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Iran Lawmakers Discuss Rouhani Assuming 'Acting Executive' Powers

Iran-- Parliament MP from Qom, Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani, undated. File photo
Iran-- Parliament MP from Qom, Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani, undated. File photo

A senior member of Iran’s parliament has confirmed ongoing discussions about President Hassan Rouhani assuming the role of an acting executive on behalf of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

In recent days there were reports and rumors of the possibility that Rouhani could be delegated executive powers by Khamenei to cope with the country’s pressing problems.

Although Rouhani is the president of the republic, all important policy, diplomatic and military decisions are in fact made by Khamenei and his office. Rouhani, like previous Iranian presidents has been complaining about limitations on his powers to address the most pressing issues the country has to face.

Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani a member of parliament’s presidium confirmed on Tuesday that the issue of Rouhani assuming an acting executive position has been discussed in the presidium’s meetings.

Iran’s Tasnim news agency quotes Mr. Farahani as saying that the issue was tabled by Masoud Pezeshkian, a lawmaker, close to Mr. Rouhani. Besed on this report, Pezeshkian compared Iran’s current situation to condition prevailing during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, when the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini had delegated some powers to the president of the country.

In May, Rouhani asked to be granted more powers to deal with the economic and diplomatic crisis Iran faced. The answer to this request by Khamenei at the time was to uphold the constitution.

Rouhani is hampered by hardliners close to Khamenei and often he is unable to achieve his legislative and executive goals.