Ali Khomeini, the grandson of the late leader of the Iranian revolution Ruhollah Khomeini, has immigrated to the city of Najaf in central Iraq.
“Khomeini’s grandson has left Iran to stay in the Iraqi city of Najaf to continue his religious activities and teach at Najaf’s seminary (Hawza) instead of Qom seminary,” Iranian Khabar Online news agency reported.
Najaf is the stronghold of Shia Muslims in Iraq and the place of residence of renowned Shia cleric, Ali Al-Sistani.
Mohammad Reza Naini, a close associate of Khomeini’s grandson, said the decision was natural as Ali aims to benefit from the vast teaching in Najaf.
He added that Ali may stay in Najaf for several years.
The 33-year-old is also the son-in-law of Jawad Al-Shahristani, Al-Sistani’s deputy.
Earlier in March, Khomeini’s other grandson, Hassan, criticised the Iranian regime, warning of the collapse of the country and the regime if the people’s demands were not met.
Iran saw nationwide protests in late December and early January over its worsening economic situation. The US imposed new sanctions on Tehran in August after unilaterally withdrawing from the internationally backed nuclear deal which saw the Gulf state face restrictions on its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions.