A Blog Written By Roozbeh Mirebrahimi
By Robert Tait in Tehran
Wednesday September 5, 2007
One of Iran’s most illustrious politicians, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, dramatically increased his influence yesterday by winning control of a powerful clerical body in a development that could change the course of the country’s leadership.Mr Rafsanjani, a conservative pragmatist and former president, was elected head of the experts’ assembly after overcoming a determined rightwing effort to block him. He received 41 votes, while his opponent, hardliner Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who ran as the “stop Rafsanjani” candidate in an election triggered by the death in July of the assembly’s previous chairman, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Meshkini, received 34.