successor in 2013.