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An opposition sister and the “rebel” environment that complicates the supreme leader of Iran

The protests that shake Iran for almost three months they have also fueled old family tensions that affect the highest levels of power. “My brother does not listen to the voice of the people and mistakenly considers that the voice of his mercenaries and money grabbers is the voice of the Iranian people”, said Badri Hoseini Khamenei, sister of the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei.

In a letter published through his son Mahmoud Moradkhani, who is in France, Badri says he hopes “to soon see the victory of the people and the overthrow of this tyranny that rules Iran.” “The regime of the Islamic Republic of Khomeini and Ali Khamenei has brought nothing but suffering and oppression to Iran and the Iranians. The people of Iran deserve freedom and prosperity, and their uprising is legitimate and necessary to achieve their rights,” the letter continued.

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Badri’s words echo the great riots that Iran has been experiencing since the death of the young Mahsa Amini after being arrested and being in the custody of the Morality Police for not wearing the Islamic veil properly. However, her rejection of her brother’s rule is nothing new.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting with government officials in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/AP/File)

strong opponent

Ali Khamenei He is the second son of eight brothers from an Iranian clerical family that in 1989 became ayatollah and supreme leader, the most powerful figure in the country.

The BBC explains that Khamenei fulfills the role of Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and has authority over the National Police and the Morale Police, whose dissolution was recently announced after the wave of protests.

The ayatollah also controls the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in charge of the country’s internal security, and its volunteer wing, the Basij Resistance Force. The Basij have repeatedly suppressed dissent in Iran. He is the person who has the most decision-making power on how to deal with the protests”, says the British media.

Meanwhile, his sister Badri belongs to a branch of the family historically opposed to Iran’s religious rulers. She was the wife of the revolutionary mullah Sheikh Ali Tehrani, who spent long periods in jail for his anti-regime activities.

In the 1980s, Ali Khamenei’s sister burned bridges with her family and fled to Iraq, during the war between that country and the Islamic Republic. Badri and her husband were part of the armed opposition organization People’s Mujahideen of Iran, until 1995 when they returned to Iran from their Iraqi exile.

In an article from May 1985, the newspaper “The New York Times” reports on the flight from Iran of Badri and her husband. “The woman, Badri Hussein Khamenei, said she and her five children had “illegally left Iran by road through a border crossing,” adding: “We have no passports.” She said that her brother had refused to help them.”, indicates the medium.

He said he fled so his three daughters and two sons could “join their father,” Sheikh Ali Tehrani, who was granted political asylum by Iraq in March 1984. He is known for his opposition to Ayatollah Khamenei, the Iranian leader.”, he adds.

She now lives in Tehran, but that hasn’t stopped her from being an opponent of her brother’s regime. “I oppose my brother’s actions and express my sympathy for all the mothers who mourn the crimes of the Islamic Republic regime, from the time of Khomeini to the current era of Ali Khamenei’s despotic caliphate”, he says in the letter released today.

The arrested niece

Badri’s daughter and Khamenei’s niece, Farideh Moradkhani, is also a headache for the regime. She was arrested in late November for criticizing the Iranian leader and the crackdown on protests and she has been in prison in the past for her activism against the Islamic Republic.

Following her arrest, a YouTube video was released in which Farideh Moradkhani urged “conscious people of the world” to support the Iranian protesters. The video was shared online by her brother.

Moradkhani is the closest member of the Supreme Leader’s family to be arrested. In the three months that the protests have been going on, at least 451 people have died, including 63 minors, according to the NGO Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA). Another 18,173 have been detained, the human rights monitor reports.

Moradkhani has become known as an activist against the death penalty. She was arrested in January this year, after having praised the widow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution, during a video conference. She was released on bail in April.

From France, his brother Mahmoud is active against the Khamenei regime and often shares his position on social media, describing himself as “the son of Ali Tehrani and the nephew of Ali Khamenei who is an opponent of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Source: Elcomercio

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