Tehran : Iran's new parliament on Thursday elected former Tehran mayor Mohammed Bagher Ghalibaf as its speaker.

State television said the 58-year old Ghalibaf, also a former national police chief and ex-commander of the Revolutionary Guards' air force, won 230 of the 267 votes cast to secure one of the most influential positions in the Islamic republic.

Bespectacled, balding wearing a dark suit, Ghalibaf accepted congratulations from MPs, then moved towards the speaker's seat with a smile and told the chamber : I thank God for being given a chance to serve the people.''

Ghalibaf is a three-time presidential candidate who served as Tehran mayor from 2005 to 2017. In the vote for the speaker post, he roundly defeated law makers Fereydoun Abbasi and Mostafa Mirsalim, who garnered 17 and 12 votes respectively.

Ghalibaf also received the most votes from the capital in Iran's February 21 parliamentary election. Thursday's vote saw Ghalibaf succeed Ali Larijani, who had held the speaker post since 2008.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed the outgoing Larijani as his adviser and and a member of the Expediency Discernment Council, a body set up to settle disputes between the parliament and the Guardian Council, state television said.

Larijani also congratulated Ghalibaf in a statement and said that he had been ''hard working manager of the system in different positions.''

The speaker not only directs the parliament's affairs but also has a seat at the High Council of Economic Coordination alongside the president and judiciary chief.

Established in 2018 by the supreme leader's decree, the council is the highest authority on economic affairs and is meant to combat the impact of US sanctions imposed on Iran.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark nuclear agreement and reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018, mainly targeting the crucial oil and banking sector. [AFP]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!