Friday Prayers across Iran: Ahmadinejad, the nuclear deal, and concerts
(Tehran's Friday prayers' leader Mohammad Emami Kashani. Source: Saeid Rabiei/YJC)
In Friday prayers of this week, sermonizers once again focused on concerts -a non-issue before the presidency of Hassan Rouhani- and their supposedly non-Islamic nature. Friday prayers' leaders also thanked Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei for urging Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not to run for 2017 presidential election, without naming the latter. JCPOA was also a subject of speech as previous weeks.
In Yazd, Ayatollah Mohammad-Reza Naseri criticized those "who are trying to replace Imam Hussein's mourning rituals", the cornerstone of Iranian Shia identity, with concerts. "If they don't stop, we will treat them in another way" he threatened. In Qom, home to Iran's most prestigious seminaries, a musical performance, the first of its kind in Qom, raised the ire of the Friday prayers leader Ayatollah Alireza A'rafi, who slammed the "concert", more a modest performance of Iranian traditional music, calling it a "sin" which had blemished the sanctity of the religious city.
In Yazd, Mohammad-Reza Nasseri praised Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei for his 'insightful leadership' that "has established Iran's security in a crisis-ridden region". Ayatollah Khamenei's advice that 'a person', i.e. Ahmadinejad, running for elections was not "expedient" is a sign of his broad view and ability to see the future, Nasseri added. Similar remarks were made by Tehran's Friday prayers leader Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani, who thanked the Supreme Leader for expressing his view on an "election candidate", i.e. Ahmadinejad, in order to preclude any "rifts" within the society,
In Mashhad, Ahmad Alamolhoda once again bashed the Americans for not fulfilling their JCPOA promises. "If the global imperialism continues reneging on its promises, our government should prepare to return nuclear technology to its first day [before implementation of the deal, and] spin centrifuges with full force" he said. "This is people's demand." In Isfahan, Friday prayers' sermonizers Abolhassan Mahdavi also called United States unreliable. "We had said it before, during, and after the JCPOA that Americans will not remain committed to any promises, and only consider their own interests" he said.