Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mojtaba Khamenei, Revolutionary Guard, Key to Power in Iran

From the Los Angeles Times, "Iran supreme leader's son seen as power broker with big ambitions":

There are few anecdotes about him, and pictures, at least ones that have appeared in public, are scarce. But Mojtaba Khamenei, the son of Iran's supreme leader, wields considerable power and is a key figure in orchestrating the crackdown against anti-government protesters, analysts say.

The younger Khamenei operates tucked behind an elaborate security structure, an overlapping world that stretches from Iran's Revolutionary Guard corps to the motorcycle-riding Basiji militiamen.

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 ....

"Mojtaba's hands are well into the [Revolutionary Guard] hierarchy," said Said Idriss, an Iranian expert with Cairo's Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. "Like all conservatives, he is keen not to let any reformers reach power because then many questions will be raised regarding the financial management of the country and the billions of dollars conservatives use to support their regional political agenda.
The video above, from Al Jazeera, on the Revolutionary Guards, discusses the monopoly on the use of force in Iran.

Despite rumors of dissension, the police apparatus appears unified and in full control. From Con Coughlin, "
Is Iran's Ruthless Crackdown Working?":
The effectiveness with which Iran's security forces have dealt with the worst outbreak of political violence since the 1979 Islamic revolution illustrates the scale of the challenge faced by the Green Revolution's supporters in changing the way the country is governed.

From the moment Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader, issued a stark warning declaring the protests to be illegal, the regime has moved quickly and forcefully to suppress the pro-reform movement.

And, to judge by the diminishing numbers of protesters who are prepared to risk their lives demonstrating against the result of the recent presidential election, the tactics appear to be working.
More at the link, and also the BBC and Memeorandum.


Rusty Walker said...

Thanks, Donald. Good info, bad news. I didn't know about Mojtaba Khamenei, the son. Sounds as insidious as Saddam Hussein family foothold.