The Collective
Thursday, June 25, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

The LAT has an interesting piece on Mojtaba Khamenei, son of the Supreme Leader: Iran supreme leader’s son seen as power broker with big ambitions.

Specifically the piece notes that there is speculation the elder Khamenei would like his son to be the next Supreme Leader. Also it notes the son’s connection to the security apparatus of the state and to the ongoing repression of the protests:

Analysts and former dissidents describe him as the gatekeeper for his father, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a reclusive son whose political instincts were sharpened in a post-revolutionary Iran where affiliations with security and intelligence services were just as important as Islamic ideology.

The piece notes the pending role of the clerics of Qom, actors whom I think will end up being key to the endgame in Iran, either by demonstrating their institutional power via the Assembly of Experts (and/or by brigning their theological stature to the table) or be proven to be impotent in the face of Khamenei’s ability to control the coercive structures of the state:

So far, the ayatollahs in Qom have been relatively quiet over the contested election and the demonstrations. But that could change if Ahmadinejad and the supreme leader press on with harsh police tactics.

“Neither Ayatollah Ali Khamenei nor Ahmadinejad are popular in Qom,” Ali Ansari, the head of Iranian studies at St. Andrews University in Scotland, wrote in the newspaper the Observer. He added that Ahmadinejad is “regarded with contempt by most senior clerics, while Khamenei has never been accepted as a scholar of note. The clerics may bide their time, but their intervention, which may come sooner rather than later, especially if violence spreads, could be decisive.”

While on the topics of elites, the NYT’s The Lede reports (at its 8:04am update) the following:

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, a dissident Iranian cleric, said in a statement faxed to the French news agency A.F.P. on Thursday that continued suppression of dissent could threaten the country’s government.

It goes on to quote Montazeri:

If Iranians cannot talk about their legitimate rights at peaceful gatherings and are instead suppressed, frustrations will build up which could possibly uproot the foundations of the government, no matter how powerful.

Montazeri was once set to become the Supreme Leader before falling out of favor, which allowed Khamenei to take the position upon the death of Khomeini.

The Lede quotes an AFP piece (not linked) which describes Montazeri as follows:

Montazeri, considered by his followers to be the highest living authority of Shiite Islam in Iran, has also questioned the theological credentials of current supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

h/t on the Lede piece: Sullivan

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: Iran | |
The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.

One Response to “More Elite Politics in Iran”

  • el
  • pt
    1. Ratoe Says:

      All of this intra-faction rivalry is too confusing. Can’t we just label Iran and its inhabitants “evildoers” and be done with it? It sure would simplify things!

    Leave a Reply

    blog advertising is good for you


    Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics



    Visitors Since 2/15/03

    Powered by WordPress