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Reformists begin signaling support for Larijani as president

Iran’s parliament speaker, while long a figure in the conservative camp, appears to be gaining Reformist backing for a potential presidential bid in 2021.
Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani speaks during a news conference in Baghdad December 24, 2014. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS) - GM1EACO1I3601

Iran's parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani is under fire by hard-liners over his role in lawmakers’ recent approval of bills related to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In this vein, hard-liners are reminding the Iranian public of Larijani's cooperation with President Hassan Rouhani in selling the nuclear deal to Iranians, arguing that Larijani is being groomed for the 2021 presidential election.

Iran's parliament passed the Combating the Financing of Terrorism bill on Oct. 7, one of the four key bills that parliament must approve for Iran to be removed from the FATF blacklist. It took parliament months to pass this controversial bill due to the determination of hard-liners to stop it. Hard-liners believe the bill would cut Iran's ties to the "Axis of Resistance" — an argument refuted by the Reformists, who say the FATF only recognizes groups as terroristic if they are described as such by the United Nations.

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