I am told that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, was rushed to the hospital last night with an unspecified heart problem. I hope to have more later. His health has been bad for some time, and last spring he was told by doctors that he probably had little more than a year to live.
The usual caveats: Rumors from Tehran are often totally fanciful, and my own grandmother was given six months to live by a smart New York City doctor when she was 55, and she was delighted to attend his funeral 25 years later.
But if Khamenei’s condition is really bad, the succession struggle–which is already well under way, as the recent attempt to limit Ahmadinezhad’s first term as president demonstrates–would become a real circus.