Ayatollah Shahroudi to Head Expediency Council

The former judiciary chief replaces the late Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a senior statesman who chaired the top body for 27 years before passing away in January
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Former judiciary chief, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, has been appointed to serve a five-year term as chairman of the state arbitration body, Expediency Council.

In a decree on Monday, Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei appointed the senior cleric as the new head of the top body, according to the Leader's official website.

Ayatollah Khamenei also reappointed veteran general, Mohsen Rezaei, as secretary of the 44-member council, which was created in 1988 following a revision of the Constitution.

Its main task is to mediate in disputes between the parliament and the 12-member Guardians Council, a body that checks parliamentary ratifications in terms of consistency with the constitution and Islamic law.

The council also serves as an advisory body to the Leader in shaping the general policies of the Islamic Republic.

Born in Iraq, the 69-year-old Ayatollah Shahroudi is well known for his 10-year tenure as judiciary chief, from 1999 to 2009.

After serving in the judicial branch, he joined the Guardians Council as a member.

Ayatollah Shahroudi also holds the post of deputy chairman of the Assembly of Experts, which elects and oversees the activities of the Leader.

 Need to Shape Effective Governance

In his decree, Ayatollah Khamenei urged the new chairman to help reform the general policies of the system.

The Leader called for organizing the procedure for monitoring the implementation of policies and creating a mechanism for evaluating their effectiveness.

Among the big names retaining their seats are Assembly of Experts Chairman Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the assembly's vice chairman, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, former Majlis speaker, Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, former vice president, Majid Ansari, reformist lawmaker, Mohammad Reza Aref and former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Newcomers to join the Expediency Council include Custodian of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) Ebrahim Raeisi and outgoing Tehran mayor, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, both of whom ran in the May presidential election and were defeated by President Hassan Rouhani.

Ayatollah Shahroudi replaces the council's late chairman, former president Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died of a cardiac arrest in January at the age of 82.

Rafsanjani headed the council for more than 27 years, after his predecessor, Ayatollah Khamenei, left the body for the role of leadership in 1989.

Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani was the acting chairman of the observatory body until its previous term ended in March.

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