Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Mojtaba Khamene'i

RFE-RL looks at the important political role of Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i's son Mojtaba:
"Mojtaba Khamenei has a powerful unofficial position as the gatekeeper for all who want to contact his father. His role is reported to include acting as an interface between his father and the Office of the Supreme Leader.

"The office has an extended staff of thousands to arrange the supreme leader's meetings and keep him up to date on all political developments in the country. It does that by close contact with the supreme leader's own appointed representatives to the executive branch, the military, the provincial governments, and virtually all major revolutionary, religious, and cultural organizations.

"Mojtaba is widely credited with winning his father's endorsement for Ahmadinejad to run for president in 2005, when Ahmadinejad emerged from the shadows as a former mayor of Tehran but not a major national figure...

"Mojtaba, a reclusive figure in his 40s or early 50s, is said to be more hard-line than his father.

"Like Ahmadinejad, he represents a second generation of leaders determined to protect the Shi'a-led revolution from the moderating effects of time. Again like Ahmadinejad, he is said to share a taste for messianic rhetoric and Islamic fervor.

"There have always been allegations that Mojtaba -- given his father's total reliance upon him as a gatekeeper -- might be being groomed to succeed the supreme leader."



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