Analysts Assess Fallout From Wikileaks Revelations in Middle East
Voice of America

Former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani Sadr tells VOA that even Iranians appear to be captivated by the WikiLeaks revelations. He points out that a website that he is involved with translated the documents into Persian and that the site has received many visitors from Iran.

He says that much of the information in the documents is already well known, but the act of publishing the secret reports makes them official. For example, he says, Iranians know about the illness of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as well as the fact that he is worried about his own succession, but are less aware that former president Hashemi Rafsandjani was trying to replace him.

Bani Sadr mentions he recently heard from contacts inside Iran that Khamenaei hopes to impose his son Mojtaba as his successor. He adds that he believes the supreme leader visited the holy city of Qom three times recently in a bid to "distance Rafsandjani from the succession question."

He says that Iranians find the words of President Ahmadinejad to Abu Dhabi's prime minister about Tehran defeating the U.S. in Iraq and a final battle taking place in Iran proof the Iranian regime is trying to keep the country on the verge of war to paralyze the people and stop them from rising up to overthrow the government.

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