Iran Spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls for national unity after the anti-government protests of recent days. In his first Friday sermon in eight years, the most powerful man in the Islamic Republic also explicitly stood behind the Revolutionary Guards.
He warned the population against fraternizing with the United States, US President Donald Trump is a "clown" who only pretends to be Iranian
Support people. In the end, he would betray it and ram a "poisonous dagger" in the back of the nation, Khamenei said thousands of years ago
Believers in a Friday sermon, his first in eight years.
The recent protests have had no impact on the country's political course. "The Iranian people love and want to resist the world powers and not surrender, even 41 years after the revolution," said Khamenei. Millions of people took to the funeral service for the killed General Kassem Soleimani. Hundreds of people who insulted him with their slogans were deceived by enemy media abroad. They would not be able to change the will of the people, said the Ayatollah.
The Revolutionary Guard took full responsibility for shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane after the Iranian leadership had denied it for days. The shooting down of the plane, which killed all 176 people on board, and the late admission has sparked ongoing protests against the top of the state in Tehran and other cities, including Chamenei's resignation.
The Revolutionary Guards stood for the security of Iran, said Khamenei. He affirmed that the shooting was a tragic accident. The enemies of Iran tried to take advantage of this to weaken the Revolutionary Guards. He accused the demonstrators in Iran of wanting to downplay the US's killing of Soleimani. He accused the USA of a "terrorist nature".
Protests took place daily in Tehran between Saturday and Wednesday. Demonstrators have accused the government of attempting cover-ups related to plane shooting, among other things. On Thursday evening, dozens of riot police officers with batons and a tear gas cannon were deployed in northern Tehran.
Appeal to support the Revolutionary Guards
Numerous police officers were also deployed before the Friday prayer. The Iranian authorities had called for post-prayer rallies across the country to highlight believers' support for the Iranian Armed Forces and the Revolutionary Guard.
US forces killed the top Iranian general in early January with a targeted drone attack in Iraq. Iran then fired rockets at two US bases in the neighboring country. The Revolutionary Guards said they expected the USA to retaliate and confused the plane with a cruise missile. Trump refrained from announcing military retaliation.