Iran's Assembly of Experts for leadership convenes sixth session

Iran's Assembly of Experts for leadership convenes sixth session

Shafaq News/ The sixth session of the Assembly of Experts for Leadership commenced on Tuesday morning, bringing together prominent political and military figures.

According to Mehr News Agency, following the opening formalities, the senior leadership committee of the Assembly was seated.

"Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani was elected as the president, Ayatollah Abulqasem Wafi as the vice president, and Hujjat al-Islam Mohammad Reza Fallah Tafti and Mohammad Hossein Bayati were elected as the secretaries of the 6th term of sixth session of the Assembly of Experts for Leadership," Mehr said.

The Assembly of Experts, also known as the Council of Experts, is the deliberative body responsible for appointing Iran's Supreme Leader.

All its members are directly elected by the public but must first be vetted by the Guardian Council.

In a message marking the session's opening, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei described the Assembly of Experts as the "epitome" of Islamic democracy.

Sayyed Khamenei urged the attendees and the global community to reflect on and consider the comprehensive and stable plan of Islamic governance, emphasizing that the goals within the Islamic system "are divine."

Notably, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's death in a helicopter crash has upset the plans of hardliners who had viewed him as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Khamenei. This incident will likely intensify rivalries within the hardline faction over who will eventually take over the Islamic Republic's leadership.

Raisi, 63, was a protégé of Khamenei and had risen through the ranks of Iran's theocratic system. He was widely regarded as a leading candidate to succeed the 85-year-old Supreme Leader.

Furthermore, Raisi had enjoyed strong support from Khamenei, who himself had served as president before becoming Supreme Leader in 1989 following the death of the Islamic Republic's founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The Supreme Leader holds ultimate authority in Iran, acting as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and guiding the country's foreign policy, which is largely defined by its confrontational stance towards the United States and Israel.

Although Khamenei has not officially endorsed a successor, Raisi was one of the two names most frequently mentioned by Iran watchers. The other is Khamenei's second son, Mojtaba, believed to wield significant influence behind the scenes.

Under Iran's constitution, the Supreme Leader is appointed by the Assembly of Experts, an 88-member clerical body with the authority to supervise and potentially dismiss the Supreme Leader.

While the Assembly is chosen through elections, another hardline watchdog body comprising clerics and jurists aligned with Khamenei has the power to veto laws and decide who is eligible to stand for election.

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