Guest post by Jill Marie Parillo from Physicians for Social Responsibility.
The 50 year old grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini, Sayed Hassan Khomeini, has reportedly left Iran rather than bow to recent pressure that he attend Ahmadinejad’s upcoming inauguration ceremony. Sayed Hassan is a mid-level cleric who is also in charge of the beautiful and vast (5,000 acres) Mausoleum of his grandfather.
Sayed opposes the violent crackdown against protesters of this year’s election, claiming that violence is not a revolutionary value that his grandfather promoted in 1979.
“If a soldier wants to enter into politics, he needs to forget the military and the presence of a gun in politics, since this means the end of all dialogue.”
In a rare interview with Al-Arabiyya TV in 2006, Khomeini said that the current Iranian regime is “a dictatorship of clerics who control every aspect of life.” He claimed that the current government had the revolution all wrong, giving for example that his grandfather did not want to make women wear black head scarves, but give them the option to do so, or not. “I lived through the revolution, and it called for freedom and democracy,” he said.
Interestingly, Khomeini’s grandson has also said publicly that he does not support nuclear weapons in Iran. “Iran will gain [real] power if freedom and democracy develop there. Strength will not be obtained through weapons and the bomb,” he said.
It is unclear where he has gone to (perhaps a familial return to Neauphle-le-Château?). That being said, he could be in Iraq, having briefly fled there in July 2004 when threatened by the Iranian regime. While in Iraq he told Voice of America, “I’d be happy to do anything in this environment — everything from peddling in front of Hazrat Mooseh-Abn-Jafar (a religious site) to creating a theological school.” However, things in Iran have changed a lot for the worse since 2004, so he may go farther away–and he may have more on his agenda this time, as the movement for popular change in Iran continues to mount.