By Pooya Stone
A state-run newspaper in Iran that is linked with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has implied that officials over 80 should resign, citing that the recent resignation of the 66-year-old Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe due to poor health.
The Jomhouri Islami said that there are officials aged 70 or more who are still hoping to climb the political ladder, that some 80-year-old officials still hold “critical responsibilities” despite their immobility, and that some 90-year-olds “are still clinging to their posts”.
While the report did not name any regime officials, we will:
- Mohammad Yazdi, 89: He is a member of the Guardian Council, the Expediency Discernment Council and the Assembly of Experts*, which means he has a lot of sway over the laws that get passed in Iran and the appointment of the next Supreme Leader
- Ahmad Jannati, 93: He is the chair of both the Assembly of Experts and the Guardian Council, but frequently has issues quoting verses from the Quran. He is mocked by Iranians, who call him “the cleric that doesn’t die” and a “dinosaur”, as well as photoshopping him into images of dinosaurs, the last ice age, or historical figures like Napoleon.
- Even Khamenei himself is 83-years-old, having been Supreme Leader for 32 years
- President Hassan Rouhani is 73, so could be considered young by regime standards
*All Assembly members must be Ayatollahs and over the age of 60. Ibrahim Amini, was the oldest member until he died last April at 95 years old.
Jomhouri Islami cited the Law Banning the Employment of Retired Individuals, which was approved by parliament in August 2018, but said that even this failed to “persuade those who cling to power to step down” because reports showed that many retired officials continued to work “with Khamenei’s blessing”. The areas that these retired officials continued to work in, included:
- the regime’s state-run TV
- the Judiciary
- the Security Council
- the Intelligence Ministry
- the Oil Ministry
- the Health Ministry
- the Atomic Energy Organization
The article read: “The reason is that, firstly, this law was completely neutralized with numerous footnotes and exceptions, and secondly, it was not implemented properly, and every institution kept their desired officials in various positions under various pretexts, pressure and (bribes).”
The problem with all of these old men in power is that they do not represent the people of Iran, most of whom are under 40.