Tag Archives: ayatollah khamenei

Do you know who will be the next supreme leader of #Iran?

18 Aug

A question I get asked frequently: who is going to replace the current Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei?

Do you know the answer? because I don’t. No one knows. The regime has not mentioned any names. So far, all that we have to go on are guesses and assumptions.

The same applied to the 1989 when Ayatollah Khomeini was about to pass away and people were wondering who will replace him. Although back then it was relatively easier to list the name of those who could succeed him, as it was (relatively) soon after the revolution and there were more notable candidates.

But even then respectable publications such as the New York Times got it wrong. See the below quote from the May 22 1989 article from the NYT:

In the power struggle that consumes Iran’s ruling clergy, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s son, Ahmad, has emerged as a prime contender to inherit his father’s authority.

The NYT got it wrong, with good reason. The process of choosing the next supreme leader was relatively opaque and secretive during Khomeini’s time, now days under Ayatollah Khamenei its far more opaque and secretive.

The quoted NYT article is a must read. It also provides a fascinating insight into a previously unknown 110 page letter published by Ahmad Khomeini against Ayatollah Montazeri, after the latter was dismissed from his role as Ayatollah Khomeini’s successor. Why? because he lambasted Khomeini for executing thousands of MEK prisoners without a proper trial and on dubious grounds.  Among other things (the late) Ayatollah Montazeri tells Khomeini:

”the crimes of your Ministry of Intelligence and those committed in your prisons are far worse than those of the Shah and Savak, and I speak of detailed knowledge.”

Read the entire article here.

Debate me on the #Irandeal

22 Jul

A prominent reason given by those who believe that the current Iran deal is a bad deal is one that says the current deal does not force Iran to completely dismantle its nuclear program.

As someone who follows Iranian domestic politics closely, looking at this reason from a domestic Iranian political angle, in my opinion it is extremely unlikely that Iran’s leadership, with Ayatollah Khamenei at its helm, would agree to such a demand. There are numerous reasons why I believe this to be true, the extremely, almost unbearable high domestic political cost of adhering to such a demand being one of them.

Therefore, I disagree with the argument that says Iran’s leadership, through the continuation of the current negotiations can be forced to dismantle its entire nuclear program.

I would like to invite an expert from the other side of the argument who specializes in domestic Iranian politics to debate me on-line on this topic.

To make this a specialist level debate for our audience, I believe that the opposite side of the debate should also be a Persian speaker who can also read Persian fluently and to have published at least 1 article on a subject concerning domestic Iranian politics, for a news site or for an academic journal.

Do you know of anyone who would like to take part in such a debate?

Regards,

Meir Javedanfar

#Iran: a more conservative response to the draft nuclear agreement

7 Apr

Professor Mohammad Marandi

 

Last night I posted an Al Jazeera discussion which showed three different views from Iran, Saudi Arabia and the U.S towards the recent draft nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1.

The Iranian view was presented by Professor Zibakalam, who is a reformist.

In this clip, CCTV America has interviewed Mohammad Marandi who is more conservative. Dr Marandi has a PhD in English literature from Birmingham University and since 2005 he has been the head of the North American Studies Department, University of Tehran.

His father is close to Ayatollah Khamenei. He was the head of the medical team which oversaw the Supreme Leader’s recent Prostate operation. He is very well-connected inside the regime.

It’s an interesting interview. It’s worth watching to hear what the more conservative side of Iranian politics thinks about the recent deal.

#Iran wants Netanyahu to win #Israel elections

14 Mar

On Tuesday 17th of March we will be holding elections here in Israel. kham-netan

One of the questions is: who would the leaders of Iran want to see as the winner?

I have always believed that Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei would very much like Netanyahu to win these elections. One of the main reasons (as I mentioned in this tweet in Hebrew last night) is that Iran would love to see the continuation of the current crisis between the governments of Israel and United States. This is a strategic win for Iran.

Today, Sadegh Ghorbani, a reporter based in Tehran tweeted who he believes Iranians would like to see as the winner of the upcoming Israeli elections, and why.

#Iran leader: Dear #Obama, what you need..

10 Mar

The Congress is fighting the Obama administration, with Congressmen trying their best to torpedo a Ali_Khamenei_(cropped).jpegpossible Iran deal, to end Obamacare and to create obstacles for every other initiative of the U.S President.

Not to mention the government Shut Down in 2013.

Iran leader Ayatollah Khamenei must be watching all this chaos in Washington and thinking:

Mr Obama, you are in desperate need of a Guardian Council.

🙂

#Iran: Rouhani’s most interesting speech to date

4 Jan
Hassan_Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani

Why?  

Most importantly because in his speech today, President Rouhani asked for or as the Financial Times put it, “threatened” to hold a referendum in Iran.

The Iranian president stated that Iran’s constitution allows such referendums for important issues such as economic, political, cultural and social related matters. Although he didn’t specifically say for which issue he wants a referendum, I think its safe to assume that he was talking about the nuclear program. This is right now the most important decision for the nezam or the system of the Islamic Republic to make.

So why would Rouhani call for a referendum?

Most probably because he is confident that the people would back his nuclear strategy, which is assumed to be more flexible than that of the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the hardliners around him.

Why propose a referendum now?

Here we are looking at two possibilities:

1 –  Rouhani is engaged in a behind the scenes tug of war with the hardliners regarding nuclear talks, and he believes that in a referendum the people would back him, thus tipping the balance in his favor.

2- give Ayatollah Khamenei a ladder to climb down from his current nuclear position. When it comes to face-saving, a referendum would provide the perfect excuse for the supreme leader. Ayatollah Khamenei could say that he didn’t want to compromise with the Americans, but as the people demanded otherwise, he had no other choice but to listen, “as he has always done” or so he could claim.

In the same speech today Rouhani also attacked monopolistic powers in Iran (in other words the Revolutionary Guards).

What next? – short-term

The Revolutionary Guards and the hardliners are not going to sit still. Rouhani should expect retaliation from them, perhaps in the parliamenet. They could dismiss yet another one of his minister.

What next? – long-term

Difficult to say. But if Rouhani feels confident enough to challenge the IRGC and the hardliners to a referendum, then it seems he is not as passive as some believed he was going to be (regarding the nuclear program). It also seems that the people could live with what the hardliners call “a bad deal”.

Video: Ruling #Iran – The Life of Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei

21 Oct

To date, most of what we know about the life of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei comes from Iran’s state media. As useful as it may be, we have to remember that the media in Iran is heavily censored.

As the most powerful man in Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei’s background and experiences are important for Iran watchers around the world. After all, it is our experiences which make us who we are today.

The BBC documentary below is one of the few investigative programs which has been made about the life of Ayatollah Khamenei.

In it, members of his family (who now live abroad), his former cell mate and other figures who have met him are interviewed.

This documentary was made in 2011. In my opinion, it is by far one of the most informative documentaries made about the life of the man who has the last word regarding Iran’s nuclear program.