A former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander was installed as speaker of Iran’s parliament today, further tightening the grip of hard-liners on the country’s lawmaking body.
Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf is the former mayor of Tehran, and also served as an IRGC air force commander and national police chief. The new speaker also had several failed bids for president; he lost to both Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hassan Rouhani, the current president.
Gaining 230 out of 264 votes, Ghalibaf won overwhelmingly in parliament today. The 58-year-old replaces Ali Larijani, who held the position since 2008.
Ghalibaf’s election to the speakership cements what is an already ultraconservative new parliament standing in sharp contrast to the relatively moderate Rouhani.
Legislation supported by the president sailed through the previous parliament, but will face significant hurdles in the new hard-liner-dominated assembly, where 220 out of the 290 seats are held by conservatives.
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