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Rafsanjani loses top Iranian clerical post

Rafsanjani loses top Iranian clerical post
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Iran’s former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has lost his position as the head of powerful clerical body according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

Rafsanjani had chaired the Assembly of Experts since 2007.

He did not seek re-election after a veteran conservative cleric applied for the post.

Rafsanjani has now been replaced by Ayatollah Mohammed Reza Mahdavi Kani.

Under Iran’s constitution the assembly appoints and supervises the Supreme Leader and can even dismiss him.

Rafsanjani lost to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005’s presidential election and has been a rival ever since.

Hardliners accuse Rafsanjani of being too close to the opposition.

The 77-year-old was a vocal critic of a government-led crackdown on the 2009 ‘Green Movement’ protests after Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election.