Mohsen Ghoravian

Conservative cleric Mohsen Ghoravian has indicated that the role of president could soon come to an end in the Islamic Republic.

“After Mr. Ahmadinejad, we will witness the parliamentary system,” Ghoravian told Asr-e Iran website.

He said the advantage of a parliamentary system is that Parliament “selects the head of the executive branch of the government” and that would make the new president directly accountable.

He added: “Right now Parliament and the president are experiencing certain frictions and they both claim they are backed by the popular will. Therefore, Parliament’s ability to question the president is weak.”

He claimed that the continued disputes between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Parliament have led Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to consider a change in the political system.

Last week, Ayatollah Khamenei indicated the prospect of eliminating the role of an elected president at some point.

His statements were supported by parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, who stated that “the selection of the president by the elected representatives of Parliament” would make the political system of the country “better organized.”

However, moderate cleric Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, who heads Iran’s Expediency Council, has warned against eliminating the presidency, saying it will only limit people’s participation in government.

The Islamic Republic began by having a prime minister as the head of the executive branch. The role was eliminated in 1990 and replaced with an elected president.