25 June 2009

Iran: The Heir

The L A Times has published an article on Mojtaba Khamenei, son of the Supreme Leader, and the would-be heir to Ayatollah Khamenei's position when he passes away. Analysts have conjectured that Supreme Leader Khamenei's insistence on Ahmadinejad's re-election has everything to do with the planned succession: allegedly, the Khameneis are not "popular in Qom," amongst the men who choose Iran's Supreme Leader (LAT). Mojtaba Khamenei, however, has allies in the Revolutionary Guard and the intelligence service, as does Ahmadinejad, who shares an affinity for "messiani rhetoric and Islamic fervor" with Mojtaba Khamenei (LAT). He could prove to be a useful friend.

Rather than comment on it at the moment (busy night), I'll leave you with another link. This one leads you to a profile of Mojtaba Khamenei at The Guardian, which describes him as "one of the driving force" behind the bloody crackdowns. Key quote:

"There has been a lot of talk lately that this is all about Mojtaba and the succession," said Ali Ansari, an Iran analyst at St Andrews University.

"He may be securing the position for the long term, and protecting it. The argument is that he is protecting his future."

So this all might be about re-establishing a ruling dynasty, if you will. According to rumor (let me re-emphasize: rumor) Rafsanjani and the clerics of Qon will be weighing in on the matter soon, possibly by Friday, when Ayatollah Khamenei will again lead prayers.

Added: The New York Times's Neil MacFarquhar offers a fine, but disconcerting, overview of Ahmadinejad, the Khameneis, and the anti-democratic brand of Islam they endorse.

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