Wednesday Mar 14, 201203:05 PM GMT
Ahmadinejad defends government performance in Majlis
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared before Majlis to respond to the inquiries by the lawmakers, March 14, 2012.
Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:2PM
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has responded to several inquiries by Majlis (parliament) lawmakers on a variety of issues, strongly defending the performance of his government.

The president, accompanied by a number of cabinet ministers, appeared before Majlis on Wednesday and answered ten questions about a variety of matters.

Asked about his ‘11-day absence’, he said, “It was said I stayed at home for 11 days. This is one of those things! Ahmadinejad staying home and resting?! Most people tell us rest for one day and make time for yourself.”

“Such charges do not stick to the government. My lifestyle shows that I have always tried to defend Velayat [rule of the Just Jurisprudent] with proper conduct, speech, and appropriate and logical vocabulary... to show that the Rule of the Just Jurisprudent is the rule of kindness, justice, progress, work, effort and unity,” he added.

Responding to a question about the country’s budget allocated for cultural affairs, he stated, “in any case, budget allocation is in proportion to revenues. When there is no money what can we do? If we had funds we would have given it.”

“I should have asked you how the cultural budget has been spent. You are members of the [Provincial Management] Council. We gave you general direction [and told you] to spend the budget on the culture of the Revolution, religion, divine values, national solidarity, family, women[‘s issues] respect and justice. How to spend it (funds) is up to you.”

In response to a question about dismissing Iran's former Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Ahmadinejad said, “Who sent him on a mission? Did I [send him] on a mission? If you sent him on a mission, say so. I did not send him on a mission and when I wanted to dismiss him, he went on a mission. Article 136 of the constitution has given the president the authority to dismiss ministers. We wanted to make changes in the Foreign Ministry.”

In a letter issued on December 13, President Ahmadinejad dismissed Mottaki from his post and appointed Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi as the country's caretaker foreign minister.

Regarding his comments about the Hijab and Chastity plan, Ahmadinejad said, “What have I said? I have expressed my views clearly on this issue and state my criticism in an informal manner. Why is it that when the issue of culture arises we accuse the people and call them into question? These people are the most respectable people and they are committed to the values and principles.”

“Our nation is religious, pious and lovable and we must treat them right. Do not be too strict. Of course if some people try to systematically undermine values what must be done is clear. The Judiciary and intelligence organizations will investigate them and issue a verdict. But ordinary people must be treated with kindness.”

“Cultural approaches are incompatible with harsh methods. Is it wrong to say do not be so strict with boys and girls? These are our own children. Youths must be respected. It was them (young people) who managed the war during Sacred Defense (eight-year Iraqi-imposed war).”

Referring to criticism by lawmakers regarding the use of Iranian School, Ahmadinejad said, “Why do you create an uproar? If others say Khorasan School or Iraqi School or other schools…..should they be criticized as well? If we do not say Iran, then what should we say? Britain? The US? I declare so that everyone can hear. We are Iranians and love Iran's history and culture and greatness. You love it too, do not be shy and say it.”

“Be fair. Now that you want to rate, give a good mark. We answered the questions and said some extra things. It would be unfriendly and disrespectful if you give [me a mark] less than an A”.

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