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Ahmadinejad Political Rival Re-Elected as Parliament Speaker

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani, who has clashed with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over relations with the West regarding the country’s nuclear program, was re-elected by lawmakers to head the assembly for another year.

Larijani won 177 votes in the parliament today while opponent Gholam Ali Haddad Adel received 89, the state-run Mehr news channel reported. He beat the same opponent in last month’s vote for an interim speaker.

Larijani has headed the parliament for the past four years. The new legislature, which was sworn in on May 27, was formed after elections earlier this year in which opponents of the president won a majority.

A former top nuclear negotiator who stepped down from his post following clashes with the president, Larijani ran in the 2005 election against Ahmadinejad. He is considered a potential candidate in next year’s presidential race. Ahmadinejad, who is serving his second four-year term, isn’t allowed to run again.

In March, Ahmadinejad became the first president in the history of the Islamic Republic to be summoned by parliament and questioned about allegations of political and economic mismanagement. He has also been criticized for failing to show sufficient allegiance to the country’s highest authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Larijani’s brother Sadegh heads the Iranian judiciary and another brother, Mohammad Javad, is an adviser to Khamenei.

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