Impeached minister: Iran’s parliament impeached the minister of economic affairs and finance (New York Times). The sacking of Masoud Karbasian—over problems with the banking system, tax regulation, and his failure to fix the economy—was the latest move in a number of shakeups of President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet. Earlier this month, lawmakers impeached the minister of labor, and last month President Rouhani replaced the head of Iran’s central bank.
Rouhani under fire: Parliament summoned President Rouhani to answer questions about Iran's economic crisis, and then voted to reject his explanation (New York Times). The Iranian president blamed U.S. sanctions, not his cabinet on the mismanagement of the country’s economic problems. After Rouhani answered five questions—on high unemployment, the collapsing value of the Iranian rial, cross-border smuggling, slow economic growth, and the lack of access by banks to global financial services—the majority of lawmakers voted that they were “not convinced” by four of his answers. Iranian officials said the matter could be referred to the judiciary, which could potentially be grounds for impeaching Rouhani.
We didn’t choose: Iran’s The Iranian foreign minister is being ridiculed over a comment on state television that Iranians chose their country’s path (RFE/RL). On Sunday, Mohammad Javad Zarif appeared on a talk show in which he was asked, “why Iran faced more international pressure than other countries?” Zarif replied: “We have chosen to live in a different way [compared to other countries]. We do not want someone telling us how to live. We want to secure our people’s rights based on our laws. We want a system of government that we prefer.” Iranians responded on Twitter to Zarif’s comments using hashtags #I_didn’t_choose and #We_didn’t_choose in Persian to express their anger and frustration about Iran’s struggling economy, the reimposition of sanctions, freedom of expression, and the country’s hijab law.