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Rafsanjani Uncovers Secret Details for Choosing Khamenei’s Successor | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Photo of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani / Reuters

London-Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani revealed that secret negotiations are undergoing with hundreds of people to choose a successor of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Hashemi told Qanoun newspaper that a special committee at the Assembly of Experts had secret negotiations with hundreds of people on the matter of choosing a successor for Khamenei.

Chairman Rafsanjani went on to explain that at least two or three persons are following the cases of possible candidates and reporting back to the Assembly of Experts.

Rafsanjani explained that the special committee, that follows Article 107 of the Iranian Constitution, is assessing the candidates. He added that according to the law, the committee is required to study and evaluate every candidate, whereas the Assembly will choose Khamenei’s successor after his death.

The controversy over who would succeed Supreme Leader first sparked in light of his deteriorating health. The debate on Khamenei’s successor was also the highlight of Khamenei’s last year speeches.

In addition, Imam of Friday Prayers Ahmad Khatami had revealed earlier that a “top secret” committee is indeed studying candidates and reporting back to Khamenei.

In Febraury, Khamenei asked Assembly of Experts to abstain from referring to personal interests when choosing his successor.

A few months ago, Rafsanjani told ILNA news agency that: “They have appointed a group to list the qualified people that will be put to a vote when an incident happens.” He also prompted controversy upon mentioning that Assembly of Experts would be open to choosing “a council of leaders if needed” instead of a single Supreme Leader.

Rafsanjani denied on Saturday 18th June the rumors saying he is trying to reinstate a “council of leaders”. In addition, he retracted his previous statement to “Shareq” newspaper concerning a “council of leaders.”

According to observers, Revolutionary Guards generals might have the final say in choosing the third Supreme Leader.

Many names are being proposed for candidacy, the most prominent of them include Mojtaba Khamenei, son of Khamenei; Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the first ever Iranian Supreme Leader; Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, former Head of Iranian Judicial Authorities; Sadeq Larijani, Head of Iranian Judicial Authorities; current Iranian President Hassan Ruohani; and Ibrahim Raeisi, Trusteeship of Astan Quds Razavi and former Iranian Attorney General.