Middle East

Iran's parliament drops impeachment over economy

In this Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 file photo, an Iranian street money changer holds Iranian banknotes with a portrait of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, in the main old Bazaar of Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

TEHRAN: Iran's parliament has abandoned its planned impeachment of a Cabinet minister over the free-fall of the country's currency.

Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani Sunday stopped a debate on impeaching Sports and Culture Minister Mohammad Abbasi, saying some lawmakers withdrew "because of economic situation," indicating that fixing the economy was more important than political moves.

Ten lawmakers signed the original impeachment petition, the minimum number required.

The aborted move to impeach the minister reflects unease over the severe drop in the currency's value, mostly because of Western sanctions over Iran's suspect nuclear program.

Last week protests flared in Tehran, a rare public display of anger over economic conditions after the Iranian rial hit an all-time low of 35,500 to the dollar, dropping from 24,000 rials a few days earlier.





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