Iran is on the cusp of experiencing a major political crisis as regime insiders jockey for power in what intelligence reports indicate is the coming end to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s 25-year reign as head of the country.
Khamenei, who rose to power as Iran’s second supreme leader in 1989, was in the hospital last week to undergo prostate surgery.
The heads of Iran and Russia’s state-run nuclear agencies discussed the construction of new nuclear plants in Iran during a meeting held on Friday around the same time that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, also sat down for a chat about Tehran’s ongoing nuclear negotiations with the West, according to regional reports.
Iran reportedly carried out the mass execution of 16 prisoners incarcerated in the Qezel Hessar Prison in Karaj early Monday, prompting outrage from dissident groups and bringing the total number of executions to over 800 since Iranian President Hassan Rouhani assumed office last August under the guise of being a moderate reformer, according to an Iranian opposition group.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at Israel in vitriolic terms on Wednesday, referring to Israel as a “festering Zionist tumor.”
Rouhani, who has been championed by Western media as a moderate reformer who could change Iran’s extremist ways, appears to be adopting a violent tone similar to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has advocated for the complete destruction of Israel in recent days.