The widely circulated news concerning the death of the Friday Prayer Imam of Ahvaz and representative of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in oil-rich Khuzestan province has been denied by his office.
A website in Iran cited Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Mousavi Jazayeri's representative on Tuesday, February 12, as saying, the 78-year old cleric is currently visiting England, "expanding" on the "ideals of the Islamic Revolution."
He is in good health, the representative has insisted, adding, "The purpose of his travel to England has got nothing to do with medical treatment."
Mousavi Jazayeri is a close ally of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
As a rule, the Ahvaz prayer leader prefers to stay away from media, but he was pushed under the spotlights when on December 10, 2018 enraged workers of Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG), in Ahvaz, poured into the streets to demand their long overdue wages, protesting their "unbearable" working condition".
Wearing white death shrouds, the frustrated workers marched through the streets of Ahvaz and held an assembly outside Mousavi Jazayeri office, chanting slogans against him. Apparently, he decided law enforcement to stay out of the way of the workers and no confrontation took place.
The representative of the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader in Khuzestan was once again on the center stage when n 22 September 2018, militant gunmen targeted a military parade in Ahvaz in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Iran.
Mousavi Jazayeri, who was watching the parade from a special stand, was rushed out of the scene by his bodyguards.
Furthermore, he was once again in the news when a photo widely circulated on social media, showing him attending a feast abundant with gourmet food.
Mousavi Jazayeri's visit to England for “expanding” on the “ideals of the Islamic Revolution” is another example of state-sponsored ayatollahs occasionally visiting Europe mainly for medical treatment and check-ups. Most of such visits take place in utmost secrecy.
While the citizens of the Islamic Republic are frequently denied entry visas to Western countries, social media users have bitterly complained that clerics are readily granted entry.
However, when it was leaked in November 2018, that former Iranian head of judiciary (1999-2009) Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi was receiving medical treatment at a hospital in Hanover, Germany, hundreds of Iranian dissidents rushed to the hospital to protest, demanding Germany’s justice ministry to charge the ayatollah with crimes against humanity.
The German government took no action and the 70-year old ayatollah returned to Iran.
Hashemi Shahroudi, who died last December was accused of playing a major role in the harsh treatment of political prisoners and the extra-judicial killings of thousands of detainees.