NewsSpecial WireRow in Iran's parliament was stage-managed - source

Row in Iran’s parliament was stage-managed – source

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Aug. 22 – The row in Iran’s Majlis (parliament) on Sunday was stage-managed by the dominant ultra-Islamist faction, according to an official close to former president Mohammad Khatami. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Aug. 22 – The row in Iran’s Majlis (parliament) on Sunday was stage-managed by the dominant ultra-Islamist faction, according to an official close to former president Mohammad Khatami.

“The whole parliamentary debate on the nominated ministers is a sham in a Majlis that is completely controlled by [President Mahmoud”> Ahmadinejad’s allies”, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

An elderly man in the visitors’ gallery shouted “death to the hyprocrite” after a speech by Bijan Shahbazkhani, who criticised some of the cabinet nominees. There were scenes of pandemonium as others in the gallery and some of the deputies shouted at the man and at each other.

Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel ordered the security guards to lead the man out of the chamber. But Majlis deputies from the small minority faction complained later that the man had been taken to a guest room in the building and served tea and biscuits, instead of being turned over to the police.

The Speaker, himself a staunch ally and relative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, did not allow other deputies to speak out against the shouting man.

“The [hard-line”> faction leaders wants to bully the few deputies who don’t agree with them into silence, and at the same time make this Majlis look like something more than a rubber-stamp”, the official close to Khatami said. “But that’s just what it is, a rubber-stamp”.

Majlis deputy Nouroddin Pour-Moazzen complained in his speech on the floor on Monday that the dominant ultra-conservative faction was using tricks to prevent genuine critics of Ahmadinejad’s ministers from airing their views.

Addressing Speaker Haddad Adel, the deputy said, “The presence of these visitors these days is only aimed at creating a situation that would be conducive to getting the ministers confirmed by the Majlis”.

Outside the chamber, Pour-Moazzen told reporters that some of Ahmadinejad’s allies in the Majlis were posing as critics of the new government to take up all the time available for debate.

“It’s just not right, but they are doing it”, he said.

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