Iranian Judiciary Denies Move to Impeach Khatami
A senior official in Iran's conservative-dominated judiciary denied Tuesday that a motion had been filed with the courts calling for reformist President Mohammad Khatami to be impeached.
"This information is false, and the person who is found to have originated it may be pursued by the courts," Abassali Alizadeh, head of the justice department for Tehran province was quoted on television as saying.
He added that an investigation had been opened into the affair.
Alizadeh was responding to claims made on Monday at a Tehran university by Mohammad Salamati, secretary general of the Islamic Revolution Mujahedeen Organization, a radical group belonging to Khatami's reformist coalition.
According to the official IRNA news agency, Salamati said a motion had been filed by conservatives with the supreme court accusing Khatami of "unfitness" to carry out his functions.
IRNA said Salamati had accused Iran's conservatives of attempting to insinuate that the president was "incapable of carrying out those functions stipulated by the constitutions."
Under the constitution, the Supreme Court can impeach the head of state if Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, approves a motion to that affect.
Last week, Khatami repeated his view that he lacks the authority to enforce the constitution.
"The constitution is our point of convergence and there is no question of a revision at the moment," the moderate head of state also told some 7,000 students at a Tehran university campus to mark the annual Students' Day.
"Certain people are looking to deceive the population and the youth on the future and the realization of their rights," he said in an allusion to the country's dominating ultra-conservatives.
He admitted for the second time in less than three weeks that he lacked "sufficient power" to do his job, and gave no hint of whether he would run for a second four-year term in May.
According to IRNA, rumors of an impeachment motion have been circulating ever since Khatami complained about his lack of sufficient power -- TEHRAN (AFP)
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