Friday Prayers Across Iran: Turkish coup, missile program and pay slip scandal
(Ahmad Khatami performing the prayers. Source: Vali Mohseni/YJC)
This week, across Iran, Friday prayers' leaders were anonymous in denouncing the failed coup against Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, while chastising the Turkish president for his policies, especially vis-à-vis Syria.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemned the coup d'etat in Turkey … but Iran's support for Turkey does not mean we approve whatever Erdogan does" said Tehran's Friday prayers' leader of this week Ahmad Khatami. He added that besides his apology to Russia for shooting down its jet fighters, Turkey owes two other apologies to the world, "one apology to Da'esh victims across the world", for Iran believes that the government of Turkey sponsors the terrorist group, and "one apology for its hypocritical behavior vis-à-vis the Zionist regime."
In Semnan, northern Iran, Ayatollah Shahcheraghi warned that "the coup is not over yet, and is fire under the ashes." Shahcheraghi also demanded Erdogan to apologize, from the Syrian people for the injustice he has done to them. In Qom, Ayatollah Hosseini Boushehri had an advice for Turkish officials: "reconcile with your neighbors and stop all your plans to demolish military and economic foundations of Syria."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's report on Iran's missile program, calling the program 'inconsistent' with the nuclear deal, received a strong response by Friday prayers across the country this week. In Tehran, Ahmad Khatami called it "extremely unfair", adding that Iran's missile program is not UN's business, and is not linked to JCPOA, the nuclear agreement. Khatami, however, added that no one should expect much from "a secretary general under the influence of Zionists." In Qom, Ayatollah Boushehri Hosseini also doubted the credibility of Ban Ki-moon, reminding of his decision in early June to withdraw the name of Riyadh from a blacklist for its role in violation of children's rights in Yemen. "Only six months of his term is left, so we advise him to save his name in future."
The pay slip scandal was not left out on the agenda this week. In Tehran, Ahmad Khatami hoped that efforts to persecute the culprits will not be short-lived. "Officials should not revive the aristocratic spirit" he said. In the meantime, he warned about politicizing the issue. In Abadan, Friday prayers' leader Ali Ebrahimipour condemned senior officials who had received high salaries, not only for tarnishing the image of the establishment, but also for undermining the 'resistance economy' promoted by the Supreme Leader, a doctrine which places emphasis on social justice and thrift.