IranIran’s Minister of Industry, Mines, and Trade sacked

Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mines, and Trade sacked


The impeachment of Seyed Reza Fatemi Amin, the Minister of Industry, Mines, and Trade of regime President Ebrahim Raisi’s cabinet, was approved by 162 votes in the Majlis (parliament) on Sunday. The crisis  in Iran’s automobile industry involving the skyrocketing prices of vehicles was the main topic of discussion during the impeachment, which eventually led to Amin’s dismissal.

During Sunday’s Majlis session that continued until 2 pm, out of the total of 272 representatives present, while 162 voted in favor of the minister’s impeachment and dismissal, 102 Majis members opposed the measure. Two representatives abstained and six votes were invalid.

This wasn’t the first time Fatemi Amin was in trouble with the Majlis. Six months ago, he was impeached by the same members. On that day, however, the impeachment failed.

During Sunday’s session, supporters of the impeachment criticized the Fatemi Amin’s report card and considered him unqualified to continue his role as minister.

The situation of Iran’s automobile industry market was the focus of criticism and one of the main reasons for the impeachment.

In his defense, Fatemi Amin acknowledged the existence of a “car mafia” and announced that one of his deputies was “attacked and nearly killed.”

The controversial issue of “gifting SUVs” was repeatedly raised during the remarks of both supporters and opponents of Fatemi Amin’s impeachment. Fatemi Amin considered this accusation a “pure lie” and said, “This allegation was neither related to the [Raisi] government nor the revolutionary parliament. It was just a pure lie. In the past few days, wherever I went, I felt a heavy gaze on me, and you were the same.”

According to reports, Fatemi Amin has allegedly gifted 75 SUVs to Majlis members  in recent days in an attempt to avoid being impeached.

Ahmad Alireza Beigi, a member of the Majlis, recently announced in an open-doors session that during Fatemi Amin’s previous impeachment, his Ministry distributed “purchase documents of 75 SUVs” among the representatives to change their votes.

According to those in support of the impeachment measure, this led to the changing in some representatives’ votes and rendered a no-vote to the previous impeachment attempt. Government officials have denied this accusation. The representative who raised this issue, however, was summoned to the Tehran prosecutor’s office and went to the judiciary on Saturday.

Ebrahim Raisi defended his minister in this session and asked the members to help maintain the “stability of management” in the ministry by not voting for impeachment.

In the afternoon session, Majlis member Lotfollah Siahkali, one of the supporters of the impeachment, challenged the statistics presented by the minister and called them a “lie.” He addressed Fatemi Amin and said, “Why do you give the wrong statistics to the president to present them before the Supreme Leader?” This parliament member accused the ministry and Fatemi Amin himself of “manipulating statistics.”

The automobile industry in Iran is the country’s second largest industry following the oil industry. Iranian automakers have no significant position in the world market and are not even considered secondary car manufacturers. The majority of the automobile industry in Iran has been involved in the assembly of products from larger global companies. Currently, most of the assembled cars are products of Chinese companies.

On the other hand, this industry has led to the formation of a very large mafia in Iran. This mafia threatens the lives of millions of Iranians by producing low-quality cars while making huge profits by obtaining import licenses for foreign-made cars. There is no doubt that the management of this corrupt network is in the hands of the government. Therefore, the problem cannot be solved by merely impeaching a minister.

Ahmad Zeidabadi, from the regime’s so-called “reformist” faction, considered the removal of Minister of Industry, Mines, and Trade a useless measure. “The main problem in this country is not in this or that individuals that can be solved by some transfers. Replacing people will not have the least impact on improving the status quo…”

The removal of Fatemi Amin shows a growing rift among the regime’s elite. In the past years, Khamenei has taken a series of measures to eliminate any kind of rivalry and consolidate power within his loyalists. All three branches of power are ruled by figures who are close allies of Khamenei. However, even these measures have not managed to tone down infighting among regime officials. Amin is the sixth member of Raisi’s cabinet to be sacked or dismissed.


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