Iranian president warns of arresting his cabinet members

08:42, June 30, 2011      

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that he will protest if any member of his cabinet is arrested, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

"The recent arrests of some of the governmental official are politically-motivated and if this process continues I will talk to the people about the issues and will do my legal duty," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Talking to the reporters after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, he said that "the government's position is to keep silence (over the controversies between the two conservative parties in the Islamic Republic) because the country needs unity. But the cabinet is the red line," he said, according to Fars.

The arrests mean to put pressure on the government, he added.

Earlier this month, Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, who was appointed by Iranian foreign minister as his deputy, resigned after the government was criticized by Iranian parliament over his assignment. The reports said that Malekzadeh was later arrested on the charges of financial corruption.

Other two officials in charge of two Iranian economic free zones, as well as allies to Ahmadinejad, were also arrested by Iran's judiciary in June, the local media said.

In the past months, bitter controversies have broken out between the Iranian parliament and the government over some political issues in the country.

On Monday, a motion signed by 100 Iranian lawmakers to question President Ahmadinejad was presented to the Majlis Presiding Board.

According to the Article 88 of the Iranian Constitution, the president must appear before Majlis (Parliament) within a month of being summoned, unless lawmakers decide to withdraw the motion.

Source: Xinhua
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