Monday, January 21, 2008

The fight's out in the open now!

The Associated Press:

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's supreme leader Monday reversed a decision by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and ordered him to implement a law supplying natural gas to remote villages amid rising dissatisfaction with the president's performance.

The move by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was a major rebuke to the hardline president, whose popularity has plummeted amid rising food prices and deaths due to gas cuts during a particularly harsh winter.

In response to a request by the conservative-dominated parliament, Khamenei ordered the president to implement a law spending $1 billion from the Currency Reserve Fund to supply gas to villages after he balked for budgetary reasons.

"All legal legislation that has gone through (the required) procedures stipulated in the constitution is binding for all branches of power," Parliamentary Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel quoted the supreme leader as saying in a statement.

Haddad Adel called Ahmadinejad's refusal to implement the law "surprising" and said his appeal to Khamenei was aimed at "defending the dignity of the legislature." His comments, which were broadcast live on state-run radio, prompted chants of "well done" from the chamber.

Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005 on a populist agenda promising to bring oil revenues to every family, eradicate poverty and tackle unemployment. He now faces increasing criticism for failing to meet those promises.

"We don't want (you) to bring oil money to our table ... just restore heating gas immediately," lawmaker Valiollah Raeyat said in an open session of the parliament last week.

Iran has the second largest natural gas reservoir of the world but its supply network has been overwhelmed by high demand. Both reformists and conservatives are increasingly asking the president why Iranians are dying from the cold while sitting on the massive gas fields.

As much as 22 inches of snow fell in areas of northern and central Iran in early January, the heaviest snowfall in more than a decade. Local media have reported 64 cold-related deaths this winter and say gas cuts are to blame.

State Inspection Organization chief, Mohammad Niazi, said Monday that Ahmadinejad's administration ignored suggestions to set aside gas supplies in case of an emergency, the official IRNA news agency reported Monday.

"Earlier, (we) had warned executive officials about saving fuel but unfortunately warnings were not heeded ... there is no strategy for gas supply in the country," he said.

Ahmadinejad, who portrayed himself as a champion of the poor when he swept to power, is being challenged not only by reformers but by the same conservatives who paved the way for his victory in 2005.

Even conservatives say Ahmadinejad has concentrated too much on fiery, anti-U.S. speeches and not enough on the economy — and they have become more aggressive in calling him to account.

11 comments:

RickB said...

Hey Naj, it's strange to hear conservatives -who in the west are synonmous with free market extremists against public spending- implementing state funding for infrastructure. No wonder American is eyeing them up for some neo-liberal shock doctrine, Halliburton must be salivating at the gouging they could hide under such a pipline contract. If only they were connected to powerful figures who could push for aggressive action, hey wait a minute...

Aardvark EF-111B said...

lol the cartoon, who is that artist?, i saw several of his pieces on arabian blogs, mostly edited with spoofs on Najad, i wish some one give me a real translation

i love the way he skitch Najad, his face is very cartoon-friendly :):):):):)

I admit, those irani catoonists among my favorites

Naj said...

Aardvark,

The cartoon depicts the Parliamen's head (Haddad Adel) who is telling Ahmaghinejad: "bite it open!"

an average patriot said...

Naj
We have all been lied to. Bush is taking from the people and the country for his wars and I know Ahmadinejad has been accused of doing the same thing. We can not seem to fight the deciding idiot. I wish Iranians luck and stay warm!
You know, If we could somehow force these so called leaders to take care of the people we might be able to avoid what is about to happen!

nunya said...

For what it's worth, I found this:
Iran can’t pay it’s gas bills, and why Putin is partly to blame

January 14th, 2008 by Nancy Reyes

nunya said...

Analysis: Oil and Gas Pipeline Watch
By BEN LANDO
UPI Energy Editor
Iran, Pakistan move to sign Peace Pipeline price
Published: Jan. 21, 2008 at 6:01 PM

The two countries are to meet next week, without India, to sign a final deal on gas tariffs. The Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline would send Iranian natural gas to Pakistan and then to India, and possibly beyond...The pipeline would cost $7.5 billion and start pumping in 2011....The Iranian Oil Ministry has said India would be on board "within a few weeks," according to Shana, the Ministry's press agency.

Meanwhile, Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Davoud Danesh Ja'fari wants to expand the pipeline...

Aardvark EF-111B said...

who is that artist?

Naj said...

Here aardvark, all you want of him: Neek-Ahang, Kosar

Aardvark EF-111B said...

OOOOHHHH
MMAAAYYYY
GAAADDD !!!!


I LOVE IT, i don't get the language, but just love it

those cartoonists are genius

NAJ....I LOVE YOU

Sophia said...

Naj,

Someone has to reign in AN. Iran doesn't need another war.
I trust the Mullahs for their instinct of conservation.

Daniel Owen said...

Hmmm... I hope Iran has another go at workers self-management. The shora movement was intensely interesting -- too bad it was defeated by Islamicist counter-revolution.

Greetings from England.