Mahdavi Kani replaces Rafsanjani as Assembly of Experts chief

March 9, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN - Ayatollah Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani, 80, was elected as the new chairman of the Assembly of Experts on Tuesday by securing 63 votes.

Former chairman of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who is the current chairman of the Expediency Council, withdrew from the election after Mahdavi Kani declared his candidacy.
At the opening session of the Assembly of Experts on Tuesday, Rafsanjani said, “If Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani announces his candidacy for the chairmanship of the Assembly of Experts, I will not run for the post and will support Mr. Mahdavi Kani.”
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi and Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi were reelected as the first and second deputy chairmen of the assembly.
Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami and Ayatollah Qorban-Ali Dori-Najafabadi were also reelected as the assembly’s secretaries.
The Assembly of Experts is constitutionally tasked to appoint and supervise the Leader. Its representatives are elected to eight-year terms in a general election.
The 86-member assembly elects its chairman every two years. The internal election is usually held in March.
-- We must tolerate each other
After the election, Mahdavi Kani delivered a speech in which he called on the assembly members to maintain unity despite differences of opinion.
“We must tolerate each other despite differences of opinion,” he stated.
Mahdavi Kani added, “Individualism is not acceptable and we must preserve unity.”
He also called Rafsanjani his “long-time friend” and requested him to continue providing assistance to the assembly.
-- Arab revolutions are irreversible
During his speech at the opening session of the assembly, Rafsanjani commented on the recent incidents which are taking place in the Middle East and North Africa.
“The popular revolutions (in the Arab world) are irreversible; however, might have peaks and troughs.”
Rafsanjani added, “The people (of these states) are fed up with (their governments’) dependence on foreign countries, the dominance of the arrogant powers, and the corruption of their governments which originates from dictatorship.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rafsanjani described the concept of velayat-e faqih (rule of the supreme jurisprudent) as the “pillar” of Iran’s Islamic revolution.