Informed sources in Tehran say that Ayatollah Taqi Mesbah Yazdi is favored to become the next chairman of the Assembly of Experts. The potentially powerful post was vacated after the death of Ayatollah Ali Meshkini on 30 July. The 86-man clerical assembly will elect its new chairman at its next meeting scheduled for 4-6 September in Tehran (Mesbah's picture at top, Fars file photo).
Mesbah’s election will further tilt the balance of power towards the fundamentalists. Mesbah is the spiritual guru of President Ahmadinejad. Mesbah’s election will also mean a major defeat for Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, favored by the moderates to head the assembly.
The Assembly of Experts is empowered to choose and supervise the Supreme Leader. Under Meshkini, the Assembly all but gave up its constitutional role to supervise the activities of the Supreme Leader and his executive offices.
Mesbah Yazdi believes the supreme leader is chosen by God, presumably through the Assembly of Experts.
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