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Iran's leader names conservative cleric to arbitration body

Iran's state TV says the country's supreme leader has appointed a conservative cleric to head a council tasked with mediating disputes between government bodies.

Monday's report says Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi as the new chief of the arbitration body — known as the Expediency Council — for the next five years.

Shahroudi replaces former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who died in January after heading the council for more than 27 years.

Shahroudi served as the chief of the Iranian Judiciary for 10 years, from 1999 to 2009.

The council was created in 1988 and its main responsibility is to resolve differences or conflicts between the country's parliament and Iran's constitutional watchdog.