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Terrorism & Security

Is Khamenei's son leading Iran crackdowns?

A report says senior conservative clerics are concerned over Ayatollah Khamenei's alleged attempt to groom his son for leadership.

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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. Abbas Milani, the director of Iranian studies at Stanford University, writes for The New Republic that the Ayatollah has attempted to change Iranian government priorities from a religious focus to a nationalist focus.

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[Ayatollah Khamenei] introduced the concept of
maslaha

– interests of the regime – and declared, much to the consternation of nearly every other ayatollah, that these interests, as determined by him or his successor, would supersede even the fundamentals of Islam. In other words, the state was everything – and sharia [Islamic law] was nothing but its legitimizing narrative, a narrative that could be suspended at the will of the leader.

Mojtaba may also be involved in the recent souring of diplomatic relations between Iran and Britain. The British government, as part of the international sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, froze $1.64 billion in Iranian assets last month, reported Reuters.

Unsourced reports, referenced by The Guardian and Iran portal site Payvand.com, say that the money belongs to Mojtaba, and as a result may be a factor in Iran's detention of several British embassy employees in Tehran. Earlier this week, Iran released the eighth of the nine employees held, leaving only the embassy's chief political analyst, an Iranian, still in detention.

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