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’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned that the “new world order is emerging” and that “Iran will have a strong role in creating” it, according to a Farsi language transcript of Khamenei’s remarks late last week to the country’s Assembly of Experts.
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.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in Turkey this week for the first official high-level meeting in nearly 20 years, sparking speculation that the two nations are growing closer as a means to offset U.S. power in the region and further solidify a deal meant to skirt U.S. sanctions on Tehran.
Egypt has extended an invitation to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to attend the inauguration of newly installed President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, according to Reuters.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is demanding that the Obama administration pay Tehran reparations for “hostile policies” that have cost the Iranian people “much loss and damage,” according to the country’s state-run media.
A leading Iranian cleric said during Friday prayers in Tehran that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani should punch President Barack Obama “in the mouth when he talks nonsense,” according to a Middle East media monitoring organization.