Ayatollah Jannati Elected Head of Experts Assembly

Ayatollah Jannati Elected  Head of Experts AssemblyAyatollah Jannati Elected  Head of Experts Assembly

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati was elected chairman of the new Assembly of Experts in the Tuesday meeting of the clerical body, in charge of appointing or dismissing the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and monitoring his performance.

The senior cleric mustered 51 of the 85 votes in the first session of the assembly, whose 88 members were elected in February polls for an eight-year term, IRNA reported.

The members voted to choose ayatollahs Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi and Mohammad Ali Movahhedi Kermani as deputy chairmen, with 63 and 65 votes respectively.

Jannati, 90, also chairs another top clerical institution, namely the Guardians Council, tasked with vetting candidates for any elections.

The 12-member conservative body, which comprises half clerics and half jurists, disqualified an overwhelming number of prominent reformist candidates and some moderates from standing in the February nationwide elections for the assembly and parliament.

However, the vote saw a pro-reform senior official Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani top the list of the 16 vote-grabbers representing the capital Tehran in the assembly, with one of his key allies, moderate President Hassan Rouhani, ranking third.

In fact, Jannati, who squeezed in at the 16th place, was the only elected conservative candidate from the Tehran constituency, with the rest all either reformist or moderate.

Rafsanjani did not run in the Tuesday session's votes.

The new chairman addressed the meeting, saying the huge turnout in the elections for the Assembly of Experts reflected the popular legitimacy of the democratic Islamic Republiز.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei released a message on the occasion, highlighting the enormous responsibility of the assembly, saying that the importance of the assembly is because of the great responsibility on the shoulders of its elected members.

"Their responsibility is to safeguard the Islamic and revolutionary identity of the ruling system," he said.