Iran’s supreme leader has ordered parliament not to interrogate President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over the nation’s plummeting currency and economic crisis, according to a local news agency.
The IRNA said on Wednesday that the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced concerns that interrogation would benefit Iran’s enemies.
Khamanei and Ahmadinejad have been at odds for months and it seemed that the president’s parliamentary opponents were acting on the supreme leader’s behalf when they summoned him for questioning.
For the first time in Iran’s presidential history, Ahmadinejad was summoned to parliament for questioning in March.
But the Ayatollah, who has the ultimate say on all state matters, said: “We demand that the respected representatives not continue” with the summons.
The supreme leader said that while the parliament’s concerns about the economy were positive, questioning the president before the body was “what enemy seeks,” – a reference to the West.
“The country needs tranquility. Authorities also need it to carry out their tasks. People also like peace,” Khamenei said.
Ali Larijani, the speaker of parliament, acknowledged Khamenei’s demand and pledged that the house would not pursue the summons further.
Khamenei’s move is seen as an attempt to forge unity among leaders as international pressure over Iran’s disputed nuclear programme grows.
The economic crisis and currency crash are in part the result of tough economic sanctions imposed by the West, aimed at forcing Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment project.