Feature

Ahmadinejad rival gains

The week's news at a glance.

Tehran

Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani this week handily won the chairmanship of the body that chooses the nation’s supreme leader. Rafsanjani served as president from 1989 to 1997, and narrowly lost a runoff 18 months ago to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rafsanjani will lead the Assembly of Experts, an 86-member group that appoints and dismisses the most powerful official in the nation. Many of his allies also won spots in the assembly, and he is now seen as being closer to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei than is President Ahmadinejad, a hard-line conservative. In a further setback to Ahmadinejad, in local elections this week reformists and moderates won control of most major cities.

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