Iran General NewsRafsanjani replaced as head of Iran's Assembly of Experts

Rafsanjani replaced as head of Iran’s Assembly of Experts

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Mar. 08 – Iran’s former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Tuesday lost his position as head of the powerful Assembly of Experts.

Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Mar. 08 – Iran’s former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Tuesday lost his position as head of the powerful Assembly of Experts.

The 86-member assembly instead elected Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, 80, as its head.

The powerful clerical body is tasked with appointing the country’s Supreme Leader and supervising his activities.

Rafsanjani, who headed the body for the past four years, did not seek re-election for the chairmanship after Mahdavi Kani applied. Mahdavi Kani received 63 votes and was the sole candidate.

Rafsanjani still heads the State Expediency Council, which arbitrates between Parliament and the 12-member Guardian Council which can veto legislation.

Since 2009 a major rift has emerged at the top of the Islamic theocracy between Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and allies of Rafsanjani. Khamenei has given his full backing to hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an opponent of Rafsanjani. Observers say the population have repeatedly taken advantage of the rift to hold major street protests.

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