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Outgoing Iran Speaker Proposed As National Security Council Secretary, Agency Says

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani gives a press conference at the Iranian embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut, February 17, 2020

An Iranian news agency on Monday reported that the outgoing Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani may be proposed for the position of secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.

In its report Fars News Agency, which has close ties to the Revolutionary Guard, claimed that the "circles close to Larijani" have decided to propose him for the position, presumably to President Hassan Rouhani who as the Head of the council has the power to appoint or replace its secretary.

Larijani did not run in the February parliamentary elections and holds no other significant position in the government to return to after the termination of his current tenure as Speaker. The current term of the Iranian Parliament and Ali Larijani's three-term tenure as speaker of the Majles will come to an end on May 27.

Some have speculated that the sixty-three-year-old Larijani is preparing himself for the presidential race next year but he has denied having any plans for presidency.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei usually appoints two representatives to the SNSC and one of them becomes Secretary. Currently Ali Shamkhani holds the post so if Larijani is appointed, he should be step aside.

Larijani who is a conservative politician replaced Hassan Rouhani as the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) in 2005 when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the presidential elections. Larijani was one of the candidates who lost the race against Ahmadinejad.

He remained in the same position until October 2007 also functioning as Iran's top nuclear negotiator. Larijani resigned from his position allegedly under pressure from Ahmadinejad who appointed Saeed Jalili to the position. Larijani was subsequently elected as a representative from Qom in the parliamentary elections of 2008.

The Secretary of the Council is responsible for supervising the implementation of the Council's decisions and is appointed by the President.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei usually endorses the president's choice by appointing the new secretary as one of his own two representatives in the council to make him a voting member of the council.

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    Maryam Sinaiee

    Maryam Sinaiee is a British-Iranian journalist, political analyst and former correspondent of The National, who contributes to Radio Farda.