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Rouhani moves closer to Khamenei amid bipartisan backlash

President Hassan Rouhani’s appearance before parliament to answer economic questions did not satisfy Principlists or Reformists. It did, however, please Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Newly re-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gestures after delivering a televised speech in the capital Tehran on May 20, 2017. A portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen in the background.
Iranians have chosen the "path of engagement with the world" and rejected extremism, President Hassan Rouhani said following his resounding re-election victory. / AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE        (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared before parliament on Aug. 28 to answer a series of questions posed by lawmakers about his administration’s performance. The summons — a first for Rouhani — left members of parliament unconvinced by Rouhani's answers about failed policies.

Lawmakers initially tabled the motion to question Rouhani on Aug. 1, thus giving him, according to the constitution, one month to appear before parliament and answer their questions. Rouhani responded to the summons on Aug. 5 in a letter addressed to parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani. In the letter, Rouhani said the summons neither kept with the constitution nor did it come at a suitable time.

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