Ahmad Jannati

Iranian hardline cleric Ahmad Jannati was re-elected as head of the Guardian Council, the body overlooking constitutional and election matters in the Islamic Republic. The body met on Wednesday to elect the new leadership, which now consists of Ayatollah Jannati as head of the council, Mohammadreza Alizadeh as his deputy and Nejatollah Ebrahimian as the spokesman.

Jannati is 88 years old and has served as head of the Guardian Council since 1992. He was a staunch supporter of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2009 election and has been severely opposed to all efforts by the new administration to secure the release of opposition leaders Karroubi, Mousavi and Rahnavard, who have been under house arrest since 2011.

The Guardian Council has 12 members. Six are senior members of the clergy appointed by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the other six are legal experts appointed by the judiciary.

All legislation passed by Parliament and all candidates for presidential and parliamentary elections are required to meet the approval of the Guardian Council.