Skip to comments.Iran Clerics' Power Faces Curb
Posted on 11/07/2002 7:01:33 PM PST by blam
Iran clerics' power faces curb
By Wendell Steavenson in Teheran
Iran's reformist parliament has passed legislation weakening the powers of the hardline Guardian Council, setting up a showdown between President Mohammad Khatami and the traditionalist clerics who are the country's supreme authority.
If the measure becomes law, it would limit the council's veto on electoral candidate selection. But the council also has a veto on all legislation and so must approve the curtailment of its own powers.
Another reform, to impose the president's authority on the arbitrary and autonomous judiciary, is expected to be passed soon.
The combined legislation is seen as the president's last chance to assert his executive authority but, while the hardliners have lost credibility because of their actions, Mr Khatami's popularity has been weakened by his inability to push through reforms.
The two sides are deadlocked and Mr Khatami's supporters said he will resign if the bills are not approved.
The council is expected to drag the matter out by rejecting parts of the bills and sending them back to the parliament for amendment.
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