"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

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PROFILE: Ali Larijani - New strong man in Iran's parliament

From Monsters and Critics.

With his imminent election as speaker of the Iranian parliament Ali Larijani will not only become the head of the legislature but also the main challenger to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad....

Larijani's main political career started in the mid 1980s as culture minister under president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani. In 1994, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made him head of the state television network IRIB. A decade later, Khamenei appointed him as his advisor in the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).

An opponent of the reform movement led by president Mohammad Khatami, Larijani ran in the 2005 presidential elections but failed to make it into the second round. Nevertheless, election winner Ahmadinejad appointed him secretary of the SNSC and chief nuclear negotiator.

Larijani is an up and coming leader in Iranian politics. While a conservative, he disagreed with Ahmadinejad on how to deal with Iranian nuclear development and eventually resigned his post as chief nuclear negotiator under Ahmadinejad. He created an alternative conservative movement which won the most votes in parliament. He is also an opponent of the reform movement led by president Mohammad Khatami. He is suspected to challenge Ahmadinejad for the presidency in 2009.

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