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How Iranian conservatives seized Assembly of Experts chairmanship

All of the moderates' calculations were correct ahead of the vote for the chairmanship of Iran’s Assembly of Experts — but they didn't account for one important factor: conservative mobilization.

TEHRAN, Iran — The man who was on the verge of being eliminated in the recent Assembly of Experts election has been elected as the chairman of the clerical body. Conservative Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati won the May 24 vote with the backing of 51 of the assembly’s 89 members.

The vote was between Jannati, moderate Ayatollah Ebrahim Amini and conservative Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. Amini was believed to be the candidate of Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who declined to run for the chairmanship, as Al-Monitor has previously reported.

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