News / Middle East

Iran's Supreme Leader Lauds Turnout at Anniversary Rally

Multimedia

Audio

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has praised the massive turnout for  Thrusday's government-backed rally marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.  Government supporters and opposition protesters had poured into the streets to mark the day, which was punctuated by sporadic clashes between protesters and police.

Iranian state TV read a message by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei thanking what he described as "tens of millions" of Iranians for turning out to mark the anniversary of the Revolution. The Ayatollah added that the demonstration should be a "wake-up call to domestic enemies and deceived groups that claim to represent the people."

The Ayatollah saved his harshest words, however, for Western nations, branding them "arrogant and bullying states that employ futile efforts to subdue the Islamic nation."

A vast sea of people was shown on state TV Thursday at Iran's official ceremony in Tehran's Azadi or "freedom" square. Opposition demonstrators also turned out, albeit in smaller numbers, and were pushed to the fringes of the official rally by a large security presence. Scores of clashes between opposition activists and police were reported in many parts of Tehran.

Both the Iranian press and state TV denounced foreign media coverage of Thursday's government rally, complaining that well-known broadcasters like the BBC and Germany's Deutsch Velle were downplaying the large turnout of government supporters. Iranian TV, for the most part, did not report on opposition demonstrations.

Voice of America, the BBC and Deutsche Welle have condemned Iranian authorities for what they say is the illegal jamming of their broadcasts to Iran. The international broadcasters released a joint statement on Friday accusing Iran of jamming their shared satellite.  

Iranian senior cleric Hojjatoleslam Kazem Sediqi leads Friday prayer at Tehran University on 12 Feb 2010
Iranian senior cleric Hojjatoleslam Kazem Sediqi leads Friday prayer at Tehran University on 12 Feb 2010

Hojatoleslam Kazem Sidighi, who delivered the official Friday prayer sermon at Tehran University harped on the media theme, denouncing foreign "enemies" and the foreign media:

He says that the propaganda of (Western) enemies from their newpapers, tv stations and their spies have tried to create conflict among the people, but they have failed.

Sidighi went on to laud Thursday's pro-government rally, saying that it had brought despair to the foreign "agents" that he alleged were behind Iran's popular opposition movement:

He said  that (people's) presence (at Thursday's government rally) brought despair to our enemies and hope to the downtrodden, as well as a renewal of life to the revolution and religion, after periods of doubt.

"From crisis and heresy, spring new life and an intensity of religious belief," he said.

The pro-government Fars News Agency attempted to discredit opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, by claiming that he had tried to "flee Tehran" by plane, Thursday evening, but was "blocked by hundreds of citizens" who prevented him from doing so.

Mehdi Karroubi, the other top opposition leader, was injured Thursday, after government supporters beat him, fired paint-balls at his entourage and smashed the windshield of his car. One of his sons was arrested, along with hundreds of other protesters.

Opposition websites claimed that many pro-government supporters were brought to Tehran by bus at government expense, showing a satellite photo of central Tehran, where hundreds of buses were parked. Opposition activists also claim to have seen government supporters "brawling over free food" handed out to reward them for attending the rally.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid