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Will Rouhani, Larijani reshape Iran’s political landscape?

With parliamentary elections coming up, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and parliament Speaker Ali Larijani may join forces to counter the hard-liners.

The word in Tehran is that parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and President Hassan Rouhani are close to forming an alliance. If this is true, it would mean that a new and strong political camp is about to enter the arena.

Larijani, known as a moderate conservative, has been chairing parliament since 2008. Following the disputed 2009 presidential election and its violent aftermath, Larijani was labeled as “the silent man of sedition” by hard-liners who charged that he was refraining from condemning the protests. Today's conservative camp, which is increasingly defined by its hard-liners, has seen many of its senior members separate from it in past years. These include Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, chairman of the Expediency Council; Ali Akbar Nategh-Nuri, head of the Supreme Leader’s Inspection Office; and President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate conservative who remains loyal to his longtime patron, Rafsanjani.

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