Anti-Western hardliner elected as head of Iran's top clerical body

By REUTERS
May 24, 2016 11:13

 
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DUBAI - A powerful anti-Western cleric was chosen on Tuesday as the head of Iran's new Assembly of Experts, in a sign that hardliners are still in firm control of the body in charge of choosing the next supreme leader.

Ahmad Jannati, 90, is a an outspoken critic of President Hassan Rouhani and his attempts to end Iran's global isolation by normalizing ties with the West.

The 88-member assembly, consisting mostly of elderly clerics, is expected to choose the successor to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is 77 and rumored to be in frail health.

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