Running

Iran's Next Supreme Leader

4 days ago   |   By

On July 17, 2016, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei , Iran's supreme leader, turned 77. Rumors that he suffers from cancer have circulated for over a decade, and in 2014, the state-run news agency published photos of him recovering from prostate surgery. Although Khamenei's prognosis remains closely guarded, the Iranian government is evidently treating his succession with urgency. In December 2015, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani , a former president and a kingmaker, broached the usually taboo subject when he publicly admitted that a council within the Assembly of Experts, the body that selects the...
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How Deep Is Iran's State?

4 days ago   |   By

THE REFORMISTS FIGHT BACK
In “ Iran's Next Supreme Leader ” , Sanam Vakil and Hossein Rassam convincingly argue that the death of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will mark a turning point in the Islamic Republic. They are right that Khamenei desperately wants a smooth transition and is insisting that someone personally and ideologically close to him take over the helm once he dies.
But Vakil and Rassam err when they contend that “the deep state”-defined as “an intricate security, intelligence, and economic superstructure composed of underlings who are fiercely loyal to...
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