Chairman of Iran's Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani has declined to once again accept candidacy for the leadership post at the 86-member body.
Rafsanjani said he would not accept candidacy for the position if Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani would be willing to run for the position and that he would throw his weight behind Kani's nomination.
Addressing the assembly prior to the Tuesday morning voting, Rafsanjani cited “division or discord among the body members as detrimental.”
“More than 80 just and qualified Mujtahids
(an expert in religious law) are members of the Assembly of Experts who are valuable capital for our country and establishment and creating division or display of discord in this body is very harmful,” Fars News Agency quoted Rafsanjani as saying on Tuesday.
“I declare now that if Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani is ready to take up the post, I definitely would not stand for the post so that this holy institution won't suffer harm,” Rafsanjani added.
Ayatollah Kani was picked to the leadership position Tuesday morning with 63 votes in favor in the early hours of the ninth session of the Assembly of Experts.
Commenting on the latest developments in the region, the veteran politician said the world of Islam is going through a very new situation which is indicative of Muslims' awareness and prudence in their encounters with difficulties and responsibilities.
“Many people are sick of their rulers' dependence on foreigners and hegemonic powers' control over their countries, and many others are discontent with the corruption which is dominating their governments,“ he continued.
Rafsanjani described the recent movements in some regional states as irretrievable and added that the awakening movements and the awareness of the people in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Libya have made the situation irreversible.
In some states rulers that find their positions in jeopardy, brutally massacre their people and even bombard them, he concluded.