Ahmadinejad ally impeached in Iran
The Majlis, Iran’s 290-seat parliament, has impeached the country’s Interior Minister, Ali Kordan, on a vote of 188-45. Kordan, an ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was impeached for, among other things, flasely claiming a degree from Oxford University. He was questioned about his qualifications during his confirmation hearings three months ago; there had been concerned that he was unqualified, but he was narrowly confirmed after he produced an English-language certificate that purported to be from Oxford, despite numerous spelling and grammatical mistakes.
During his impeachment trial, Kordan’s defended himself by claiming that his impeachment was a conspiracy including–who else?–the United States and Israel. President Ahmadinejad said that degrees are just “torn paper” and not really necessary.
Kordan’s removal from office is seen as a blow to President Ahmadinejad, who is not perceived as having delivered on promises to improve the country’s economy; Iranians often accuse him of spending too much time denouncing the United States and not enough time running Iran. He recently said that oil prices would not fall below $100 per barrel; oil is currently selling for $60 per barrel, which makes improving Iran’s economy, whose chief export is petroleum, more difficult.
Ahmadinejad is up for re-election next year; if the United States isn’t an issue in the campaign, it’s likely he’ll lose. Hopefully the Obama administration can avoid antagonizing the people of Iran or doing anything to make them rally around their leader. Since October 29th, the chances of his re-election, as assessed by Intrade speculators, has fallen from 70% to just 32.5%.