Mojtaba Khamenei

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Mojtaba Khamenei
Born 1969 (age 44–45)
Mashad
Nationality Iranian
Known for Son of Ali Khamenei
Religion Shia Islam

Sayyed Mojtaba Hosseini Khamenei (born 1969) is an Iranian hard-line cleric and a son of Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran. Mojtaba has reportedly taken control over the Basij militia being used to suppress the protests over the 2009 election and is also reported to be "being groomed" to succeed his father as Supreme Leader.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Mojtaba was born in Mashad in 1969 and is the second son of Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran.[3][4] After graduating from high school, he studied theology. His early teachers included his own father and Ayatollah Sayyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi.[3] In 1999, he continued his studies in Qom to became a cleric. Mesbah Yazdi, Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpayegani and Mohammad Bagher Kharazi were his teachers there.[3][5]

Activities and influence[edit]

Mojtaba teaches theology in the Qom seminary.[6] He was affiliated with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,[7] and supported Ahmedinejad in the 2005 and 2009 presidential elections.[8] However, in January 2013, Ahmedinejad accused him of embezzlement, indicating their alliance had ended.[9]

Journalists stated that he may "have played a leading role in orchestrating" Ahmadinejad's electoral victory,[1][3] and that he may be "a key figure in orchestrating the crackdown against anti-government protesters" in June 2009,[10] and directly in charge of the paramilitary Basij, a blackout of his name in the regime press notwithstanding.[1] In an open letter, Mehdi Karroubi, ex-chairman of the Majlis (parliament) and a reformist candidate in the 2009 presidential vote, explicitly accused Mojtaba Khamenei of participating in a conspiracy to rig the election, referring to illegal interference of "a network".[11]

Mojtaba is reported to have a strong influence over his father and is talked about as his possible successor.[1] This is thought by some to present a problem as the Supreme Leader is not a hereditary position but is chosen by the Assembly of Experts from among senior Shia Islamic scholars. "The strength of Mojtaba's personal following has not been demonstrated," and while he wears clerical robes he "by no means has the theological status" to rise to Supreme Leader.[1] Many conservatives, including the Revolutionary Guard hierarchy, support Mojtaba and oppose reformers who might question the financial management of the country and the billions of dollars conservatives use to support their regional political agenda. However, Mojtaba's religious and political stature may still not be enough for Ali Khamenei to one day just unveil his son as his successor.[8] He is also "widely believed to control huge financial assets".[1]

Personal life[edit]

Mojtaba is married to the daughter of former parliamentary speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel.[12][13] Wikileaks diplomatic cables argued that he was treated for impotency problem in the United Kingdom, leading to have a son born in 2007 whose name is Ali.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Borger, Julian (8 July 2009). "Khamenei's son takes control of Iran's anti-protest militia". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2009. 
  2. ^ Sahimi, Mohammad (20 August 2009). "Nepotism & the Larijani Dynasty". PBS (Los Angeles). Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d The Man in the Shadow: Mojtaba Khamenei, Tehran Bureau, 16 July 2009
  4. ^ Khalaji, Mehdi (February 2012). "Supreme Succession. Who Will Lead Post-Khamenei Iran?" (Policy Focus (No. 117)). The Washington Institute. Washington DC. 
  5. ^ Diba, Bahman Aghai (4 March 2011). "Supreme Leader of Iran and His Successor". Payvand. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Iran's Political Elite". United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Julian Borger (22 June 2009). "Mojtaba Khamenei: gatekeeper to Iran's supreme leader". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 June 2009. 
  8. ^ a b Jeffrey Fleishman (25 June 2009). "Iran supreme leader's son seen as power broker with big ambitions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  9. ^ Nikolas, Katerina (15 January 2013). "Ahmadinejad accuses Ayatollah Khamenei's son of embezzlement". Dijital Journal. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Jeffrey Fleishman (25 June 2009). "Khamenei's son: Iran experts say he plays key role in protest crackdown". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  11. ^ Shahir Shahidsaless (19 June 2009). "The IRGC shakes its iron fist". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  12. ^ Tait, Robert (26 February 2008). "Ahmadinejad favours his relatives". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 June 2009. 
  13. ^ Bazoobandi, Sara (11 January 2013). "The 2013 presidential election in Iran". MEI Insight 88. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Expat source's information and views on Mojtaba Khamenei". The Telegraph. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2013.