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

Iran's parliament speaker said he is not running in February's parliamentary elections and also does not plan to run for president in 2021; these statements brought jubilation to the camp of his hard-line rivals and triggered debate as to what his next steps might be.
Speaker Ali Larijani attends a session of parliament in Tehran, Iran July 16, 2019. Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC17FA4094A0

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."

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