Mystery of missing ayatollah: Ali Khamenei’s three-week seclusion for work on nuclear deal with US

Should the allegation be true, see you in December. Should the allegation be true, expect Israel to be discouraged from an attack on Iran until roughly that time as well. Then once the said deal goes through, Israel will likely see it for the farce it is and once again be faced with the inevitable decision to strike or risk annihilation by a suicidal nuclear neighbor, allowing for both Obama and Iran to portray the Jewish state as the aggressor. As a rule of thumb in these times, if you want to guage somewhat which direction the situation will turn in the Middle East, usually whatever chosen option is worse for Israel will be the most accurate. War is still on the horizon simply because Israel cannot be forced into not defending its very existence.

Spy services world wide have been mystified by the unusual absence from public view of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for nearly three weeks. He was last seen in public on Oct. 5 visiting the military college in Tehran with army chiefs.

According to one theory, he suffered a relapse from a chronic ailment and was secretly treated in the small hospital installed at his home. Another suggested he had gone into seclusion to escape the furor raging in his regime over the future of Iran’s nuclear program and relations wit the United States.

This dissonance erupted most recently in conflicting statements issued Friday, Oct. 26: One official reported that 20 percent uranium enrichment had been halted – only to be contradicted by another.

Khamenei can’t just drop out of sight unnoticed like some other world leaders because he routinely officiates at a heavy schedule of political and religious events.

His absence was widely remarked, when he failed, for instance, to deliver the keynote sermon at the annual Eid, Festival of the Sacrifice, two weeks ago, with explanation.

Neither did he send his usual message to this year’s pilgrimage to Mecca.

The rumor that Khamenei was undergoing life-saving medical treatment in the privacy of his home was, according to debkafile’s Iranian sources, denied by recent visitors who found him to be in good health and active. They said he had gone into seclusion by choice, to immerse himself in the final evaluation and drafting of the trilateral US-Russian-Iranian accord for resolving the issues of Iran’s nuclear program.

They add that this accord is already secretly in the bag. But the three leaders have decided not to break the news too abruptly. President Barack Obama is expected to announce publicly in the third week of December that an initial understanding has been reached on the road toward a partial and gradual accord. Ayatollah Khamenei and President Vladimir Putin are planning to drop word of a final agreement unfolding in stages, to avoid shock effects in Tehran as well as in other concerned Middle East capitals, such as Jerusalem and Riyadh.

Full article: Mystery of missing ayatollah: Ali Khamenei’s three-week seclusion for work on nuclear deal with US (DEBKAfile)

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