Senior Iranian clerics dismayed over Khamenei's son being groomed for leadership

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Washington, July 11 (ANI): Senior conservative clerics in Iran are concerned over Ayatollah Khamenei's alleged attempt to groom his son, Mojtaba Khamenei for leadership, who is leading the government's anti-protest militias, according to a report

The Guardian reports that, according to "a politician with strong connections with the security apparatus" in Iran, Mojtaba's leading role in the crackdown has dismayed many of the country's senior clerics, conservative politicians, and Revolutionary Guard generals."

"Mojtaba is the commander of this coup d'etat. The Basiji are operating on Mojtaba's orders, but his name is always hidden in all of this. The government never mentions him," an Iranian politician said.

"Everyone is angry about this. The maraji (Iran's most senior ayatollahs) and the clerics are angry; the conservatives are very angry and strongly critical of Mojtaba. This situation cannot continue with so many people on the top against it," The Chorstian Science Monitor quoted the report, as saying.

The Guardian's source adds, however, that the conservatives worry that overt opposition to the Ayatollah and his son risks undermining the Islamic Republic government and its power in the Middle East.

Instead, he says, they will use their political power to hamper the ability of the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad to govern.

Mojtaba's role in the crackdown is particularly noteworthy, as the Ayatollah has been grooming Mojtaba as his successor.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Mojtaba has become a key player in the bureaucracy that the Ayatollah created to consolidate his power, but an attempt to raise Mojtaba to the seat of supreme leader would face resistance from a large portion of Iran's clergy.

Analysts say Mojtaba lacks the religious and political stature to overcome the opposition he would face in the Assembly of Experts, the body charged with selecting the supreme leader.

His father is believed to have influence over about half of the assembly's 86 seats, but the board is headed by Rafsanjani and includes other reformists who probably would block a bid by the younger Khamenei to succeed his father.

The efforts of the Ayatollah and his son to consolidate power may be running afoul of the clergy in part because they appear to be contrary to Islamic law. (ANI)

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