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Iran’s Larijani Vows to Complain About President’s ‘Lies’

A brother of Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani said he will file a legal complaint against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over his “lies” after the president accused his family of corruption, state-run Fars reported.

The remarks by Fazel Larijani, a former diplomat in Canada, follow a public showdown yesterday in parliament between his brother and Ahmadinejad, marking the latest exchange between two long-time rivals before the June 14 presidential election. Ahmadinejad initially turned up before lawmakers to defend the record of one of his ministers, whom they aimed to impeach.

During the session, Ahmadinejad played a badly audible video of a conversation between Fazel Larijani and former Prosecutor-General Saeed Mortazavi that he maintained revealed the Larijani family’s misuse of power in business dealings, the Tehran-based Etemaad daily reported. Larijani responded by saying the issue was unrelated to the impeachment motion and accused Ahmadinejad of devising a “plot,” Etemaad said.

“A president who is constantly threatening others should know that the country’s problems stem from such attitudes,” Ali Larijani said. “In fact, it’s a good thing that you aired this film so people get to better know your character.”

With tightening sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program restricting the country’s crude exports and its access to oil revenue, Ahmadinejad has been made the scapegoat in recent months by fellow politicians for his management of the economy. The president has fought back, threatening to make public documents that, he says, show some official are corrupt.

At the end of the parliamentary session, deputies voted and impeached Labor Minister Abdolreza Sheikholeslami, citing his failure to remove Mortazavi from his post as the head of the Social Security Organization, the state-run Press TV news channel said. Mortazavi was suspended in 2010 over accusations he was linked to prison inmates’ deaths.

Ali Larijani lost the 2005 presidential election, when Ahmadinejad won his first term. Larijani later quit as Iran’s nuclear negotiator over differences with Ahmadinejad, who isn’t able to run for a third term.

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