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Is Khamenei's son leading Iran crackdowns?

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As protesters return to the streets in Iran to demonstrate against Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the results of the recent election, a new report says that Mr. Khamenei's son, Mojtaba Khamenei, is leading the government's anti-protest militias.

The Guardian reports that, according to "a politician with strong connections to the security apparatus" in Iran, Mr. Mojtaba's leading role in the crackdown has "dismayed many of the country's senior clerics, conservative politicians, and Revolutionary Guard generals."

"Mojtaba is the commander of this coup d'etat. The basiji are operating on Mojtaba's orders, but his name is always hidden in all of this. The government never mentions him," the Iranian politician said. "Everyone is angry about this. The maraji [Iran's most senior ayatollahs] and the clerics are angry, the conservatives are very angry and strongly critical of Mojtaba. This situation cannot continue with so many people on the top against it."

The Guardian's source adds, however, that the conservatives worry that overt opposition to the Ayatollah and his son risks undermining the Islamic Republic government and its power in the Middle East. Instead, he says, they will use their political power to hamper the ability of the Ayatollah and Mr. Ahmadinejad to govern.

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