Is Iran’s long-serving speaker retiring from politics?

Al-Monitor | : For weeks, speculation had been rife that Iranian parliament Speaker Ali Larijani was deliberating whether to run for reelection, and on Nov. 30, he officially declared that he will not participate in the Feb. 21 parliamentary vote.

Larijani has been speaker for 11 years, and his decision strengthened theories that he was setting his sights on becoming Iran’s next president. It took him less than a day, however, to say, “Let me make it clear, I have no plan for the 2021 presidential election.”

The second, straightforward announcement from a man known for his diplomatic and ambiguous language left many unconvinced. While Larijani might be serious about his plan to bid farewell to parliament, it was argued, the presidency was still an option; indeed, he ran for the post in 2005, although without success. “He is not one of those politicians who would show their cards as early as now,” the pro-Reform Shargh daily observed.

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