Qalibaf elected Iran's new Parliament speaker

Cheryl Sanders
May 29, 2020

He is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) and served as an air drive commander for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

President Rouhani, a moderate politician and the architect of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with the western countries, has been under fire since the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the pact in November 2018 and revived sanctions against Iran.

Legislation supported by the president sailed through the previous parliament, but will face significant hurdles in the new hard-liner-dominated assembly, where 220 out of the 290 seats are held by conservatives.

Out of the 267 lawmakers present at an open session of the Parliament on Thursday, 230 voted for Qalibaf and 17 for Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, who headed the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran from 2011 to 2013, and 12 for Mostafa Mirsalim, a candidate in the 2017 presidential elections. According to the health ministry, the virus has so far killed 7,564 out of 141,591 confirmed infections. The conservatives managed a clean-sweep, ending the domination of reformists, who ended by with a meager 6.9% popular vote, down from 41.7%.

Of the 279 MPs elected in February, two died of the virus and nine were disqualified by the outgoing parliament, although it is not yet known whether their seats will be up for grabs in September.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday called for cooperation of the new Iranian parliament with his administration to overcome the existing problems. The 58-year-old replaces Ali Larijani, who held the position since 2008.

In a separate move, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed former parliament speaker Ali Larijani as his adviser and member of the Expediency Council, a body meant to resolve disputes between the parliament and the powerful Guardian Council, Reuters said.

Established in 2018 by the supreme leader's decree, the Council is the highest authority on economic affairs and is meant to combat the impact of United States' sanctions imposed on Iran.

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