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Iran's supreme leader Khamenei's health issues raise succession bogey

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Tehran | September 25, 2022 10:00:47 PM IST
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made his first public appearance last week since falling ill earlier this month, however, it has now triggered fresh rumours about Khamenei's ill health prompting a round of questions about who might eventually succeed him, media reports said.

The rumours have raised questions about the eventual succession of the post of the supreme leader, which is for life.

His appearance in two weeks on September 17 was for a religious ceremony however he showed no sign of fatigue. However, a September 16 report said that Iran's supreme leader had "canceled all meetings and public appearances last week after falling gravely ill and is currently on bed rest under observation by a team of doctors," a media portal reported citing The New York Times.

"Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, canceled all meetings and public appearances last week after falling gravely ill and is currently on bed rest under observation by a team of doctors, according to four people familiar with his health situation," the New York Post reported in the report.

Khamenei, 83, has had serious health issues in the past, including in 2014 when he was treated for prostate cancer. Among the favourites in the running are President Ebrahim Raisi and the Supreme leader's son Mojtaba Khamenei, reported France 24.

The top job in Iran has changed only once - when Ayatollah Khomenei died in 1989 - since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, reported France 24.

The selection of the supreme leader is also dependent on the Assembly of Experts, a group of 88 Islamic scholars in charge of many of the leadership issues for the Islamic Republic.

At the time when Raisi was elected as president in 2021, everyone viewed this change of guards as a stepping stone for Raisi to rise to the position of supreme leader.

Raisi has occupied all the top jobs - from the head of the Imam Reza Shrine Foundation's vast financial operations to the head of the judiciary, the post he held before becoming president.

It is also worth noting that Khamenei himself was president when he was picked to become supreme leader in 1989. Another key advantage for Raisi is that he used to be vice president of the Assembly of Experts.

Another name that could be seen as the possible successor in the race is Mojtaba Khamenei. He is the son of the current supreme leader. The 53-year-old is seen as very discreet - but he is no less powerful for it. (ANI)

 
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