News / Middle East

Khamenei Lashes Out Against the West Ahead of Iranian Anniversaries

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday praised the 1979 Islamic Revolution for weakening what he called the tyrannical grip of oppressive powers. His words came a week before the nation celebrates the anniversary of last year's presidential election that was marred by widespread and deadly street protests.

The Supreme Leader addressed a Tehran crowd to mark Iranian women's day and the death of Fatemah, daughter of the Prophet Mohammed.

His popularity has reportedly waned significantly since last year's disputed June 12th presidential election, and analysts say Ayatollah Khamenei has been trying to bolster his image by recalling the legacy of Iran's revolution and its defiance of the West.

He said that the great and arrogant powers of the world are agitated by the victory of Iran's revolution and the personality of the Islamic republic's revolutionary founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He accused Western nations of plotting against Iran but said the country has defeated them.

Iranian government television showed old videos of Ayatollah Khomeini in what analysts say is a bid to reclaim legitimacy, after repeated popular challenges to the government.

Top opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi have applied for permits to protest on June 12 what they call the fraudulent re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, last year.

Dozens of students have been arrested during months of subsequent unrest and several of their leaders have reportedly gone on hunger strikes to protest the conditions of their detention. Student opposition websites complain of harassment by the government and of purges of students and professors.

Mehrdad Khonsari of the Center for Arab and Iranian Studies in London says the Iranian government and its leaders are struggling to mobilize their dwindling supporters to fend off opposition protests on June 12.

"Ayatollah Khamenei's major problem is that of trying to square the circle," he said. "He, on the one hand, wants to use the anniversary of the death of [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini [this week] to try to mobilize any semblance of public opinion in Iran that is still respectful or supportive of the initial phase of the revolution in order to build a momentum which can fend off the kind of public reaction that they are expecting on the 12th of June, which would be the anniversary of the presidential election, last year."

Khamenei is expected to lead Muslim prayers on Friday, a year after his decisive sermon in support of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election. His address will also mark the 21st anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid