Al-Monitor- A newly released video has shown the process in which a body of 74 clerics elected then-President Ali Khamenei to the highest position in the decade-old Islamic Republic, a position he has held for nearly three decades. While parts of the video from the June 4, 1989, Assembly of Experts meeting have been seen before by Iranian viewers, the entire, complete version not only shows the intricacies of the election process but offers new information that was not public knowledge.
The video begins with a discussion about whether or not the assembly should elect a single individual to replace Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic who had died the day before at age 86, or whether the assembly should elect a governing council of three to five individuals. Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who chaired the meeting, calls for a vote on whether there will be an individual election or council.
This is where one of the lesser-known facts comes out of this meeting. The election, according to Rafsanjani, was to be a temporary one until the necessary constitutional changes could be made. Someone from the floor asks that the temporary nature of the election not be made known to the public and Rafsanjani agrees. By standing, 45 members of the assembly vote in favor of holding an election for an individual.
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