Iran's clerics consider removal of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad
Iran's clerics considering removal of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad
ran's clerical establishment is considering scrapping the position of the Supreme Leader, currently held by Ayatollah Khamenei and forcing out President Ahmadinejad according to reports.
The country's Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts is reported to be considering the formation of a collective leadership to replace the position of supreme leader, according to Al Arabiya, citing sources in the holy city of Qom.
Both groups are headed by former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a key rival to Ayatollah Khamenei and a strong supporter of defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.
On Saturday five members of Rafsanjani's family were arrested for taking part in demonstrations against the controversial re-election of President Ahmadinejad. They have subsequently been released.
The Assembly of Experts, a body of Islamic clerics, is responsible for overseeing the Supreme Leader and can even remove the Supreme Leader should they decide to. The Expediency Council is responsible for mediating disputes between the parliament elected by the people and the unelected Guardian Council.
Members of the Assembly of Experts are reported to be considering making changes to the Iranian system of government that would be the biggest since Ayatollah Khomeini set up the Islamic system in the revolution of 1979, by removing the position of the supreme leader.
Secret meetings are said to have taken place in Qom and included a representative of Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most prominent Shiite leader in Iraq.
Clerical leaders are also said to be considering forcing the resignation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following over a week of unrest since he was elected in what senior opposition leaders claim was a fraudulent election.
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