Rouhani urges Iran MPs to ‘cooperate’ as parliament opens

Tehran (AFP) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged lawmakers to “cooperate” along with his authorities in a speech Wednesday through the inaugural session of the brand new parliament following a February election swept by conservatives.

Many MPs are ultra-conservatives who oppose Rouhani on nearly all points, from operating the sanctions-hit economic system and combating the coronavirus outbreak to managing relations with arch foe the United States.

The parliament, which shapes debate in Iran, had been closed for six weeks till April 7 as a part of measures aiming to curb the unfold of COVID-19.

Iran has been hit by the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak. The well being ministry stated the virus had claimed one other 56 lives previously 24 hours, taking the general toll to 7,564 useless out of 141,591 circumstances.

“I hope that in the year that remains for this government, we will be able to cooperate and work together,” Rouhani stated within the deal with earlier than the parliament, or Majles.

Iran held a legislative election on February 21 and is scheduled to maintain a presidential ballot in round 12 months.

The 11th parliament for the reason that 1979 Islamic Revolution opened as the nation’s economic system progressively returns to regular amid the well being disaster.

In an indication that the combat towards the virus continues to be removed from over, nonetheless, a seat was left vacant between every deputy. But many wore no masks.

– ‘Olive department’ –

Rouhani, who’s within the final yr of his second and ultimate time period, known as on MPs to place the “national interest above special interests”, “party interests” or “constituency interests”.

The reasonable president defended the efficiency of his authorities, which has confronted criticism from its conservative and ultra-conservative opponents who now kind a parliamentary majority.

For many, the file abstention in February’s election mirrored the individuals’s disenchantment with damaged guarantees.

Less than 43 % of voters solid ballots, in accordance to official outcomes.

They stayed away after the Guardian Council, a watchdog dominated by ultra-conservatives, disqualified many reasonable and reformist candidates.

The signing of a global settlement on Iran’s nuclear programme in 2015 had raised hopes for a shiny financial future and a gap up of the nation after years of isolation.

But these hopes have been dashed earlier than being buried in 2018 when US President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord and commenced reimposing sanctions on Iran.

In his speech, Rouhani denounced what he known as the “psychological war” and “economic and medical terrorism” that he stated Washington was waging towards Tehran.

But he stated the Iranian nation had stood up towards “the enemy” and that its resistance had gained.

The president praised his authorities’s efficiency in coping with the virus as a supply of “great pride”, including that Iran was “among the countries that have succeeded”.

– Balance of energy –

Fereshteh Sadeghi, a political journalist in Tehran, expressed doubt the brand new parliament would cooperate.

“Rouhani again offers olive branch to new parliament, saying he doesn’t seek confrontation but friendship,” she tweeted in English.

“He knows these rivals can’t be controlled as Ali Larijani did it for him in the past 7 years. God helps him!” she stated, referring to the outgoing parliament speaker.

Lawmakers are set to elect a successor to Larijani on Saturday.

That vote is predicted to give an thought of the steadiness of energy between conservatives, who may agree with the federal government on sure points, and ultra-conservatives, who’re opposed to Rouhani on nearly every part.

Four candidates are within the operating: conservative former Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf; Hamid-Reza Hajibabai and Shamseddin Hosseini, each ministers underneath former populist and ultra-conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; and Mostafa Mirsalim, a shedding candidate within the 2017 presidential election who backs a tough line towards the Western “cultural invasion”.

Wednesday’s parliament session was attended by 268 lawmakers.

It opened forward of a second spherical to elect one other 11 deputies that had been postponed to September 11 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Of the 279 MPs elected in February, two died of the virus and 9 have been disqualified by the outgoing parliament, though it isn’t but identified whether or not their seats will likely be up for grabs in September.

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