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Will Ghalibaf Be the Successor to Khamenei?

Iran as part of the new Russian Empire

Thursday 11 February 2021

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Yesterday, the Speaker of the Iranian parliament, Mohammad Baqer Ghalibaf (Qalibaf), had just returned from a three-day trip to Moscow. On his return, he announced with horns that his country will soon join the Eurasian Union (EAEU), which would be a sure way of making Iran a part of the new Russian empire that Putin is reconstituting. By this, the Russians are succeeding in doing what they have not been able to achieve in more than two centuries, namely to integrate Iran into their dominion.

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf
Former military officer, formerly Iran’s Chief of police from 2000 to 2005 and commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Air Force from 1997 to 2000. He also held office as the Mayor of Tehran from 2005 to 2017.

Since his accession to power, Vladimir Putin has been meticulously advancing his plan to make Iran a satellite fully under Russian control, just like Tajikistan or Armenia. However, following the execution of General Soleimani by the US army under the express order of President Trump, this plan had come to a standstill. You might ask “Why”? Simply because the late General was a key part of it.

General Soleimani enjoyed an excessive media coverage compared to his real feats of arms, which were largely myths rather than realities. He was a handsome man and very photogenic. Putin had invested a lot in him to make a successor to the Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei when the time came.

Anyone who knows Russia knows the Russians’ aversion to Islam. For Putin, there is no question that a fundamentalist country like the Islamic Republic of Iran integrate the EAEU with the present state of its institutions. The fact that Iran is Shiite does not change anything in the equation.

Putin has been preparing for the change for a long time. Ahmadinejad, the first non-clerical President in decades, was part of this process. However, in spite of his striking statements, Ahmadinejad did not have the stature and character to make the big leap. The Russians needed a military like Soleimani.

The real motivation for the suppression of Soleimani is most likely the will to thwart Putin’s plan.

Today the Russians need a substitute who, in my opinion, is none other than this Ghalibaf.

Sooner or later the Supreme Guide will no longer be around. Either he dies from his long illness or he retires for health reasons. There are rumours that he would leave for treatment in St. Petersburg. Either way, the function of the Supreme Guide will be abolished and a secular man like Ghalibaf will be placed as President for life, just like in Central Asia or Azerbaijan.

This scenario, if it will not help American affairs, will certainly relieve the Arab World, which will see Iran move away from the Persian Gulf to isolate itself in the Caspian Sea.

That said, Persians are not easy and predictable, not to say reliable people. Russians and Anglo-Americans have largely experienced this in the past. ■

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