The powerful Guardian Council has re-elected the 97-year-old Ahmad Jannati as its secretary for another one-year term amid reports suggesting that he suffers ill-health and has difficulties communicating.
Council spokesperson Hadi Tahan-Nazeef said on July 19 that Siamak Rahpeyk retained the role of deputy secretary and Tahan-Nazeef himself will remain the spokesperson of the 12-member body.
Jannati has been a member of the Guardian Council since 1980 and has been its chair since 1988.
The council is a constitutional watchdog that has veto power over legislation passed by parliament and approves or disqualifies candidates seeking to run in elections.
Earlier this year, Jannati was also re-elected to the chairmanship of the Assembly of Experts, a chamber of theologians which oversees the work of the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader.
The hard-line cleric’s re-election at the helm of the Guardian Council raised eyebrows after images recently surfaced showing him struggling with mobility and communication.
Many Iranian social media users speculate that the extension of Jannati’s term as council secretary might be a calculated move by the government to influence next year’s parliamentary elections.