The choice came as no surprise: a longtime supporter and former student of Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, 85, he has long been considered the aging Iranian leader's heir apparent. Khomeini's son Ahmed has occasionally referred to him that way, and his picture has been displayed prominently alongside that of Khomeini throughout Iran. Now Ayatullah Hussein Ali Montazeri, 62, has formally been designated by the 83-member Assembly of Experts, or senior theologians, to succeed Khomeini.
Montazeri's appointment caused some unease in Tehran's ruling circles, where there are sharp divisions on how to manage the country's stagnant economy. Montazeri is the youngest of Iran's handful of Grand Ayatullahs and has an undistinguished reputation as a religious scholar. Considered more of a pragmatist than Khomeini, Montazeri is also said to lack his mentor's charisma and oratorical skills. The timing of the announcement did not appear to coincide with any worsening of Khomeini's health. Last Saturday the Ayatullah stood in public for 30 minutes to deliver a speech marking the Prophet Muhammad's birthday. Khomeini walked comfortably and unaided.WEST GERMANY Twice Bought, Twice Bombed
The American post exchange in Frankfurt is reserved for U.S. servicemen and their dependents, and patrons must pass through a military-police checkpoint to enter. No such restrictions apply to the vicinity around the PX, however, and it was there last week that terrorists struck. As customers went about their pre-Thanksgiving shopping, a bomb hidden in a car parked about 250 yards from the PX exploded, injuring 35 people, most of them Americans. The attack was the 19th this year against U.S. military posts in West Germany. On Aug. 8, two Americans were killed and 20 injured at the Rhein-Main Air Base in a car bombing claimed by the terrorist Red Army Faction.
The booby-trapped 1975 silver BMW used in the most recent bombing came from the same used-car lot as the vehicle involved in the Rhein-Main attack. It was purchased for cash one day before the explosion by two men, one of whom had a Moroccan passport and may fit the description of a suspect in the August bombing. The second man mentioned planning to drive to Morocco. Some West German authorities speculated that the RAF was working with terrorists from the Middle East.