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.