Tehran - Iran's president came under fire from MPs on Tuesday for branding his critics as “political cowards' and urging them “go to hell” if they insist on opposing his policies.
President Hassan Rouhani's remarks 24 hours earlier were aimed at hardline conservatives who have bridled at his efforts to improve relations with the West and secure a nuclear deal.
But denouncing his opponents prompted a backlash from dozens of MPs who signed a letter demanding that Rouhani come to parliament to explain himself.
One conservative lawmaker said that 200 of the parliament's 270 members would eventually sign the letter.
According to another MP quoted on Iranian media, parliament speaker Ali Larijani told a closed meeting that Rouhani's words were “indefensible and unacceptable”.