Bloomberg News

Iranian Economy Minister Survives Impeachment Over Banking Fraud

November 02, 2011

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Iranian Economy and Finance Minister Shamseddin Hosseini survived an attempt to remove him from office over an alleged $2.6 billion bank fraud, after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged lawmakers to show “unity.”

In parliament, 141 lawmakers voted against the motion to impeach Hosseini, while 93 supported it and 10 abstained, the state-run Mehr news agency said. The vote came after Ahmadinejad backed his minister in an address to the assembly today, calling on lawmakers to “join hands” with the government in defying foreign and domestic pressure.

Seven state-owned and private banks are alleged to have been linked to the fraud. Prosecutors say the case involved the forging of letters of credit from Bank Saderat, which is partly state-owned, to secure loans to buy government-owned companies. Hosseini, commenting in parliament today, apologized to the nation for the fraud, saying he hadn’t been aware of it.

--Editors: Heather Langan, Louis Meixler

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Louis Meixler in Jerusalem at lmeixler@bloomberg.net.


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