Rumors say Ayatollah Khamenei in coma

Rumors claim Ayatollah K

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei might be in a coma, according to a well known American foreign policy expert. Basing his October 13 entry in the blog-site not on rumors "floating around the net for the past day or so" but rather on information from "a person who is in a position to know such things," Michael Ledeen has added his significant voice to the choir of speculation on Khamenei's deteriorating health, while not ignoring his own premature report of Khamenei's death earlier this year. Ledeen, who in addition to Iran specializes in Italian fascism and the Cold War, and has worked as a consultant for various US government bodies, cites his "excellent" source as saying that on Monday, the Ayatollah collapsed and was taken to his "special clinic." Since then, the only people allowed near him are his son and doctors. His status was reportedly "in the hands of the gods." Khamenei's medical condition, says Ledeen, "had already seriously deteriorated over the last months, aggravated by his nervous condition due to his inability to solve the problems created by his manipulation of the election results and the refusal of a large part of the population to accept this," as well as "his loss of religious authority by means of the repeated condemnations of events by senior clerics." "Speculation is… that he may not come out of his coma and/or that he may die very soon," Ledeen further adds, which would immediately spark "a bloody clash" between the powers behind former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani, "who will immediately claim temporary religious authority and overall control," and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "who will scramble in order to regain control and ensure [the regime's] survival." Ledeen also updated his entry on Wednesday with news of rumors in the Teheran Bazaar that Khamenei died and a reportedly "abnormal atmosphere" in the city.