Skip to main content

How Iran will choose its next supreme leader

A special group has been formed to review candidates for the next supreme leader.

The election for the Assembly of Experts, a body of 86 Islamic theologians who are tasked with electing the supreme leader of Iran, rarely receives the attention and turnout of presidential elections. However, given their eight-year term limits and the current supreme leader’s age, the new body elected February 2016 may ultimately decide the most significant position within the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Most Iranian politicians rarely discuss who will take over for the still relatively healthy and highly active 76-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after his passing. Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a member of the current Assembly of Experts and also a candidate in the upcoming elections, broke this trend by announcing that the assembly has formed a committee to review the future supreme leader.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.