Who is Mojtaba Khamenei, before whom Iranian leaders bow?

Mojtaba Khamenei, before whom Iranian leaders bow

The current conflict in Iran is escalating rapidly, following the incident that claimed the lives of Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi and several state officials, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian. This has significantly intensified the struggle over who will succeed the current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.

The former Iranian president was one of the prominent figures within Iran’s ruling system and a disciple of Supreme Leader Khamenei. However, after his death, the name of Mojtaba Khamenei emerged, who in turn seeks to succeed his father as the Supreme Leader of Iran, a position generally considered more significant than the presidency.

So who is Mojtaba Khamenei?

Mojtaba Khamenei was born on September 8, 1969, the son of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. He participated in the First Gulf War, which erupted in 1980 and ended in 1988. Mojtaba shares his father’s ideological views, but the decisions he makes regarding foreign policy, nuclear armament, and shaping the course of social and religious issues will be crucial in determining whether the regime will survive.

Mojtaba does not have a high public profile, but the regime has long been accused of paving the way for him to assume power. Khamenei was against the idea of his son succeeding him as Supreme Leader because it could be seen as elevating to the level of hereditary leadership, which would provoke a strong reaction from the regime, as Tehran considers him the “Supreme Leader.”

Mojtaba began taking on some simple tasks for his father as Supreme Leader, and most importantly, he was very close to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the so-called revolutionary forces in the system that control many threads and seek constant confrontation with the West. He has been building networks of influence with powerful figures, especially with members of the Assembly of Experts, a body of 88 individuals responsible for selecting the next Supreme Leader.

Mojtaba has been studying Islamic jurisprudence under his father’s guidance in recent years, as well as reportedly studying “external jurisprudence” in Qom, which is a prerequisite for obtaining the degree of “ijtihad,” one of the qualities of the Supreme Leader according to the Iranian constitution.

Mojtaba played a key role in Iranian politics for at least 15 years, with presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi complaining of Mojtaba Khamenei‘s intervention in changing the results of the 2005 elections in favor of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the final hours of vote counting.

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