By Ria Novosti
Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was ousted as head of an key clerical body on Tuesday after being criticized by hard-liners for being close to the country’s beleaguered opposition.
Rafsanjani had chaired the Assembly of Experts, which appoints and supervises the activities of the Supreme Leader whose veto is final in the country’s political affairs, since 2007.
Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, a conservative cleric, was elected to replace him, the semi-official Mehr news agency said.
Rafsanjani had been attempting to bridge a gap between the president, populist hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the fledging reformist opposition.