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Iran: Domestic divisions highlighted as US sanctions kick in

Domestic rivalries: Different factions within the Islamic Republic continue to compete for power and influence in the system, with many keeping an eye on the health of the 79-year-old Rahbar (Supreme Leader) Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and preparing for what might follow his demise. The death of Expediency Council chairman Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi in December opened the way for a reshuffle of some senior posts. Judiciary chief Amoli Larijani was picked to replace Shahroudi, while hard-line conservative Ebrahim Raeisi has been mooted as a possible candidate to take over as head of the judiciary.

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