Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Ahmad Jannati, a notorious cleric who is among the closest confidants of the mullahs' Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, was chosen on Tuesday as the head of the Iranian regime's new Assembly of Experts.
Jannati, 90, is also the chairman of the regime's Guardian Council, a vetting body that must approve all laws adopted by the Parliament according to the regime's fundamentalist constitution.
The Assembly of Experts, an 88-member assembly, consisting mostly of elderly clerics, is tasked with appointing the regime's Supreme Leader who has the final say on all state matters, including foreign policy. He is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and appoints the heads of the judiciary, state broadcasting and major economic conglomerates. By comparison, the regime's President has little power.
Jannati was selected by the assembly as its new head with 51 out of 88 votes, according to state media.
In Iran, Jannati is notorious for his numerous crimes including supporting the execution of his own son Hossein Jannati who was a member of the main Iranian opposition group People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) in the 1980s.
Following Ahmad Jannati’s appointment as head of the Assembly of Experts, Shahin Gobadi of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on Tuesday said:
“Jannati is one of the most fervid retinues of Khamenei and his faction. The appointment of Jannati as the head of the Assembly of Experts is a sign of further contraction of the regime and clearly shows that the notion of reform within the clerical regime is a total myth. It also manifests the regime’s deadlock and the fact that it is devoid of any future.
This appointment was engineered by Khamenei, and scores of members of the Assembly of Experts were forced to concede to it by coercion or through financial rewards. It once again shows that moderation and reform or the notion of an ‘election’ is meaningless within this regime and the only solution for this medieval regime is its total overthrow. Appointing a 90-year-old mullah as the head of the regime’s two key entities, the Guardian Council and the Assembly of Experts, vividly manifests that the regime is devoid of any future and that Khamenei’s clique and trusted confidants are becoming fewer.
Jannati has been the head of the Guardian Council for the past quarter century and he has been in charge of purging the candidates in the regime’s election farce. In the Assembly of Experts ‘election’ last March, Jannati was the last person ‘elected’ from Tehran to the assembly. This shows the extent of isolation of Khamenei and his clique even within the regime.”