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Iran Voices Support For Top Political Change In Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan - Acting President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (R) shakes hands with his predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev during a joint session of the houses of parliament in Astana, Kazakhstan March 20, 2019. Kazakh Presidential Press Service/Handout

Iran has expressed support for the change at top leadership in Kazakhstan, praising the outgoing president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

“The current changes in the Republic of Kazakhstan and transfer of power was in the framework of the constitution and for that reason we support it”, the spokesperson of Iran’s foreign ministry Bahram Ghasemi was quoted as saying, by IRNA.

Nazarbayev who led Kazakhstan as a leader since 1989 and when it declared independence from the Soviet Union, was president of the oil-rich country for three decades until he announced his resignation this week.

Ghasemi called Nazarbayev “an outstanding, influential and intelligent politician” in Kazakhstan and added that relations between the former Soviet country and Iran during his rule “was always friendly” and expanding.

Peaceful transition is also an issue in Iran, where large protests in 2009 and again in 2017-2018 called for a major change in the country.

Iran’s supreme leaders are chosen by a council and enjoy an open-ended term claiming to have religious legitimacy. The current leader Ali Khamenei has also been serving since 1989.