Many in Iran ask if former president Hassan Rouhani and parliament speaker Ali Larijani have been pushed out of the ruling circle for good by hardliners.
Iranian reformist politicians have been wondering about the political future of former President Hassan Rouhani and former Majles (parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani as they have been absent from the political scene after the Raisi administration took over in August.
Rouhani has been last seen at Raisi's inauguration at the Iranian parliament in early August and Larijani was seen last week after a long absence at a commemoration ceremony for a top Shiite cleric in his hometown, Amol.
It is not just a matter of their political futures. Some have also been asking about Rouhani's whereabouts. Anecdotal accounts say he was summoned to court in mid-September for an investigation, while other rumors indicate that he has been visiting Austria to see her daughter. None of the reports have been verified by independent sources.
Hardliners in parliament have been calling for Rouhani's prosecution on various grounds, mostly evolving around his alleged failures as president.
In a September 28 interview with the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA), Gholamreza Nouri, a self-proclaimed "politically independent" member of the Iranian parliament said that "both Rouhani and Larijani will certainly react to developments in the Iranian society."
Nouri's comment contradicts the two former politicians recent behavior as no one has heard anything from them for several weeks now. However, Nouri made it clear that he has not seen the duo for a long time now.
He also accused politicians he did not name of pushing individuals loyal to the regime out of the power circle and “kicking them out of the train of the Islamic revolution.” Meanwhile, he said that the "scenario of purging the regime" in order to come up with a unified system will backfire at one point and those who created that scenario will have be accountable for its repercussions.
Asked whether Rouhani or Larijani are planning to set up a political party, he said he did now, but added: "Knowing the two men, I am sure they would rush to solve the people's problems if anyone asks them."He said that "it is so sad to see individuals like Rouhani or Larijani in isolation."
Earlier, reformist activist and former MP Daryoush Ghanbari described Rouhani's situationas part of the political transformation as a result of the presidential election. "Obviously, Rouhani has lost his position because another president has been elected. But I have no idea if the political system is going to assign him to another position."
Ghanbari said that "Rouhani was in a difficult position during his presidency as he failed to satisfy the people, and / or the political system. Rouhani was an unlucky man. His policy of negotiation failed when Trump came to power in America." Summing up the situation, Ghanbari said, "It is unlikely that the regime would set aside Rouhani as he has been part of the regime since 1979 and has run the affairs of the state in the most difficult situations."
Speaking about the situation of Ali Larijani, Ghanbari said, "Larijani has not been set aside…Larijani is still Khamenei's adviser."
Earlier in September, conservative news website Alef quoted conservative commentator Nasser Imani as having said that "It is not good to see that the country is being gradually deprived of the services of its key politicians." The website opined that the Larijani brothers might return to political activity in other capacities and be assigned to top positions once again in the future."