Hashemi Rafsanjani er valgt til leder av Ekspertforsamlingen, et råd på 86 medlemmer som skal holde oppsyn med den Den øverste leder og velge nye Leder når den sittende, Ali Khamenei, dør.
Rafsanjani har dermed gjort et realt comeback, etter at han tapte presidentvalget for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Han er fra før leder av det såkalte Expediency council.
Rafsanjani beseiret den mer ideologiske Ahmed Jannati. Men også Rafsanjani har en «hard» side: han er etterlyst av argentinske myndigheter for sprengningen av det jødiske senteret i Buenos Aires i 1994.
The election focuses new attention on Rafsanjani, a complex figure who at various times has been viewed more as hard-liner and at other times as a pragmatist. It also is sure to strengthen his image, tarnished by his loss to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2005 presidential runoff when he was viewed as arrogant and out of touch with the lives of ordinary Iranians.
Rafsanjani, who is considered more moderate than Ahmadinejad, brokered the deal that made Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supreme leader in 1989. It is unclear if the 73-year-old Rafsanjani has ambitions for the post himself someday or prefers the role of behind-the-scenes kingmaker. Khamenei is 68.
A wealthy man, Rafsanjani controls a multimillion dollar family business empire, one of Iran’s largest, and is believed to oppose Ahmadinejad’s populist economic policies.
The Assembly of Experts is considered the pillar of the regime because of its lofty duties: monitoring the all-powerful supreme leader and picking a successor after his death. It has selected a supreme leader only once since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when it chose Khamenei to succeed the revolution’s patriarch, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
But the assembly also has been shrouded in secrecy and hasn’t published a single public report.
Comments by Rafsanjani just before his election Tuesday suggested said that the assembly would be a more active national player and perhaps its «decisions will be made public someday,» according to the official news agency, IRNA.