Just 13 months after Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi took office, politicians and media speak of a one-term presidency, citing ample signs of weak governance.

Moderate conservative news website Qarn-e No [New Century] in Iran says the widespread belief among Iranian politicians about the end of Raisi's political career in 2025, has given rise to speculations about former Majles (parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani as a candidate for the next presidential election.

The website said that Larijani, a moderate conservative by Iranian standards who was disqualified as a candidate for the 2021 presidential election, will have a chance to run again, particularly now that according to rumors Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is thinking to appoint Larijani to the key post of arbitrator among the three government branches.

Following Larijani's disqualification in 2021, Khamenei had said that the Guardian Council's decision to disqualify him was "unfair" and called on the conservative dominated council to compensate for its mistake. However, so far nothing has been seen to that effect.

Larijani’s disqualification was widely seen as move to eliminate all serious candidates who could endanger Raisi’s victory, a quest supported by all hardliners loyal to Khamenei. Therefore, despite the Supreme Leader’s comforting words for Larijani, it was never clear if the order to eliminate his presidential candidacy came from Khamenei’s office.

Whether or not these reports and speculations are true or not, Larijani as an adviser to Khamenei, is now enjoying a solid power base.

Khamenei meeting with top government officials during Hassan Rouhani's presidency

All this is taking place against a backdrop of political turmoil in Raisi's cabinet particularly after his government’s poor handling of the annual mass pilgrimage to shrines in Iraq on Arbaeen. Thousands of people marching to Karbala became ill or dehydrated with no transportation and a place to stay, despite weeks of government propaganda encouraging people to take up the pilgrimage and promises of assistance along the way. Hundreds of thousands of people became stranded at the border crossings and slept in the streets in Iraq.

Other reports say that Raisi will have to fire his road minister Rostam Ghassemi for his shortcomings and one of his Vice Presidents Ensiyeh Khazali after revelations about her son's immigration to Canada with millions of dollars to establish a company there.

In another report, the Qarn-e No wrote that the divide between the government of President Raisi and the people is the widest since 1979 when the Islamic Republic was established. This, the report says is a result of Raisi's failure to fulfil the obligations he undertook and the promises he made to the nation during his election.

In the meantime, Iranian lawmaker Mojtaba Mahfouzi, a member of the Majles Cultural Committee, said in an interview with Didban Iran website on Sunday that "The Raisi administration is obstinate and arrogant, adding that members of his government do not know anything about executive work.

These are probably some of the facts based on which Qarn-e No has concluded that Raisi is likely to be the first Iranian President to serve for only one term.

Mahfouzi said that the Majles is determined to summon and question Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi for the Arbaeen pilgrimage fiasco.

Meanwhile, Mahfouzi charged that the Raisi administration does not accept any advice from the parliament, and said, “this is no way to run a country.”

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