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Former hard-line presidential candidate could become Iran's judiciary chief

The appointment of Sadegh Amoli Larijani as chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council has fueled speculation that conservative former presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi is poised to succeed him as judiciary chief.
Iranian Presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a campaign meeting at the Mosalla mosque in Tehran, Iran, May 16, 2017. Picture taken May 16, 2017. TIMA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RC1A68E6D390

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appointed Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani as chairman of the influential Expediency Council amid heavy speculation about who will succeed Larijani as head of the powerful judiciary. One top name circulated for the post is Ebrahim Raisi, the conservative who lost the 2017 presidential election.

The conservative Larijani was named to head the Expediency Council on Dec. 30 after its chairman, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, died Dec. 24. Shahroudi had rarely attended council meetings since his appointment in 2017 as he was dealing with intestinal cancer. The Expediency Council has the final say when a disagreement erupts between the Guardian Council and parliament over a bill. The Guardian Council is tasked with studying bills to see if they are in accordance with Islamic law and the Iranian Constitution.

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