Iran parliament drops threat to summon Ahmadinejad

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Iran’s parliament has dropped a summons calling President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in for questioning, Iranian media reported on Wednesday, signalling an uneasy truce after months of political struggle between rival conservative factions. One hundred of parliament’s 290 members signed a motion in June summoning Ahmadinejad to face questions, amid mounting criticism, particularly from hardline conservatives who accuse the president of riding roughshod over the legislature. But, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calling for unity among the branches of power, parliament’s presiding board held back from issuing the summons and Speaker Ali Larijani said it was now invalid as several lawmakers had pulled out.
“Sixty-nine signatures remain … others have been withdrawn,” Larijani told state radio. That is less than the 75 signatures needed to force the president to face parliament. The truce comes as Iran faces increasing pressure from Washington, which wants to tighten sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme after it discovered what it says was an Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Iran denies it was involved in any such scheme.