Corruption case raises Iran
domestic tensions By Al Jazeera
DOHA, Qatar - Iran's
president has accused the brother of the speaker
of parliament of corruption, increasing tensions
between two of the country's most powerful
political figures in the run-up to presidential
elections in the country scheduled for June this
Mahmud Ahmadinejad and his cabinet
were in parliament on Sunday for the impeachment
hearing of Abdolreza Sheikholeslami, the labor
minister, when he leveled the accusations against
Fazel Larijani, the speaker's brother.
played an inaudible audio recording in which Fazel
allegedly says he used his family's status for
economic gains, but both brothers dismissed the
allegations made by Ahmadinejad.
problem is that our president does not observe the
basics of proper behavior," Ali Larjani, the
speaker, said, retorting to the
president's comments, adding
that it had nothing to do with Sheikholeslami's
"Actually it's a good
thing that you played this tape today, so that the
people better understand your character."
Al Jazeera's Soraya Lennie, reporting from
Tehran, said: "Most of [the reactions] have been
quite negative and critical of the president . One
parliamentarian said 'the president is not acting
in the manner befitting his post'."
Request denied During Sunday's
impeachment hearing, Ali Larijani told Ahmadinejad
that parliament was not the proper place for the
corruption discussion and that he should take it
any accusation to the relevant authorities. He
also denied a request by Ahmadinejad to speak
Ahmadinejad claims that the audio
recording of a conversation between Saeed
Mortazavi, an associate of Ahmadinejad, and Fazel
Larijani was proof of Fazel implying that he could
use his brothers' influence to remove obstacles in
return for involvement in business endeavors.
The Larijani family is one of the
country's most influential political families.
Sadeq Larjani, Iran's judiciary chief, is a
brother of Fazel and Ali.
Iran's Fars news agency that he would file a legal
complaint against Ahmadinejad and Mortazavi for
"spreading lies and disturbing public opinion".
"This was a conspiratorial step and
hypocritical action taken so that Mortazavi could
use it as leverage," he said. "I'm not the first
person to be attacked by these Mafia-like
(Inter Press Service.
Published under an agreement with Al Jazeera.)