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Speculation grows in Iran about outgoing parliament speaker's possible presidential bid

Political circles in Iran are busy debating where Ali Larijani is headed next following his farewell as parliament speaker after 12 years.
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

Ali Larijani presided over the last session of Iran’s tenth parliament on May 21, officially putting an end to his speakership career, which lasted 12 consecutive years, making him the longest-serving speaker in the history of the Islamic Republic. Larijani’s closing speech was a rosy portrayal of the outgoing parliament and a fiery counterattack against critics, who have long accused the assembly of incompetence.

Ever since his announcement last December not to run for the new parliament, Larijani has left Iranian observers wondering where he would go next. Addressing the question, he continued to keep his books closed to the public, telling state TV as recently as last week, “I will return to my first home — academia.” (He will be teaching philosophy.)

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