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Outspoken Politician Says Iran Is Moving Away From Its Republican Principles

Iranian Parliament member Ali Motahari during the registration of Election candidates on December 06, 2019.

An outspoken member of Iran’s outgoing parliament has said that the country is in “transition from an Islamic Republic to an Islamic rule”, meaning a non-parliamentary government.

Ali Motahari, who was barred from running for the recently-elected parliament, in an interview says, “A group within the state seriously strive to achieve Islamic governance, because people’s vote has only a decorative phenomenon for them”.

He added, “These people believe parliament is a consultative body, which is supposed to realize the wishes of the Supreme Leader” and “the president should be directly appointed by the Leader”.

Motahari in the interview proposes the future president to be appointed by the Supreme Leader.

The socially conservative but politically reformist politician also says most of the current challenges are the result of one group stubbornly opposing President Hassan Rouhani and if in 2017 his opponent, the conservative Ebrahim Raeesi was elected, “maybe we would have even achieved negotiations with the America”.

Motahari insisted that “Participating in elections has no impact on our destiny…” and elected bodies are a décor for democracy. Real decisions are made elsewhere, he maintained, pointing out that parliament’s leadership always waited to see what Supreme Leader says. He added that when he was deputy speaker of parliament he proposed to hold talks with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to clarify the powers of the legislature, but politicians do not even believe parliament is in a position to talk with the Supreme Leader.