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Iran Parliament Confirms Election of Speaker for 1 Year Term

  • Associated Press

Iranian lawmakers attend an open session of parliament to choose the interim presiding board in Tehran, Iran, May 29, 2016. Iran's long-serving parliament speaker Ali Larijani will retain his post despite gains by reformists in elections held earlier this year, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday.

Iranian lawmakers attend an open session of parliament to choose the interim presiding board in Tehran, Iran, May 29, 2016. Iran's long-serving parliament speaker Ali Larijani will retain his post despite gains by reformists in elections held earlier this year, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday.

Iran's parliament on Tuesday confirmed the re-election of its long-serving parliament speaker for another year.

The 59-year-old Ali Larijani's election marks an early victory for the moderate conservatives in the new parliament, which convened for the first time over the weekend. State TV said Larijani won 237 votes in his favor, out of 276 lawmakers present in the 290-seat house on Tuesday.

On Sunday, he was voted as interim speaker, pending the verification of the credentials of new parliament members. Lawmakers on Tuesday also elected two deputy speakers, reformist Masoud Pezeshkian and moderate conservative Ali Motahari.

Both the moderate conservatives and the reformists, who won a majority in the parliamentary elections earlier this year, support President Hassan Rouhani and the landmark nuclear deal reached last year with world powers. The parliament elections marked a shift away from hard-liners who are wary of the nuclear deal and Rouhani's outreach to the West.

Still, dramatic shifts in Iranian domestic or foreign policies are unlikely under the new house since Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei remains the top decision-maker under the country's constitution.

The structure of Iran's political system limits how much change lawmakers can accomplish, even if the moderate-reformist camp manages to attract enough independents to vote with it.

Parliament has some oversight over public spending and the power to question government ministers but the legislation it passes is subject to review by the Guardian Council, a constitutional watchdog.

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