Report: High-ranking Iranian cleric dies at 70


TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s state TV is reporting that Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, head of the Expediency Council advisory body to the country’s Supreme Leader, has died at the age of 70.

The Monday report said Shahroudi was long sick and hospitalized in north Tehran. Reportedly, he was suffering from gastrointestinal cancer.

Shahroudi, a relatively moderate cleric, was appointed as chairman of the Expediency Council in 2017 by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The body arbitrates on differences between parliament and the Guardian Council, a constitutional watchdog.

Shahroudi was also chief of the judiciary from 1999 to 2009.

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Born and raised in Najaf, Iraq, Sharoudi was close to the late leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei, who spent years in exile there.

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