Parliament speaker comments on morality laws, acid attacks and nuclear case

Ali Larijani-Iran Majlis speaker
Ali Larijani-Iran Majlis speaker

Iran’s top MP says politicization of recent acid attacks in Isfahan is sheer opportunism and politically unfair.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has thanked the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology for compiling a report on [illegal] scholarships [granted when the previous government was in office] and said, “At a time when both the executive and legislative branches of government are determined to pursue the case, some media act as if the legislature is against investigating the scholarships or that the impeachment of the former science minister had its roots in the fact that he wanted to pursue the case. Such characterization is wrong because the Supreme Audit Court, which is an affiliate of parliament, was probing the case [of unlawful scholarships].”

According to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the following is part of what else the top MP had to tell his fellow deputies:

Speaking during an open session of the Islamic Consultative Assembly on Sunday, Larijani said issues such the political and cultural approaches of the former science minister and his appointments were behind the chamber’s decision to impeach him. “That some MPs criticized the former minister ahead the vote of no-confidence was because he had made the inquiry into the scholarships public through media, not because he followed the case. “Such characterization of the performance of the chamber is politically wrong. It is like accusing someone of doing something simply in order to sideline them.”

He went on to say that political parties should take account of the fact that over the years such attitudes have turned into a source of hostility and conflict. “Do they want to insist on the wrong approaches of the past and repeat them? We need to look at developments through the lens of national interests and security. Iran is a hub of calm and security in a region which is experiencing a lot of turbulence. At a time when Iran is subjected to sanctions because of the hostility major powers nurture against the country, the nation needs convergence to advance national development and sustainability.

Larijani further said, “Naturally, political rivalry should be judicious and fair. Efforts by some to seize every opportunity to hammer away at their opponents and deal them a blow in the court of public opinion will simply play into foreign hands.

The top MP criticized those who politicize the parliamentary motion to support those who promote virtue and prevent vice and said no one should ever think of enforcement of morality laws as a peripheral question and treat it in a politically motivated way.

He dismissed efforts to paint a gloomy picture of the motion in question and link it to some developments in the country. “Parliament has yet to finalize the motion, and if there are any problems associated with it, we will review them in line with rules and regulations.”

He denounced a recent spate of acid attacks in Isfahan as heinous and urged the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee to follow the case and report its findings to the chamber. “Another mistake is that this ugly anti-social measure is being used for settling political scores. What is even worse is that some are linking the acid attacks to promotion of virtue and prevention of vice. Why should some muddy the political waters? Politicization of the attacks is sheer opportunism and politically unfair.

On nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1, he said Iran will not give in to illogical demands to curb its peaceful nuclear program. He also urged parties engaged in nuclear talks with Iran to avoid deception, citing the fact that Iran is well aware of their tactics.

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