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Who will be Iran's next supreme leader?

Statements by a member of the Assembly of Experts, the body that chooses the supreme leader, have raised the question of who would be qualified to take over for Ayatollah Khamenei.
Senior Iranian Officials (L to R) Chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, Hasan Khomeini, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, parliament Speaker Gholamali Haddadadel, Judiciary chief Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi and former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani listen to a speech by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during the anniversary of the death of the Late Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Tehran,  June 4, 2006.    REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi    (IRAN) - RTR1E2OI

“May God preserve the supreme leader and give him a long life,” said Hojat al-Islam Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi. “However, we need to prepare for when he is gone.”

These comments, which were picked up by Shia Online, went largely unnoticed when they were made May 20. However, this is one of the most candid comments made by a member of the Assembly of Experts about their constitutional role of both choosing the next supreme leader and supervising him after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's reign ends. The topic came up while he was talking to reporters about the importance of the next Assembly of Experts election in February 2016.

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