0951 GMT February 18, 2020
“Given the negotiations [held between] lawmakers and the current situation of the country, the impeachment of the oil minister is no longer on the agenda,” Jalal Mirzaei, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s Energy Committee, said in an interview with IRNA.
The lawmaker said Zanganeh had attended two rounds of inquiry in the energy committee to respond to questions of the lawmakers regarding the fuel price hike.
The government decision to abruptly increase the price of gasoline on November 15 caused an unprecedented wave of protests and rioting across Iran.
Some lawmakers in Parliament blamed the Oil Ministry for the crisis, saying authorities should have consulted the Parliament before increasing the prices.
Zanganeh, a long-serving minister and a face of Iran’s oil industry at an international level, has sought to distance his department from the decision while trying to implement plans that could offset the impacts of the price hikes on the daily lives of Iranians.
Mirzaei said the Parliament had come to the conclusion that the general political situation in the country was not ripe for holding impeachment hearings against Zanganeh.
The upcoming parliamentary election in February was also a reason for the lawmakers to abandon the impeachment motion against the oil minister, said the lawmaker.
Reports over the past weeks have suggested that Parliament may introduce a similar impeachment motion against Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli over his failure to coordinate government efforts during the fuel price crisis.