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Iran's Rouhani Says Country Needs 'Two Or Three Main Political Parties'

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on May 4, 2020, shows President Hassan Rouhani speaking at a televised videoconference meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in the capital Tehran.

Islamic Republic’s President Hassan Rouhani Monday called for the establishment of a few “main political parties” in the country that could take turns to govern.

Iran has dozens of registered political parties and groups but their ability to become nationwide, grassroots influential organizations are curbed by the authoritarian nature of the political system.

Rouhani in a meeting with a group of political figures said, “I believe that for the future of the country we should pursue [establishment] of parties. If we want to reinforce the regime and help it to survive, we need two or three main political parties” to alternatively govern the country”.

All parties and groups allowed to operate in Iran must accept the Islamic Republic constitution and have no opposition to the nature of the governing system, based on the rule of the Supreme Leader.

Iran has two main political factions; the conservatives, supported by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who are now essentially at the helm of important state structures and reformists who have increasingly become weaker. These are not organized singular political parties but are rather political currents, each with their own internal groupings.

President Rouhani’s reformists allies lost in February’s parliamentary elections and now he has to govern in a country dominated by conservatives and hardliners. He warned during the elections that the domination of one political current is harmful to the country.