Khomeini’s Son Dead After Six Days in Coma
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Ahmed Khomeini, the son of Iran’s late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, died today, six days after a massive heart attack left him in a coma. He was 50.
Khomeini ``left for heavenily abode today, plunging the nation into gloom,″ said the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
A cleric and politician, Khomeini suffered cardiac arrest Sunday and was pronounced brain dead after his admission to Baqiyatollah Hospital in north Tehran, said the news agency, monitored in Cyprus.
A 30-member medical team struggled to keep him alive, but his condition deteriorated, with his blood pressure fluctuating out of control and his liver, kidneys and lungs failing, the agency said.
Khomeini died late Thursday, several hours after being put on life support machines, Dr. Hassan Arefi, the head of Khomeini’s medical team, told IRNA.
Arefi was assisted by a British physician, identified as Dr. Simon Parsons, who flew to Tehran Sunday night.
After years of living in his father’s shadow, the younger Khomeini had been expected to seized power following the ayatollah’s death on June 3, 1989.
Instead, he kept a low profile, apparently seeking to act as a power broker rather than pursue the political ambitions he was known to harbor and which his father had curbed.
Ahmed Khomeini had been his father’s eyes and ears in exile and through the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
But many considered Ahmed Khomeini weak and easily influenced. His alliances, like many in Tehran politics, switched several times over the years.
Ahmed Khomeini was the younger of two sons. In 1974-75, the elder Khomeini, then in exile in Iraq, sent Ahmed and his brother, Mostafa, to Lebanon for military training with Palestinian guerrillas outside Tyre. Mostafa was later killed in a car crash in Iraq.