Tehran’s Friday Mass Imam this week told worshippers that the members of the Assembly of Experts must be “saturated with obedience to the Supreme Leader”.

Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani

Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani

Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani warned the public that the wrong choice in the election of the members of the Assembly of Experts could be catastrophic.

Movahedi Kermani has been warning the public about certain groups within society trying to take over the Assembly of Experts and move against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

The Assembly of Experts is the government body within the Islamic Republic system charged with keeping watch over the actions of the Supreme Leader. For years, opposition groups have criticized its redundancy in view of its subordination to Ayatollah Khamenei.

The body used to be chaired by moderate cleric Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who stepped down last round and the late Mahdavi Kani took the leadership of the body.

With the passing of Mahdavi Kani, there is a need to elect a new chair, and Rafsanjani has stressed that if he finds nominated candidates unsuitable to take on the responsibility, he will nominate himself.

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani has also been making statements about the possibility of turning the Supreme Leadership into a council, saying he has been told by Ayatollah Khamenei that the burden could be a heavy one for one person to carry for so long.

Iranians are poised to elect the Assembly of Experts in the next year, followed by parliamentary elections.