Iranian journalist reports on Twitter that Iran’s Supreme Leader has transferred his powers to his son due to health concerns.
Iranian journalist Momahad Ahwaze on Saturday claimed on Twitter that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has transferred his powers to his son as concerns about his failing health have mounted.
The tweet was in Arabic. Newsmax later quoted Ahwaze saying that Khamenei had handed power over to his son, Mojtaba Khamenei.
“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was to meet on Friday with the Iranian Leader Khamenei. But this meeting between [Khamenei] and President Rouhani was canceled due to the deterioration of Khamenei’s health condition,” Ahwaze wrote.
Ahwaze said that the cause of the Supreme Leader’s ill health was not known, but suggested it could be due to prostate cancer. Ahwaze claimed Khamenei deteriorated overnight.
While Khamenei has demonstrated signs of illness in the recent past, Newsmax noted it would be highly unusual for the Supreme Leader to transfer powers in this way.
If true, Khamenei would be stepping down amid increased tensions between Iran and Israel following the elimination of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on November 27.
Iran has accused Israel of directing Fakhrizadeh’s death, calling the incident an act of “state terrorism” and threatening to avenge his death.
Khamenei is notorious for threatening both the US and Israel. Earlier this year, he posted a tweet in which he threatened to implement the Nazi “Final Solution” against Israel.
After Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to those threats, Khamenei asserted that, in using the term “Final Solution”, he did not refer to Jews but rather only to the State of Israel.
Khamenei was later at it again, threatening that “the Zionist virus will not last long and the Zionist regime will not survive – and will be destroyed.”
Despite the uproar over the tweets, a Twitter official later asserted that anti-Israeli tweets by Khamenei are not a violation of the social network’s rules.