Iranian Lawmakers Move to Oust Ahmadinejad
Assembly seeks to impeach president
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2010 5:29 AM CST
Updated Nov 23, 2010 7:00 AM CST
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers a speech at a public gathering in northeastern Iran earlier this month.   (AP Photo/IIPA, Abolfazl Nesaei, File)

(Newser) – It looks like Western governments aren't the only ones fed up with the antics of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran's parliament planned to impeach the leader, but was prevented from doing so by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing reports in Iranian media. Lawmakers accused the president of 14 counts of violating the law, including illegally importing gasoline and oil.

Lawmakers are attempting to collect the 74 signatures from members of parliament necessary to openly debate impeachment, although Ahmadinejad can't be removed without Khamenei's approval. US officials say the divide within the regime has deepened as sanctions start to bite. "There are clear rivalries within the Iranian government and multiple camps around Ahmadinejad, Larijani and others," a State Department spokesman says. "Those tensions have certainly been exacerbated as Iran feels more pressure from sanctions and political isolation."