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Hard-Liner Elected Head Of Iran's Powerful Assembly Of Experts

Report by RFE/RL; photos by Islamic Republic News Agency

Iran's Assembly of Experts has chosen hard-liner Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati to head the powerful body that is responsible for electing and overseeing the work of Iran's supreme leader.

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati

The 88-member Assembly of Experts elected Jannati with 51 votes after its inauguration on May 24.

Two other conservatives, Ayatollah Ebrahim Amini and Mahmud Hashemi Sharhoudi, won 21 and 13 votes, respectively.

No moderates or reformists stood for the post.

Jannati secured reelection in a February vote that saw a landslide for reformists and moderates in Tehran and big gains elsewhere. However, the assembly remains controlled by conservatives.

The 89-year-old cleric also heads the Guardians Council, Iran's unelected, constitutional watchdog that disqualified hundreds of reformist candidates from the parliamentary and assembly votes.

He is a critic of President Hassan Rohani and his attempts to end Iran's isolation by normalizing relations with the West.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and IRNA

Copyright (c) 2016 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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