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Former Iranian Judiciary Chief Yazdi Dies

Mohammad Yazdi

The ultraconservative former chief of Iran's judiciary, Mohammad Yazdi, has died at the age of 89, the official IRNA state news agency reported.

Yazdi, a student of Islamic republic founder Ruhollah Khomeini, died on December 9 due to "illnesses of the digestive system," IRNA said.

Yazdi was named to head the judicial authority in 1989, shortly after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei came to power following Khomeini's death.

Yazdi headed the judiciary for a decade before he was replaced in the aftermath of the 1999 student protests.

A long-standing member of the Assembly of Experts -- a body of clerics that is empowered with selecting the supreme leader -- Yazdi served as its head in 2015.

Yazdi was defeated in his bid for a new term on the 88-member clerical body the following year, after facing opposition from moderates and reformists aligned with President Hassan Rohani.

In 2020, Ayatollah Yazdi resigned from the Guardians Council due to poor health.

The Assembly of Experts remained under the control of ultraconservatives.

Khamenei offered his condolences to Yazdi's family, IRNA said.

Based on reporting by AFP and IRNA