Hard-line former Tehran mayor named Iran parliament speaker
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Hard-line former Tehran mayor named Iran parliament speaker

Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf served in Revolutionary Guard during 1980s war with Iraq; replaces Ali Larijani

Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf in Tehran, Iran in 2017 (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf in Tehran, Iran in 2017 (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s parliament voted Thursday to elect a hard-line former mayor of Tehran as the legislative body’s new speaker.

Iranian state television said Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf had been elected during a parliamentary session. It said 230 lawmakers voted for him, without saying how many of the body’s 290 legislators voted against him.

Qalibaf was one of the challengers to President Hassan Rouhani in Iran’s 2017 presidential election.

Qalibaf served in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard during the country’s bloody 1980s war with Iraq. After the conflict, he served as the head of the Guard’s construction arm, Khatam al-Anbia, for several years.

He later served as the head of the Guard’s air force.

During his 12 years as Tehran’s mayor, Qalibaf improved the city’s subway lines and encouraged the construction of many modern high-rises. His opponents accused him of wasting public funds on unnecessary projects while not paying attention to social and cultural aspects of the city.

Qalibaf, 58, replaces Ali Larijani, who served as the parliament’s speaker from 2008 until this May.

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