"Last week's unexpected reappointment of Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as the chair of Expediency Council has provoked considerable speculation here about Iran's future political trajectory as it faces unprecedented economic pressure and military threats from Israel and the United States...
"The Expediency Discernment Council of the System, as it is formally known, is an administrative assembly appointed by the Leader and was created in 1987 by the revolution's leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, to resolve differences on legislation between the Parliament and the Guardian Council.
"A constitutional revision in 1989 gave it legal standing as an advisory body to which the Leader could refer significant issues for resolution.
"In 2006, Khamenei further extended the Council's powers by delegating to it some of his own supervisory authority over all branches of the government. Since then, however, Khamenei has consistently prevented it from fulfilling that role."
Analysts quoted by the article suggest it shows that Rafsanjani still has backers within the Iranian establishment. However, given that Khamene'i's allies now control both parliament and the Council of Guardians, this could be a ceremonial position with little to do.