Larijani re-elected as Iran's parliament speaker

Ali Larijani, who in the past referred to Israel as a "cancer", re-elected as temporary speaker of Iran's new parliament.

Elad Benari ,

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani
Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani

Ali Larijani was re-elected on Sunday as the temporary speaker of Iran's new parliament which is dominated by first-term deputies, Reuters reported. 

Larijani, who is considered a “moderate conservative”, cooperated closely with the government of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in approving Iran's nuclear deal with world powers last year.

He won 173 votes in the 290-seat assembly for the re-election, according to Reuters.

Senior reformist Mohammad Reza Aref, who had been the top vote-getter in the parliamentary race in Tehran, received 103 votes, state media said. 

Larijani in the past has been at the center of the inciting statements with Israel as his focus. He once boasted of the fact that Iran provided Hamas with the technology it has used to rain down rockets on Israel from Gaza and also referred to Israel as a “cancer”.

Before the implementation of the nuclear deal with the West several months ago, Larijani threatened the West that his country will build nuclear plants if the implementation of the deal is delayed.

A vote for a permanent speaker is due to be held in the next few days, after the full house approves the credentials of individual MPs, as required by Iran's constitution, according to Reuters

Elected in February, the Iranian parliament replaced one dominated by hardliners suspicious of detente with the West and who curbed Rouhani's plans to liberalize the economy and raise lackluster productivity.

Pro-Rouhani candidates raised their representation and 60 percent of MPs are first-timers.