Read Hitchens in this months Vanity Fair
Christopher Hitchens has a terrific article in this month's Vanity Affair about his recent trip to Iran. Hitchens was fortunate to spend some time with Hossein Khomeini, grandson of the famous Ayatollah.
Young Khomeini has been spending a good deal of his time in Iraq, where he has many friends among the Shia. He is a strong supporter of the United States intervention in that country, and takes a political line not dissimilar to that of Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani. In practice, this means the traditional Shia belilef that clerics should not occupy posts of political power. In Iranian terms, what it means is that Khomeini (his father and elder brother died some years ago, so he is the most immediate descendent) favors the removal of the regime established by his grandfather. "I stand," he tells me calmly, "for the complete separation of religion and state." In terms that would the heart of a neocon soar like a hawk, he goes on to praise President Bush's State of the Union speech, to warn that the mullahs cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons, and to use the term "Free World" without irony: "Only the Free World, led by America, can bring democracy to Iran."