Iran’s Assembly of Experts has elected Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati to head the body tasked with appointing the “Leader of the Islamic Revolution” and overseeing his work.
Ayatollah Jannati was chosen for the post for two years on Tuesday after securing re-election for the assembly in a February vote.
In a message to its opening, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the new assembly has a duty to “carefully and comprehensively guard the Islamic and revolutionary identity of the ruling establishment and direct intertwined apparatuses of the establishment toward lofty and sublime goals.”
Ayatollah Jannati was voted chairman of the 88-member assembly with 51 votes against two other contenders – former Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi and another prominent cleric Ayatollah Ehrahim Amini.
Ayatollah Amini, who is also the prayer leader of the holy city of Qom, garnered 21 votes and Ayatollah Shahroudi 13 votes.
Former president Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who had chaired the assembly until 2011, did not run for the post.