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Middle east

Rafsanjani falls foul of hardliners

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-03-09

Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani lost his post as chairman of a powerful clerical body Tuesday following concerns from hardliners about his proximity to the progressive opposition, local media report.

AP - State television says former President Hashemi Rafsanjani has lost his position as the head of a powerful clerical body charged with choosing or dismissing Iran's supreme leader.

Rafsanjani is a bitter enemy of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and tacitly supported his rival in Iran's bitter dispute over the 2009 presidential elections.

Hardliners and supporters of Ahmadinejad had lobbied hard in recent weeks to push Rafsanjani out of the post and supported Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani to replace him. Kani is a moderate conservative not seen as a supporter of the opposition.

Rafsanjani didn't seek the chairmanship because Kani applied, and Kani got 63 votes as the sole candidate.

The change is a boost for hardliners within the ruling system and another setback for moderates and reformists.

Date created : 2011-03-08

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