Monday, January 08, 2007

Khamenei not dead..but close to it

Apparently the rumors of Ayatollah Khamenei's death were both premature and effective, because Iran’s Supreme Ruler appeared briefly on state TV today looking like death warmed over after suffering what has been described as a cerebral stroke last Wednesday...when my sources originally reported his death. Apparently it was a very near thing.

As soon as Khamenei suffered his stroke, he was taken to the emergency department of the Khatam Al-Anbia hospital, and he's now conscious again and can recognize the people around him. He has suffered extensive brain damage and was only saved by two European teams of specialists rushed into Iran who stabilized his condition enough so that he was able to appear briefly on TV today.

In the interim, Ayatollah Mohammed Reza Mahdavi Khani, a non controversial neutral figure, was appointed as a temporary stand-in for Khamenei .

Iran's Supreme Leader is in advanced stages of cancer of the digestive system, and the disease has now reportedly spread to his prostate. He won't be around too much longer, and will not be able to retain his leadership position.

As I surmised, Khamenei’s illness and near death was kept a close secret by the Iranian government to avoid conflict between various factions jockeying for power.

Iran appears to be headed for a period of confrontation and instability in the interim between Khamenei’s rule and the succession. No telling thus far which way things could go.

One of my sources told me that the rumors of Khamenei's death was considered good news by a lot of Iranians in Tehran, who posted the news via text messages. The baseji were reportedly stopping people in the streets and checking cell phones for these messages!

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