Ayatollah Yazdi elected as Iran’s Assembly of Experts speaker (UPDATE)
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 10
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi has been elected as the new Speaker of the Iran's Assembly of Experts.
Yazdi was elected by a 47-vote majority, meanwhile his moderate competitor Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani gained only 27 votes, Iran's State IRINN TV reported March 10.
Yazdi who served as the head of Judiciary System of Iran between 1989 and 1999 is also a member of the country's Guardian Council.
The conservative politician heads the Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom and is a member of The Combatant Clergy Association.
The former speaker of the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, an 83-year-old conservative politician, died after being in a coma on Oct. 21, 2014.
He was elected as speaker in March 2011 after Hashemi Rafsanjani resigned from the 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.
This round of the assembly's speaker election was followed by greater sensitivity due to raised concerns over the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni's health condition and his recent surgery.
Last week, the French newspaper Le Figaro quoted Western intelligence officials as saying that Khameni is suffering from prostate cancer which was discovered about ten years ago.
Last September, Khamenei underwent surgery, following prostate problems. Shortly before leaving for hospital, he described the operation as "very routine," saying there is no reason to worry.
Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh