In Iran, A Fight Till The Bitter End

Speculation is mounting that Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei may high-tail it from Iran if protests against his theocracy intensify. An Iranian government memorandum, purportedly leaked by dissidents within Iran’s crumbling regime, allegedly states the Supreme Leader’s aircraft is ready for a quick departure to Russia. Opposition sources claim the Supreme Leader and his cohorts have stashed ill-gotten financial gains there and other countries. While it is unclear whether Khamenei has prepared for flight, it is safe to assume some thought has been given to the matter. Khamenei and his ilk apparently lead lavish lifestyles they seem loath to give up, and Iran’s leaders who have benefited from clerical governance are, at least for now, girding themselves for a struggle to the bitter end. Mullahs who still support Khamenei and the absolutism centered on velayat-e faqih (or the Islamic government) believe that “the office and the legitimacy of the Supreme Leader comes from God, the Prophet [Mohammed] and the Shiite Imams. The people do not give legitimacy to the Supreme Leader nor can they remove him. … The legitimacy of the Supreme Leader is from above.” Khamenei and his acolytes, therefore, view the Iranians seeking political, social and economic reforms not as discontent citizens or revolutionaries but heretics. In a nationally broadcast statement, one hardline member of the Assembly of Experts, Seyyed Ahmad Khatami, urged Iranians to “fight anyo… >>>

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