A hardline Iranian newspaper close to the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei implied that Iran’s officials who were over 80 years old should resign. Citing the recent resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe at 66 due to his lack of physical ability, Jomhouri Islami said that there were over 80-year-old officials in Iran who held “critical responsibilities” despite their immobility.
“We currently have officials who are over 70 and dream of getting higher posts. We have officials in their mid-70’s and 80’s who have dozens of posts and are still trying to get other posts,” the daily wrote yesterday in a commentary.
Jomhouri Islami did not cite any regime officials by name, but there is footage of Mohammad Yazdi, a member of the Guardian Council and Expediency Discernment Council, who is immobile and sits in a wheelchair. The 89-year-old cleric was recently appointed as a member of the Assembly of Experts, the deliberative body empowered to appoint and dismiss the Supreme Leader of Iran. All the members of the Assembly must be Ayatollahs and are over 60 years old. The oldest member of the Assembly was Ibrahim Amini, who died last April at the age of 95.
The commentary criticized those in the regime “who are over 90 years old and are still clinging to their posts” asking them to learn from Japan’s Prime Minister.
One such official is the infamous 93-year-old cleric, Ahmad Jannati, who still holds top posts in the Islamic Republic as the chairman of both the Assembly of Experts and the Guardian Council.
Iranians ridicule the ancient cleric, who stumbles when quoting verses from the Quran, and call him “the cleric that doesn’t die” and a “dinosaur”. Dozens of photoshopped images of Jannati during the ice ages, holding a dinosaur, or sitting behind Napoleon on his horse can be found on the internet.
Jomhouri Islami also cited the Law Banning the Employment of Retired Individuals and said that not even this law was able to “persuade those who cling to power to step down”.
“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 commentary said.
The Law Banning the Employment of Retired Individuals was approved by parliament in August 2018. However, during the implementation process, reports showed that several retired officials continued their work with Khamenei’s blessing.
According to the reports, Khamenei approved that retired officials continue their work in the regime’s state-run TV, the Judiciary, the Security Council, the ministries of Intelligence, Oil, Health, and the Atomic Energy Organization.
Khamenei himself is now 83 years old and has been Supreme Leader for 32 years. The regime’s President Hasan Rouhani, considered somewhat young by regime standards, is 73 years old.