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BBC News Front page | In Depth | World | Middle East | Iran's changing face
Iran: The stuggle for changeIran: The struggle for change

Who holds the power
Iran: Who holds the power
Assembly of Experts

This conservative body, made up of 96 clerics, is comparable to the College of Cardinals which chooses the Pope. The assembly is elected directly by the electorate every eight years. Its functions are to appoint, oversee and if necessary dismiss the Supreme Leader. It meets twice a year to review the performance of the Supreme Leader. The assembly has been criticised for being subservient to the Supreme Leader and not fulfilling its supervisory purpose. The current assembly was elected in 1998 for an eight-year term.

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