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Ayatollah Jannati reelected as head of Iran's Assembly of Experts

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Chairman of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati

Members of Iran’s Assembly of Experts have reelected Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati as the chairman of the body, which is empowered to appoint and dismiss the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and supervise his performance.

In a meeting on Monday, members of the Assembly of Experts also re-elected Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani as the first deputy and Ebrahim Raisi, who is also the head of the Judiciary, as the second deputy of the assembly.

Speaking at the event, Ayatollah Jannati paid homage to Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated during a US strike in Iraq on January 3, 2020, directly ordered by former US President Donald Trump.

“May God damn Trump and America and those who played a role in the assassination of this beloved man and made a nation suffer his loss,” he said.

The Americans did not dare respond to Iran’s attack against Ain al-Assad airbase in western Iraq, where US forces were stationed, said Ayatollah Jannati, who is also the head of the Guardian Council, an oversight body which examines the qualifications of candidates in elections.

Five days after the assassination of General Soleimani, who was in Baghdad on an official visit at the time, Iran retaliated by firing dozens of missiles at Ain al-Assad air base in al-Anbar Governorate, western Iraq, as well as another US air base in Erbil, declaring that the attacks were part of its promised “tough revenge” for the assassination.

Trump, who had threatened to attack Iran’s positions in case of any attack by the Islamic Republic, backed down after Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) went on with the retaliation, which turned out to be a painful humiliation for him and his hawkish administration.

“Trump disgraced America and showed that they are not committed to anything,” Ayatollah Jannati said.

He noted that while the United States’ power is declining and coming to an end, Iran is gaining strength “and the future is ours.”

“Our strength comes from the strength of God, and the weakness of America is beyond our imagination,” he said, adding, “Today, they (American rulers) are at each other’s throats.”

Trump ordered the assassination of General Soleimani as part of his “maximum pressure” policy against Tehran, which included harsh economic sanctions and reckless military provocations. He also targeted top Iranian leaders, including Ayatollah Jannati, with sanctions. Back then, the senior cleric joked about the restrictions, saying he wouldn't be able to visit the US for Christmas anymore.

In a series of tweets hours after the assassination, Trump accused the top anti-terror commander of killing and wounding thousands of Americans over an extended period of time and “plotting to kill many more.”

He also claimed that Gen. Soleimani was “directly and indirectly” responsible for the death of millions of people in Iran and should have been killed “many years ago.”

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