(Tehran's Friday prayers. Source: Arash Mirsepasi/YJC)
Friday prayers of this week were hogged with the memory of 9th of Dey: a chain of state-sanctioned marches across Iran that put an effective end to months of protest by the Green Movement. The most heated demonstrations against reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to presidency had taken place on the day of Ashura, the most treasured occasion for Shias. Following protests that turned into violence, Green Movement protestors were accused of tarnishing the sanctity of the day of Ashura. In response, massive gatherings were held across the country the denounce the alleged act of blasphemy 9th of Dey, November 30. This virtually put an end to the wave of protests, the ‘sedition’, by the Green Movement. One year later, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, leaders of the movement, were put under house arrest; a punishment effective until now.
In Tabriz, center of East Azerbaijan province, Friday prayers’ imam Mohsen Mojtahed-Shabestari hailed 9th of Dey as the day that “neutralized the mischievous conspiracy of ill-wishers to destabilize the country and overthrow the establishment.” The seditionists, he reminded, “still hold an open case.” In Khorramabad, western Iran, this week’s sermonizer Ghassem Mottaghinia slammed the seditionists for a list of misconducts that included: casting doubt on soundness of the 2009 presidential election, encouraging the ‘enemy’, that is, the United States, to intervene in Iran’s domestic affairs, and instigating extension of sanctions against the country. “They still refuse to confess they played for the enemy” Mottaghinia complained.
In Mashhad, the conservative ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda called “the heads of sedition” Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, politicians “drunk with power” and “agents of the United States” who aided Washington in its efforts to topple the establishment. Alamolhoda also chastised political elite of the country for remaining silent during the sedition and refusal to takes sides in favor of the establishment. “Western media openly announced their support for the seditionists during those days” he claimed. “Didn’t the elite hear that?”
In Tehran, Mohammad-Ali Movahhedi Kermani hailed the military victory in Aleppo, and full control of the city by the Syrian government. “This is not only a military victory, this is the victory of Islam over disbelief” he asserted. “Terrorism sponsors, particularly Saudi Arabia, look at this victory and die in agony.” Meanwhile in Tabriz, Mohsen Mojtahed-Shabestari called the recapture of Aleppo “a massive defeat for the terrorists and a turning point in the battle” against radical Islamist takfiri groups. Shabestari hoped that with liberation of Aleppo, the ground is paved for sealing the fate of Da’esh and takfiri groups.