Uncertainty has surrounded the political future of Iranian parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in wake of reports that he will not be taking part in upcoming general elections and instead opt to run for president in 2021.
Tabnak news website, which is closely affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, reported lawmaker Mohsen Kouhkan as saying that Larijani has implicitly refused to answer to reports regarding his participation in upcoming parliamentary elections.
Larijani has been speaker of parliament since June 2008 for three consecutive terms.
The ILNA reformist agency quoted a “reliable source” last week as saying that Larijani told “Iranian politicians” in the city of Qom that he will not run for parliamentary elections scheduled for next February.
“I did the best to serve the country,” the source quoted him as saying.
On December 1, the Interior Ministry opened its doors to candidates to submit their nomination for parliamentary polls.
Larijani faces criticism from conservatives over his support for the nuclear deal and the policies of President Hassan Rouhani. He often swings between conservatives and moderates because of his close ties to the president.
Iranian sources noted that Larijani has intensified his visit to various Iranian provinces during the last six months, something which drove speculations about him entering the presidential race.