Cracks appear within Rouhani’s inner circle as VP ‘signals departure’

Al-mMonitor – Iran’s First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, who is said to be representing the Reformist camp in President Hassan Rouhani’s administration, could be one step closer to resignation. The speculation gained momentum after Jahangiri broke his silence about his hands being tied. “To this moment, I haven’t had the power to dismiss my secretary let alone a minister,” he said during a ceremony in Tehran Oct. 21.

The comment triggered “a massive quake” in Iran’s political scene, raising the question as to what forced Jahangiri to “pour his heart out.” According to the Reformist daily Arman, Jahangiri is rarely approached for consultation on important decisions; rather, it is another inner circle surrounding Rouhani that has the say and remains “reluctant to see Jahangiri play a role.”

“If I was in his position where I had no authority to fire a secretary, I would not have continued to stay in the Cabinet one more day,” said Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi, an influential figure among Iran’s pragmatists who is being blamed for indirectly crippling Jahangiri’s powers. He denied, however, any knowledge about Jahangiri’s potential departure. Yet Elias Hazrati, a leading Reformist parliamentarian, noted that the pace of events signaled Jahangiri’s resignation.

Read more here