Hard-line former Tehran mayor named Speaker of Iran’s Parliament

Iran’s Parliament voted on Thursday to elect a hard-line former mayor of Tehran as the legislative body’s new Speaker.

Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf (Photo: Reuters)

Iran’s Parliament voted on Thursday to elect a hard-line former mayor of Tehran as the legislative body’s new Speaker.

Iranian state television said Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf had been elected during a parliamentary session. It said 230 lawmakers voted for him out of the 264 present. Iran’s Parliament has 290 seats.

Qalibaf was one of the challengers to President Hassan Rouhani in Iran’s 2017 presidential election.

Qalibaf served in Iran”s Revolutionary Guard during the country’s bloody 1980s war with Iraq. After the conflict, he served as the head of the Guard”s construction arm, Khatam al-Anbia, for several years.

He later served as the head of the Guard’s air force.

During his 12 years as Tehran”s mayor, Qalibaf improved the city’s subway lines and encouraged the construction of many modern high-rises. His opponents accused him of wasting public funds on unnecessary projects while not paying attention to social and cultural aspects of the city.

Qalibaf, 58, replaces Ali Larijani, who served as the Parliament”s Speaker from 2008 until this May.

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