Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi was elected as the head of the Assembly of Experts, wining 47 of the 73 votes case. Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, who also ran for the position, received only 26 votes.

Ayatollah Yazdi

Ayatollah Yazdi

Ayatollah Yazdi is the head of Qom Seminaries and has served as head of the judiciary in the past. He was also an MP in the first and second parliaments. He belongs to the camp of hardliners in the Islamic Republic establishment.

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani told the Shargh daily on Tuesday March 10 that the role of the Assembly of Experts will become pivotal when it has to chose a new leader, which rarely happens. He added that even in that case, just being a member of the assembly will be sufficient to make a difference.

The role of the Assembly of Experts is to monitor the Supreme Leader. The body is comprised of 86 members of the clergy who are elected by public vote. The term of leadership is eight years.

The assembly has been criticized for failing to effectively monitor the actions of the leader and being in effect subordinate to him.