Corona kills Iran’s leaders … and “Atlantic” is asking: Where is Khamenei?


Source: Washington – Bandar Al-Doshi

Last week, Atlantic magazine said that the problem of coronavirus in Iran is much greater than is generally recognized, and that the actual number of cases may be hundreds of times greater than the official number, and the magazine placed a number of question marks about the suspicious disappearance of the Iranian guide Ali Khamenei.

The Washington Post had shown that satellite imagery showed mass graves in Qom, and it was reported that huge numbers of COVID-19 victims who had already died in that city were buried. Other regions in Iran complained that the area of ​​the graves had been carried out, and that in some cases more than one body had been buried in one grave.

As for the government, it is another issue, according to the magazine. Many Iranians will celebrate its downfall, and even its supporters have been watching the signs that the Corona virus will stimulate the changes that should have come long ago, but the regime’s authoritarian structure makes it almost impossible to do so.

The previous leadership change came in 1989, not as a result of a recent political process but because of Khomeini’s death, and his deputy Ali Khamenei took office and ruled since then and is now almost 81 years old.

Given the number of people killed, the news of the senior leaders ’illness continues to flow, and at some point the deep mullahs seat will dry up. Hashem Bathai Gulbayghani recently died, Member of the Leadership Council of Experts as a result of the virus.

And former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati announced last week that he had contracted the coronavirus, at the age of 74, and he was still cunning, and the chief adviser to Khamenei, who spoke to him regularly and personally.

In the event that my state dies because of the coronavirus, it will be the most important figure in the system to die since the killing of the Quds Force Commander of the Revolutionary Guard, Qassem Soleimani.

Of course, the center of all speculation is the Supreme Leader himself. Khamenei does not appear in public places often, even at the best of times, you should be somewhat fortunate to discover him – except on a few occasions where his appearance is so familiar that absenteeism will make everyone, allies and enemies, wonder if the coronavirus is I might drop it too.

from Iran
from Iran

And as it happens, one of the occasion is this week: the Persian New Year, or Nowruz, which this year coincides with the middle of the coronavirus season. Last year, Khamenei stood at the largest pilgrimage site in Iran, the tomb of Imam Reza in Mashhad, and gave a long speech almost like Fidel Castro detailing policies and plans.

This year, Iran canceled the speech 10 days ago, “due to health recommendations to prevent the spread of the Coruna virus.”

“Wasn’t Khamenei unable to deliver a speech from a studio? Is this not the ideal opportunity, on the first day of spring, to discuss the renewal process that Iran will have to undertake to restore its commitment to the ideals of its revolution?” The magazine asked.

For the past two weeks, speculation has been rampant. Certainly, to convey the rumors, Khamenei has the virus! Apart from these rumors and if he does not appear in good health in front of the camera this year, many will assume that he is under the delirium of fever somewhere.

And in any other year, such a absence could, in and of itself, raise speculation about a stroke or even a coup. (Imagine if the US president failed to appear in the State of the Union speech, or even on the occasion of the amnesty for the turkey on Thanksgiving). What might save Khamenei is the simple fact that the entire Iranian nation is suffering together, and it is not clear what health institutions are enough to compete with his leadership. Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers suffer from COVID-19, just as they do with civilians.

And in Iran, popular protests cannot simply happen on the streets as long as the workforce in those protests is trapped inside, and as long as morale is completely exhausted due to the task of burying loved ones, according to Atlantic magazine. The task of regime change may have to wait, at least the epidemic will eventually end, and with its end, change is another thing the Iranians are looking for.

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