Iran’s top leader hands over power to his son when health deteriorates

Iran’s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has delegated authority to his son because of concerns about a deteriorating health condition and the country facing heightened tensions between Israel and the United States.

Iranian journalist Mohamad Ahwaze reported the main political move on Twitter, citing the country’s sources. Writing in Arabic, Ahwaze said that Khamenei handed over power to his son, Mojtaba Khamenei.

“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani should have met with Iranian leader Khamenei on Friday, [Khamenei] and President Rouhani was resigned due to the deteriorating health of Khamenei, “Ahwaze wrote.

Ahwaze explained that the cause of the top driver’s ill health is unknown, according to Khamenei’s allegations of seniority. Newsweek he could not confirm it on his own, but suggested it because of prostate cancer. Khamenei reportedly deteriorated overnight.

The political and religious leader is said to step down amid increased tensions between Iran and Israel after the assassination of Iranian chief nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on 27 November.

Iranian officials have blamed Israel for killing Fakhrizadeh and promised retaliation. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has warned of “severe revenge and punishment.”

The United States and Israel are strong allies, and the Trump administration has supported Israeli policy in the region in the past. President Donald Trump’s decision to conclude a key nuclear deal with Iran has also lifted tensions in recent years.

Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo visited Israel less than two weeks before Fahkrizadeh’s death. Israel has not confirmed whether it is responsible for the assassination of Fahrkrizadeh.

The death of the scientist and the reaction of Iranian leaders appear to have exacerbated the regime’s pre-existing political divisions. In particular, the instability of the IRGC is seen as a potential threat to Israel as the group seeks to achieve its own goals amid a potentially changing political situation.

Israel’s National Security Council warned on Friday that the country’s citizens and foreign facilities could be put at risk following Fakhrizadeh’s assassination and Iran’s stated intention.

“In the light of recent threats from Iranian elements and in the light of past involvement of Iranian elements in terrorist attacks in various countries, it is a matter of concern that Iran is trying to take action against Israeli targets in this way,” the council said in a statement. .

“It is possible that part of the current Islamist wave of terror will reach targets identified with or with Israel [with] Jewish Communities, ”the statement continued, citing“ synagogues, kosher restaurants, and Jewish museums ”as potential targets.

This article was updated to note that Newsweek was unable to independently confirm Khamenei’s transfer of power.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran
Ali Khamenei is wearing a protective mask in a manuscript image issued on October 24 by the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah as he speaks at a national staff meeting in the capital, Tehran, to discuss the new coronavirus epidemic. crisis. Khamenei handed over his power to his son.
KHAMENEI.IR / AFP / Getty Images