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Iranian Official Hints for Rule Under Shura-led Leadership

Iranian Official Hints for Rule Under Shura-led Leadership

Sunday, 24 March, 2019 - 10:30
Iranian Parliament (AFP)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Iran's deputy speaker Ali Motahari refused to change the current constitution to determine the future of the Iranian leadership after current leader Ali Khamenei, stressing that the leadership could become Shura instead of an individual one.

Iran is in a state of uncertainty over a successor to Khamenei, 80, in light of reports of his deteriorating health.

If consensus can be reached on a prominent figure from the scientific and moral sides, individual leadership will be better, Icana News Agency quoted Motahari as saying, adding that if such figure can’t be found then Shura leadership must be chosen.

Shura leadership means that the authority of the Iranian Religious Leader will be transferred to a number of jurists who hold the standards. It has been proposed as a solution for years by the Assembly of Experts, which is guaranteed by the Iranian constitution.

Former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was a leading advocate of Shura leadership before his death in January 2017.

Khamenei played a crucial role in changing the Iranian constitution in 1989, a few months after assuming the post of Religious Leader succeeding Khomeini. He granted himself sweeping powers by changing Wilayat al-Faqih to Wilayat al-Faqih al-Mutlaqa (absolute), removing the post of his deputy, and ordering regime change from the parliamentary to presidential.

Following reports that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's popularity has fallen to less than 10 percent, the parliament witnessed several voices calling for a change in the Iranian constitution over the past few weeks.

However, Motahari explained that reconsidering the constitution is required, but the country is going through special conditions of sanctions and economic pressures, asserting that the time is not right now for amending the constitution.

Motahari expressed his opposition to changing the presidential system to parliamentarian, while stressing the importance of the ongoing debate. He also renewed his protest against the intervention of the Expediency Council, saying if the Council wants to interfere in the decisions of the parliament, making it a Senate, then this requires a change in the constitution.

Khamenei first hinted to the change into parliamentary system in his first speech following the “Green Revolution” in July 2009, saying in the near or distant future if a parliamentary system is needed instead of presidential, the system can change.

Since 2009, presidential elections has exacerbated political differences in the country, which could make the restoration of parliamentary system one of the options to reduce risks during elections.

Motahari also renewed his criticism for the house arrest against reform leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

The Deputy Speaker explained that back then, the house arrest was necessary for a few months, but now that the situation stabled, continuing with it with no judicial ruling is illegal.

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