On March 10, hardliner Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi (left) was elected chairman of the Assembly of Experts, Iran’s only constitutional body with the authority to appoint and dismiss the supreme leader. Yazdi won 47 out of 73 votes, defeating the more centrist Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Former President Rafsanjani, who was chairman from 2007 to 2011, received 24 votes.
- Select the supreme leader (Article 107 and 111).
- Dismiss him if he is unable to perform his constitutional duties or it becomes known that he did not possess some of the initial qualifications such as “social and political wisdom, prudence, courage, administrative facilities and adequate capability for leadership (Article 111).”
- Supervise the supreme leader’s capabilities to determine whether he is able to perform his duties. The assembly also has a committee to oversee “the continuation of qualifications for the leader specified in the constitution.”