Hard-Liner elected head of Iran's influential Assembly of Experts

Jannati won over moderate Ebrahim Amini and conservative Mahmoud Hashemi Sharoudi(File-AP)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A hard-line Iranian cleric was chosen on Tuesday as speaker of the Assembly of Experts, a clerical body that is mainly tasked with selecting the country’s supreme leader.

The official IRNA news agency said 89-year-old Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati won 51 votes in the 88-seat Assembly and would serve as speaker for the next two years.

The appointment signaled that despite recent gains by Iranian moderates, hard-liners remain a prominent force within the Islamic Republic’s politics. Moderate candidates and supporters of President Hassan Rouhani secured majorities in February elections bot for the parliament and for the more conservative Assembly of Experts.

Jannati is also secretary of Iran’s powerful constitutional watchdog, which is in charge of vetting candidates for the Assembly of Experts, as well as those running in parliamentary and presidential elections.

In Tuesday’s election of speaker, Jannati won over two other candidates for the post, moderate Ebrahim Amini and conservative Mahmoud Hashemi Sharoudi. Influential moderate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani did not throw in his name for speaker of the Assembly.

Analysis: Iranian internal conflicts or political games?

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51
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