Iranian Cleric Assassinated in Northern Province Attack

Iranian Cleric Assassinated in Northern Province Attack

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Ayatollah Abbasali Soleimani, a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts and former representative of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, has been killed after being shot at a bank in Babolsar in the northern province of Mazandaran.

Ayatollah Soleimani died in the hospital after the incident on Wednesday.

Governor of Mazandaran Mahmoud Hosseinipour told the state-TV that an investigation is underway to determine the motive and circumstances behind the assassination.

The governor said the attacker was a local man. Hosseinipour also ruled out any terrorist activity, saying the assailant started shooting blindly without any familiarity with Ayatollah Soleimani.

The Assembly of Experts has the authority to appoint or dismiss the Leader of the Islamic Revolution. Its members are elected directly by the people for an eight-year term.

The body holds biannual meetings to review national issues and appoints a new chairman every other year.

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