February 23, 2010

WITH KHOMEINI:

Iran’s reeling reformers find Khomeini family ally (BRIAN MURPHY 02/23/10, Daily Caller)

Hassan Khomeini’s name has begun to percolate — perhaps out of opposition frustration — as a possible guiding light as Iran’s internal turmoil moves toward its one-year mark in June.

“Hassan Khomeini’s story is not finished,” speculated Alireza Nourizadeh, chief researcher at the Center for Arab-Iranian Studies in London. “There is more to come.”

It’s another example of the extent of Iran’s fissures. Families at the heart of the theocracy have been left divided — or at odds with the leadership — after June’s disputed election and the bloodshed and outrage that followed.

Hadi Khamenei, the younger brother of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is a prominent adviser to pro-reform groups. Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani is a vehement critic of Ahmadinejad.

The Assembly of Experts led by Rafsanjani is the only group with the authority to dismiss the supreme leader, and supporters of the ruling system appear in firm control.

It’s clear, however, that Hassan Khomeini has the potential to make them nervous.

Iran’s hard-line Kayhan newspaper has denounced Khomeini for his “suspicious support” of opposition figures and hinted he was no longer fit to oversee the shrine to his grandfather or the institute dedicated to the ayatollah’s writings and speeches.

The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency has accused Khomeini of encouraging forces that seek to topple the system his grandfather founded.

In a rare public rebuttal, Hassan Khomeini complained last week that state media are manipulating the words of his grandfather. In a letter to the head of Iran’s state-run television, Khomeini accused the station of trying to link his grandfather’s comments about resistance to the Islamic Revolution to cast shadows on today’s opposition.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 23, 2010 7:07 AM
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