Al-Monitor – When Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the final decision-maker on major matters of state, recently announced there would be a “second step” of the Islamic revolution, details were vague. However, on Feb. 11, Ayatollah Khamenei’s website published a comprehensive statement on the “second step.”
Accompanying the statement was an illustration of Ayatollah Khamenei taking a step forward while leading a group of engineers, scientists and athletes. The illustration went viral, as it contained only one cleric. Absent were the representations of the septuagenarian clerics who run most of Iran’s major power centers. The group surrounding Ayatollah Khamenei was exclusively made up of young individuals.
Ayatollah Khamenei’s second step thus appears intended to usher in a new generation of revolutionaries committed to the principles of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. These youths will carry the torch of the revolution, as the clerics who overthrew the monarchy 40 years ago age. The statement on the second step contains 41 references to the “youth.” This prompted media discussion and analysis on the roles of youths, particularly among conservative media outlets, which typically are more keen to advertise statements by Ayatollah Khamenei.