Mojtaba Khamenei

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Mojtaba Khamenei
Mojtaba Khamenei.jpg
Born (1969-09-08) September 8, 1969 (age 46)
Mashhad, Iran
Nationality Iranian
Alma mater Qom Hawza
Religion Shia Islam
Spouse(s) Zahra Haddad Adel (m. 2004)
Children 2
Parent(s)

Sayyed Mojtaba Hosseini Khamenei (Persian: سید مجتبی حسینی خامنه‌ای‎‎; born 8 September 1969) is son of Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran. He was involved in the Iran-Iraq war operations in 1980 to 1988.[1] Mojtaba reportedly took control over the Basij militia that was used to suppress the protests over the 2009 election.[2][3]

He's considered as one of the possible candidates of succeeding Ali Khamenei.[4][5] But this position is chosen only by the Assembly of Experts from among senior Shia Islamic scholars.

Early life and education[edit]

Mojtaba was born in Mashhad in 1969 and is the second son of Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran.[6][7] After graduating from high school, he studied theology. His early teachers included his own father and Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi.[6] In 1999, he continued his studies in Qom to become a cleric. Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi, Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani and Mohammad Bagher Kharazi were his teachers there.[6][8]

Mojtaba Khamenei and another members of Qom Seminary on 15 March 2016.

Activities and influence[edit]

Mojtaba teaches theology in the Qom seminary.[9] He was affiliated with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,[5] and supported Ahmedinejad in the 2005 and 2009 presidential elections.[10]

Journalists stated that he may "have played a leading role in orchestrating" Ahmadinejad's electoral victory,[2][6] and that he may be "a key figure in orchestrating the crackdown against anti-government protesters" in June 2009,[11] and directly in charge of the paramilitary Basij, a blackout of his name in the regime press notwithstanding.[2] 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".[12]

Mojtaba is reported to have a strong influence over his father and is talked about as his possible successor.[2] 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.[2] According to Los Angeles Times, Mojtaba's religious and political stature may still not be enough for Ali Khamenei to one day just unveil his son as his successor.[10] According to the Guardian, he is also "widely believed to control huge financial assets",[2] an allegation which was rejected as there were not even a single document proving it, according to the Assembly of the Forces of Imam's Line.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Mojtaba is married to the daughter of former parliamentary speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel.[14][15] He has a son born in 2007 whose name is Mohammad Bagher.[16] The couple's second child, a girl born in 2013, was named Mahdieh.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mojtaba Khamenei and Mahdi Hashemi". 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ Sahimi, Mohammad (20 August 2009). "Nepotism & the Larijani Dynasty". PBS (Los Angeles). Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Staff. "IRAN: EXPAT SOURCE'S INFORMATION AND VIEWS ON MOJTABA KHAMENEI, AND THIS SOURCE'S PITCH FOR USG FUNDS". Telegraph.co.uk. WikiLeaks. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Julian Borger (22 June 2009). "Mojtaba Khamenei: gatekeeper to Iran's supreme leader". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 June 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d The Man in the Shadow: Mojtaba Khamenei, Tehran Bureau, 16 July 2009
  7. ^ Khalaji, Mehdi (February 2012). "Supreme Succession. Who Will Lead Post-Khamenei Iran?" (Policy Focus (No. 117)). The Washington Institute. Washington DC. 
  8. ^ Diba, Bahman Aghai (4 March 2011). "Supreme Leader of Iran and His Successor". Payvand. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Iran's Political Elite". United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Jeffrey Fleishman (25 June 2009). "Iran supreme leader's son seen as power broker with big ambitions". Los Angeles Times. 
  11. ^ Jeffrey Fleishman (25 June 2009). "Khamenei's son: Iran experts say he plays key role in protest crackdown". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  12. ^ Shahir Shahidsaless (19 June 2009). "The IRGC shakes its iron fist". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  13. ^ Olfat pour, Mohammad Ali. "Why do they fear Mojtaba Khamenei". Assembly of the Forces of Imam's Line (Khabar Farsi). Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  14. ^ Tait, Robert (26 February 2008). "Ahmadinejad favours his relatives". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 June 2009. 
  15. ^ Bazoobandi, Sara (11 January 2013). "The 2013 presidential election in Iran" (PDF). MEI Insight 88. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  16. ^ "Expat source's information and views on Mojtaba Khamenei". The Telegraph. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2013.