Multiple reports say Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is dying and in the process of transferring power to his son, Mojtaba Khamenei. One unconfirmed report from the Jewish Press indicates he may already be dead and they’re holding off on making an announcement until his son is fully in power.
The 81-year-old Muslim dictator has been in power since taking on the role in 1989. He was previously the President of Iran, a role more that holds far less power than it does in most other nations. While the transfer of power to his son has been speculated by multiple sources with ears to the ground in one of the most media-controlled nations of the world, the Jewish Press believes he may be dead already. According to the report:
Unconfirmed reports from Iran say the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, returned his soul to his maker. According to the same reports, an official announcement will be made only after the transfer of powers to his son, Mojtaba Khamenei, are completed.
Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei, 81, was the supreme leader of Iran since 1989. He previously served as the president of Iran from 1981 to 1989. Khamenei is the longest serving head of state in the Middle East, as well as the second-longest serving Iranian leader of the last century, after Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Reports on Saturday suggested that doctors from the Masih Daneshvari Hospital in Tehran were rushed to the supreme leader’s home, and that some of his powers were being transferred to his son.
Mojtaba Khamenei played a leading role in orchestrating Ahmadinejad’s electoral victory, and that he was a key figure in orchestrating the crackdown against anti-government protesters in June 2009. He is reputed to be in charge of the paramilitary, clandestine Basij. In 2009, Mehdi Karroubi, former chairman of the Iranian parliament and a reformist candidate in the 2009 presidential vote, explicitly accused Mojtaba Khamenei of participating in a conspiracy to rig the election.
The ultra-conservative clerics have helped maintain the iron grip the Ayatollah has held in the nation since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, but moderates and mainstream factions have been pushing for a more democratic form of government with power transferred to the president and the Islamic Consultative Assembly, their version of a parliament. If the Ayatollah is dead or nearing death, it would behoove the current theocratic leaders to avoid a vacuum in power by installing Motjaba Khamenei immediately.
The Ayatollah has been allegedly near death multiple times for over a decade, but these reports seem more compelling. If Motjaba Khamenei is installed to replace his father, the Middle East may become even more volatile very quickly.
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