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Khamenei Mulling to Appoint Kermaniin to Replace Rafsanjani | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Thousands of Iranians gathered for the funeral of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Reuters

London- It is likely that Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will appoint cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermaniin to replace former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in the leadership of Expediency Discernment Council, informed Iranian sources said.

In the past two weeks, discussions have focused on the vacuum caused by the death of Rafsanjani at the leadership of the council and that of the Assembly of Experts.

Mohammad Ali Najafi, the economic consultant of Khamenei, reported that the supreme leader is considering the election of Movahedi Kermaniin for the presidency of the Expediency Discernment Council of the System.

Rafsanjani remained a president for the council for three decades and Khamenei signed the order of his appointment six times. He is the second leader, after Khamenei, to remain in his position for such a long time.

The council consists of 45 members chosen by the supreme leader every five years and it is entrusted with eight missions. The president of the council is supposed to maintain balance between the two main poles in administrative authorities and decision-making.

Designating Kermaniin will increase chances of fundamentalists over reformists to win next elections and will cause more pressure on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, days after him losing one of his key supporters.

The term of the council ends mid-March and it hasn’t been finalized if Khamenei is willing to appoint Kermaniin for a temporary period or for the new term.

Meanwhile, fundamentalists are in a quest to persuade Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s grandson Hassan Khomeini to run as a candidate for the elections to fill the seat of Rafsanjani at the Assembly of Experts.