Iran leader’s surgery: What the media coverage reveals -BBC

The analysis of Iranian factional politics has often been compared to old-school ‘Kremlinology” which focused on the ‘Who’s Who’ of the Soviet Union. Western analysts would do things like look at pictures of officials in public gatherings to see who was sitting next to who and then speculate on whether that meant their political star was rising or falling. This is one of the most obvious cases of the same methodology being applied to Iran: who gets to kiss Khamenei’s forehead and who doesn’t?