While differences between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Ali Larijani and Sadegh Larijani - the three heads of the Iranian government - are rising by the day, as reported in the media, news agencies have reported that the three had a meeting in recent days as hosted by Ali Larijani.
From Left, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Judiciary Head Sadegh Larijani
All three also announced that such meetings between the three heads of the branches of the government take place "continuously," but that not all are reported to the media.
Khabar Online news site close to Majlis speaker Ali Larijani wrote that this was the eight such meeting, and added, "Since the beginning of the tenth administration and the appointment of ayatollah Larijani as the head of the judiciary, the heads of the three branches of government have met eight times. Each has been host to a meeting."
It is also said that the meetings are held in such secret conditions that even the deputies of the three heads are not included in the meetings which take place behind strict closed doors.
Sadegh Larijani too evaluated these meetings as positive and said, "These meetings are important because they provide the heads of the three branches to speak to each other face to face, providing a better forum to resolve differences."
Prior to this, differences between Ali Larijani and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were growing so sharply that there were reports that the supreme leader had to intervene to diffuse the situation.
Earlier than that, the head of the administration confronted the Majlis speaker on such issues as changing some provisions of the national budget law and the talks on merging government ministries. But according to Larijani, "resolution of differences and coordination of the three branches are the prerogative of the supreme leader, as clarified in the constitution. This meeting seems to have taken place in that light and the basis was the interpretation that the powerful Guardians Council had issued on the subject."
Last year too, Ahmadinejad refrained from signing some legislation into law by asserting that the budgeting of the laws was not clear. But Larijani pressed the issue and executed the laws. Furthermore, he returned a number of bills to the government asserting that they contradicted other laws.
At the same time, the proximity of the next parliamentary election next March has heightened the differences among the Principlists, i.e., hardline conservative supporters of Ahmadinejad who claim allegiance to the original principles of the1979 revolution. I addition to allies of Rahim Mashai, Ahmadinejad supporters have entered the race under the "steadfast front" banner, a group that has not been embraced by the right-wing political faction.
In this light, Ali Larijani too met with over a hundred Majlis lawmakers on election issues, something that was met with criticism by some Principlists.
It is said that the heads of the three branches of the Iranian regime used to meet once every month, and for a period even every two weeks. But as Ahmadinejad's differences with the Majlis grew, the meetings were delayed.
Khabar Online also wrote on the history of these differences among the three branches. "These meetings were suspended for five months which were not unrelated to the differences between the administration and the legislature, which at times even involved the judiciary. These differences stepped from the disagreements over the government execution of the subsidy law, not sending bills to the Majlis and the express announcements that the administration would not implement certain laws which had been affirmed by the State Expediency Council. Some view the recent notice of the chief justice to the president over the latter's assertions regarding the judiciary also playing into these differences. "
I any case, as the next round of Majlis elections approach, differences among the right have been growing and the question remains whether such meetings among the heads of the three branches can bring the chiefs under control.
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