Iranian hardliners have lashed out at Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who released a scathing attack that hinted at plans for the supreme leader’s son to succeed his father.
In a front-page note WednesdayTehran’s hard-line daily Kayhan, which is linked to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, called Mousavi “the delusional old man” and “the leader of the riot” and accused him of “fully supporting Israel and Da’esh”, but made no mention of it his warning of alleged plans to name Khamenei’s enigmatic son Mojtaba as his successor.
Mir-Hossein Mousavi, a prime minister in the 1980s who has been under house arrest since February 2011, warned the nation on Tuesday about the alleged “hereditary leadership” system.
Mousavi said there were regime loyalists who had suggested that the panel of experts, whose members are to appoint the country’s future leader, would choose Mojtaba Khamenei as the next leader of the Islamic Republic and “leader of the world’s Shia,” a title Khamenei now holds carries. “May their tongues dry! The 2500 year old monarchies revived this [they are now talking about] succession of sons [to leadership] after their fathers?”
Looking at Mousavi’s criticism of Iran’s support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and other regional activities that Javanese newspaper affiliated with the IRGC Tasnim news agency also attacked Mousavi but did not mention his warning about Khamenei’s succession. also demanded Tasnim that the Reformist Front and its leaders, including former President Mohammad Khatami, break their silence and condemn “Mousavi’s terrorist statement”.
Mojtaba Khamenei with former IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani
For nearly two decades, rumors have circulated about Mojtaba Khamenei’s ambitions to succeed his father. Khamenei and other officials have never commented on the rumours. “Why don’t you deny the rumors if you don’t think about Mojtaba’s accession to the throne?” asked Mousavi.
Mussavi’s note has revived rumors about the activities of Mojtaba Khamenei and his alleged ambition to succeed his father, for which he urgently needs to qualify as an ayatollah by leading sources of imitation (grand ayatollahs). He is still only recognized as Hojjat ol-eslam, a much lower rank in the Shia clerical hierarchy, among the top clerics of Qom, the center of Iran’s religious seminaries, where he teaches theology.
Mojtaba, 53, is the second eldest of Khamenei’s four sons. He is an enigmatic figure who holds no public office in government and is rarely seen in public, but reportedly has much more influence than the leader’s other sons in powerful organizations such as his father’s office and the Revolutionary Guards intelligence organization (IRGC ) exercises. Mujtaba’s close associate Hossein Taeb, a former combatant in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), was removed from office as head of SAS in June.
Mojtaba Khamenei is also very influential in the country’s propaganda machine including the state broadcaster (IRIB)and behind-the-scenes political dealings.
In November 2019, the 40th anniversary of the US embassy kidnapping, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on nine people from Khamenei’s inner circle, including Mojtaba.
The 81-year-old Mousavi, who served as the Islamic Republic’s first prime minister from October 1981 to August 1989 under then-President Ali Khamenei, was placed under house arrest nearly two years after the disputed 2009 presidential election, when incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner suspicious circumstances at Mousavi’s expense.
During the protests that followed, protesters often chanted against Mojtaba Khamenei, for whom they were blamed interference in the elections, to bring Ahmadinejad to power and crackdown on protesters. “Die, Mojtaba, may you never gain leadership”.