Editorial: Power Struggle In Tehran

Editorial: Power Struggle In Tehran

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 11:09 PM IST
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Late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi | X

The death in a helicopter crash of Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollanhian on May 19th has intensified the power struggle in that country. With the aging supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, likely to step aside soon, the all-powerful position too may be up for grabs. Raisi was widely believed to be a contender for that post along with the second son of Khamenei, Mojtaba, who would naturally have the blessings of his father. The latent power struggle over succession many people believe could be behind the “accidental” death of Raisi. Circumstances of the crash, especially when the other two helicopters returned untroubled, are a hot topic of speculation in Iran. Though external enemies of Iran figure in the conspiracy theories, but increasingly on the Tehran street the domestic hand is not being ruled out, especially in view of the supreme leader’s keenness to hand over the all-powerful position to his son. Not every Iranian was sad at the demise of Raisi. Ordinary Iranians too crave for the democratic freedoms and would want to be rid of the most stringent Islamic autocracy anywhere. But an all-pervasive fear and the use of brutal force has kept them suppressed. How and when the hold of Mullahs on the levers of power will end is hard to say but a prolonged internal power struggle can leave the regime weakened and vulnerable.

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