A recently-leaked document on a meeting of senior IRGC commanders and clerics with the Supreme Leader has revealed contention about the role of Khamenei’s son Mojtaba.
The 44-page minutes of the meeting, leaked to media last week, contains citations of remarks by 45 IRGC commanders and clerics at a meeting at Khamenei’s office on January 3 on the anniversary of the death of Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by the US three years ago.
During the meeting, Yadollah Bouali, the Revolutionary Guard’s commander in the southwestern province of Fars, criticized interventions by the Mojtaba Khamenei and forces under his command, saying that such measures disrupt the security structure of the country. He added that changes at senior level positions based on the opinions of a small group can be “disastrous.”
The IRGC commander in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, Avaz Shahabi-Far, came in support of Mojtaba’s shadow role in the country’s security structures, alluding to a meeting attended by late Qassem Soleimani giving credit to Mojtaba. He said that after a meeting with Soleimani and the current Quds Force Commander Esmail Qaani, both were surprised by Mojtaba’s expertise regarding foreign issues and foreign threats to the regime. Calling him a “scholar in military science,” Shahabi-Far said, “I think that it is in the best interest of the country for him (Mojtaba Khamenei) to intervene and help in the matters he is allowed to.”
Mojtaba does not hold any official position in the country, but is said to be the de facto leader of the IRGC’s Basij paramilitary forces, who are tasked with suppressing any voice of dissent among regime forces.
Next to speak about Mojtaba’s interventions was Mohammad-Hossein Zibayinejad, also known as Hossein Nejat, another IRGC commander who served as the deputy for its Intelligence Organization and is currently the de facto commander of the IRGC’s Sarallah Base. Tasked with keeping Tehran secure, it is the most important IRGC ground force HQ in Iran consisting of several of its most important units, which protect key institutions and the offices of the government.
Nejat first slammed all the speakers who spoke out against the way the Islamic Republic is dealing with the current wave of protests, and then said anyone in the ranks of the IRGC who is not “ideologically or financially satisfied” with the status quo can resign.
Defending Mojtaba’s role, he then said he receives reports of disobedience and selling military information on a daily basis, and added that “the issue of Haj Agha Mojtaba, which our friends are arguing about,” is to help resolve such problems. Stressing that such problems should be delegated to IRGC’s Intelligence Protection Organization, and having someone like Mojtaba at the helm can facilitate such a move. Although it is not officially acknowledged, Mojtaba has a significant role in assigning and removing senior officials both in IRGC’s Intelligence Organization and IRGC’s Intelligence Protection Organization, two nominally separate institutions. The latter split from the former in 1984, and was restructured as an independent organization reporting to the Supreme Leader and tasked with IRGC personnel surveillance and combating espionage inside the IRGC.
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of IRGC’s Aerospace Force, also made some ingratiating remarks about Khamenei’s son, which seemed like a move to fawn over the Supreme Leader. “I personally appreciate the help of Haj Agha Mojtaba’s office in overcoming the problems of the air force, both in the supply sector and also… in obtaining better results,” he said.
Morteza Amoumahdi, the IRGC commander in the city of Esfahan (Isfahan), came in as another one of Mojtaba’s sycophant lackeys, saying that “the regrettable situation of the country is the result of ignorance, inefficiency and inability of (former president Hassan) Rouhani’s administration, and worse than that, the result of the current administration’s inefficient government.”
Amoumahdi went on to say that in a meeting with Mojtaba Khamenei where the IRGC’s commanders in Sistan-Baluchestan and Khuzestan provinces were also present, “we came to the conclusion that the managers appointed by the president in executive positions have led the country to this abrupt economic failure due to their incompetence and efficiency,” tacitly saying that Mojtaba can do a better job in managing the regime’s economic and political woes.
In July 2022, an Iranian news agency’s use of the title “Ayatollah” for Mojtaba Khamenei rekindled suspicions that he is being groomed to succeed his father as the Supreme Leader. The news agency used the title in an announcement about registration at Mojtaba Khamenei’s theology course, (kharej fiqh), at Qom seminary where he has been studying and teaching for a few years now.
Source » iranintl