TEHRAN – The two-day meeting of the Assembly of Experts chaired by the deputy chairman of the assembly opened in Tehran on Tuesday.
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi presided at the meeting because Assembly of Experts Chairman Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani was not able to attend the meeting.
Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani has been hospitalized since he fell into a coma after suffering a stroke in June.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani also attended the meeting.
In his opening remarks to the meeting, Ayatollah Shahroudi highlighted the role of the Assembly of Experts in the Islamic system and said the body guarantees that the system remains both Islamic and republican.
Commenting on the process of talks between Iran and the major powers on the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program, he said the assembly supports the Iranian nuclear negotiating team.
The country’s dignity, might, and independence must be upheld in the talks, he said, adding the negotiations must lead to the lifting of the sanctions against Iran.
He pointed to the recent sanctions measure by the United States against a number of Iranian companies and said as the Leader stated hopes cannot been pinned to the talks with the “arrogant” United States.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he said the current awakening which is unfolding in the Muslim world is rooted in Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979, adding that the Islamic Republic has assumed the “spiritual” leadership of the Muslim world.
The Islamic Republic of Iran supports all the oppressed people around the world against the hegemonistic system, he said.
He went on to say that the hegemonistic system will never abandon its hostile policies toward Muslim nations.
He added that the hegemonistic countries, including the United States, are behind sectarian conflicts in the region and the rise of takfiri groups.
A takfiri is a Muslim who accuses another Muslim of being an unbeliever. Most takfiri groups believe that only their group’s interpretation of Islam -- or sometimes also similar groups’ interpretation -- is correct, and all other Muslims are unbelievers.
In addition, Ayatollah Shahroudi said that the Islamic Republic has become a global power, whose support for the oppressed Palestinian people has severely beaten the usurping Zionist regime.
The commander of the Qods Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Major General Qasem Suleimani, is scheduled to make a speech at the meeting on Wednesday.