Iran’s Rafsanjani Replaced by Ayatollah Kani as Head of Assembly of Experts

Iran’s Chairman of Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani lost his post as head of the body on Tuesday, Iranian news agencies said.

Former premier Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, 80, was elected as the head of Assembly of Experts, the 86-member body. Rafsanjani had headed the post for the past four years.

Members of the Assembly who elected Ayatollah Kani are religious scholars that are directly elected to office in a national poll. It holds meetings twice a year to review major national issues and every other year to appoint a new chairman.

This article was first published by Al-Manar on 8 March 2011; it is reproduced here for non-profit educational purposes.  Cf. William O. Beeman, “Elections and Governmental Structure in Iran: Reform Lurks Under the Flaws” (Brown Journal of World Affairs 11.1, Fall 2004).