Former president chosen head of powerful clerical body in Iran

Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani was picked Tuesday as head of a powerful clerical body empowered with choosing or dismissing Iran's supreme leader, state-run television reported. Rafsanjani received 41 votes to become head of the Assembly of Experts, a body of 86 senior clerics charged with monitoring Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and choosing his successor. The former president, who is considered more moderate than current hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, defeated Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, an extremist within the hard-line camp. Jannati received 30 votes, state TV said.