Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 16
By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:
The Iranian Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has said in case no one is found to act as the leader of the Islamic Republic that the leadership can be taken up by a council, Jomhouri Eslami daily newspaper reported on Feb.15.
In an interview with the paper, the ayatollah provided comments on the prospects of the country's leadership after the incumbent Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
"It is quite alright to worry over who is going to take on the role of the leader, but if there is a problem, it must have to do with the Assembly of Experts. If the Assembly do their job right, even if no qualified person is found, they can make it consultative, because the law leaves the way open to a consultative leadership," he said.
"Maybe in the future they will not be able to do the right thing, but of course this also has to do with people, because if they choose their representatives right, then there will be hope."
Elections for the fifth term of the Assembly of Experts are going to be held in March.
Hashemi's talk on the role of the public comes at a time when conservative figures have been warning about attempts by the Iranian Reformist figures and those close to the ayatollah to rein the next term in their favor.
Guardian Council Secretary Ahmad Jannati on Jan. 9 warned against turning the country's leadership consultative.
"Some people are mulling over monopolizing the Assembly of Experts," he had said, adding that the "enemies" are trying to choose a leader for the Islamic Republic who would match their expectations.
The former chairman of the Assembly of Experts, ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, a 83-year-old conservative politician, died after being in a long coma on Oct. 21.
He was elected as chairman of the Assembly of Experts in March 2011 after Hashemi resigned from office.
The Assembly of Experts is a deliberative body of Mujtahids (Islamic theologians) that is tasked with appointing and removing Iran's supreme leader and supervising his activities.
Edited by CN