Friday Prayers Across Iran: Pay slip scandal, nuclear deal, and MEK gathering

17 July 2016 | 00:30 Code : 1961281 General category
Friday prayers on July 15, 2016.
Friday Prayers Across Iran: Pay slip scandal, nuclear deal, and MEK gathering

This week's Friday prayers across Tehran revolved around three common themes: The lingering payslip scandal, the nuclear deal (it's anniversary on July 14, 2015), and the terrorist group Mojahedin-Khalgh rally in Paris which angered Iranian officials.


In Tehran, Ayatollah Emami Kashani slammed the "unfair" salaries paid to senior banking and insurance officials in the government, calling it a "catastrophe" that has to be seriously dealt with. In Ahwaz, center of Khuzestan Province, Friday prayers' sermonizer Ayatollah Heydari also addressed the astronomical payslips. "Aristocracy should be wiped off the face of the establishment" he said. In Abadan, also in Khuzestan, Friday prayers' leader Ali Ebrahimipour stated that such high payments to public officials "violate revolutionary ideals and create a class difference that undermines the foundations of the revolution." Ebrahimipour also said that such payments "embarrass Iran on the international stage." In Khorramabad, center of the western Lorestan Province, Ghassem Mottaghinia called officials who had received such hefty payments "traitors" to ideals of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and called for an indefinite ban against them on public service.


On the anniversary of the historical nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers, Friday prayers' sermonizers did not forget to question the nuclear deal, JCPOA, and the United States' real intentions. In Yasouj, southwestern Iran, Ali-Asghar Hosseini reminded his congregation that while Iran has fulfilled its commitments in the JCOPA, the US had reneged on its promises, and imposing new sanctions under the excuse of Iran's missile program and violation of human rights. "Some make the claim, either because of their naiveté or intentionally, that negotiations with the United States solve many of Iran's problems" he said. "This is a baseless claim." In Qazvin, Abdolkarim Abedini was critical as usual of the nuclear deal, calling the JCPOA a "bitter, poisonous soup that is brewing on the fire of promise-breaking and lies". Abedini slammed JCPOA advocates for trying to stimulate Iranians' appetite to eat the metaphorical soup.


Last week's rally by the opposition group Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MEK), for long listed as a terrorist group by the West, was also on the agenda of Friday prayers' leaders. The annual rally was attended by a number of senior American politicians, but more importantly Turki Faisal, former intelligence chief of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a sign of how Riyadh is upping the ante in its regional rivalry with Iran.  In Ahwaz, Ayatollah Heydari called the MEK rally in Paris a "circus", slamming Turki Faisal for speaking of the Islamic Republic's overthrow in his address. In Qazvin, Abdolkarim Abedini criticized Saudi Arabia and France for supporting the MEK, calling for the Foreign Ministry's reaction to Riyadh and Paris. Meanwhile in Shiraz, southern Iran, Ayatollah Assadollah Imani called the MEK rally a sign of "absolute failure of the US, Europe and Middle East countries" (the latter an implicit reference to Saudi Arabia). Abedini also implicitly criticized Iran's foreign ministry for inaction towards the MEK annual gathering.

tags: friday prayers iran Emami Kashani

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