Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, a moderate Iranian cleric, has announced that he will probably run in the coming Assembly of Experts election in March.

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani at Amir Kabir University

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani at Amir Kabir University

IRAN reported on Wednesday November 25 that Ayatollah Rafsanjani stressed the importance of these elections, saying they should be held in sufficient transparency to reaffirm the people’s confidence and hope in the future of the country.

Hashemi Rafsanjani was the chairman of the Assembly of Experts from 2007 to 2011.

The assembly is the only government body that can monitor the actions of the Supreme Leader, wielding the power to dismiss him and elect a new supreme leader.

Following the 2009 election protests, which saw Ayatollah Rafsanjani voice his support for reformist candidates and the demand for a recount, the moderate cleric’s family became targets of a serious backlash from conservative factions of the Islamic Republic, and he was maneuvered into resigning his chairmanship of the Assembly of Experts.

Islamic Republic hardliners are already concerned about progressive factions taking over the Assembly of Experts and Parliament. Parliamentary elections will also be held in March 2016.