A televised address by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the country’s new parliament July 12 covered a wide range of topics from foreign policy and the domestic economy to the coronavirus pandemic. But what grabbed the most media attention was his rejection of a plan by some lawmakers to impeach President Hassan Rouhani. “The closing year of any administration is usually the most sensitive one. … I do strongly believe that administrations should work hard to the very end of their tenure and fulfill their responsibilities,” Khamenei said.
For weeks, hard-line parliamentarians had been lobbying and collecting signatures to “bring down” the president before his second term came to an end. The project was shut down with a simple statement by the supreme leader that he did not find the impeachment effort to be in the best interest of the country.