Hossein Khomeini, son of Mostafa Khomeini and first grandson of Khomeini
[Iran Wire profiles Khomeini’s out-of-favor grandson, Hossein Khomeini, who endorses the separation of church and state, and is against clerics seizing the power in Iran.]
–Hossein Khomeini, son of Mostafa Khomeini and first grandson of Khomeini, is one of those sons of authorities who is out of favor in the Islamic Republic. The reason why he is out of favor is his disagreement with seizing the power by the clerics. In first presidential election [after the Iranian revolution], he supported Abulhassan Banisadr [Iran’s first president who was later deposed by Khomeini]. In a harsh speech in Mashhad in May 1981, he openly objected to the clerics’ pressure on Banisadr.
Two weeks after this speech, Khomeini, in a letter, ‘ordered him by sharia law’ to go to Qom’s seminary and withdrew from politics.
Safar Harandi (cultural advisor to IRGC chief commander): Imam [Khomeini] heard that he [Hossein Khomeini] had been arrested in Mashhad by IRGC forces. He had drawn a gun over IRGC forces. Imam had become really angry.
TV host: Imam’s grandson had drawn a gun?
Safar Harandi: Yes. Seyyed Hossein. Then he told late Eshraghi to tell IRGC forces to arrest him and send him to Tehran under protection, and if he wanted to make that mistake again and draw the gun, they were told to retaliate.
–After years of silence, in his trip to Iraq in 2005, he talked about the necessity of separation of religion and state, declaring his disagreement with velayat-e-faqih [guardianship of Islamic jurist]. At that year, he took a trip to the U.S. and gave a speech about the establishment of democracy even with the U.S. interference and Iran’s ties with terrorism. After returning from the U.S., he went to Qom again and was silent for a while. But then in interviews with foreign networks, he disagreed with velayat-e-faqih.
In his interviews, Hossein Khomeini said that left, right and nationalist parties must be active in the country and separate religion from the state.
Hossein Khomeini (interview with BBC in 2008): Now that 12th [Shia] Imam is absent, we are at the era of absence. Therefore, we cannot create Islamic religious state.
–Even though he is still not present in official politics of Iran, he has increased his criticisms against the Iranian regime.