Former IRGC’s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani (left) and Mojtaba Khamenei, the son of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Leaked Document Reveals Questions About Role Of Khamenei’s Son

Wednesday, 03/22/2023

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 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.

A sample page of the leaked document

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.” 

However, several other commanders defended Mojtaba Khamenei and the role he plays in the country's security.

The IRGC commander in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, Avaz Shahabi-Far, expressed support for Khamenei's son, alluding to a meeting attended by late Qassem Soleimani who praised him, 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. 

Mojtaba Khamenei, the son of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

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.

Defending young Khamenei's role, he said he receives reports of disobedience and selling military information on a daily basis, and added that Mojtaba can 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 be helpful.

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.

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of IRGC’s Aerospace Force, also supported the Supreme Leader's son. “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. 

Mojtaba Khamenei, the son of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Morteza Amoumahdi, the IRGC commander in the city of Esfahan (Isfahan), came in as a supporter, 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.

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