(Ahmad Khatami addressing Tehran's Friday prayers congregation. Arash Mirsepasi/YJC)
Friday prayers across Iran this week were mostly dedicated to denunciation of US’ President Donald Trump’s decisions, including his freshly-imposed sanctions on Iranian persons and entities following Tehran’s recent ballistic missile tests, and his executive order on visa ban for seven Muslim countries, including Iran.
Addressing Trump’s executive order to ban visa for Iranian citizens, Tehran’s Friday prayers’ leader Seyyed Ahmad Khatami asked why Saudi Arabia, “the birthplace of terrorist camp” has been exempted from such a decree. “Thousands of Americans have been assassinated by the Saudi regime” Khatami reminded to the audience.
Khatami also defended Iran’s missile programs, which recently led to sanctions targeting 25 legal entities and individuals from Iran and other countries. “Missile drills are embodiment of our strength” he argued. “With ‘wolves’ like the United States in today’s world, we should reinforce our military and defense capabilities and withstand the global imperialism and the ‘Great Satan’”, i.e. the United States.
“We will not bargain over Iran’s military and defense power” said Friday prayers’ imam of Qom, Seyyed Mohammad A’rafi, who urged officials to stand firm against “worthless” remarks by Americans about Iran’s missile program, and “adopt a revolutionary stance”. In Isfahan, Friday prayers’ sermonizer Mojtaba Mirdamadi also slammed Washington for the recent visa ban, calling it a sign of their fear from Iran. Referring to pre-Trump years, when the United States “was governed by prudent leaders”, Mirdamadi said that the superpower was unable to do a modicum of harm to Iran even then, let alone with Trump at helm. “Our officials should forget the idea of friendship with the United States” he added.
In Khorramabad, western Iran, Ahmad Miremadi said that global imperialism “has been always scared of Iran’s progress”, hence trying to block Iran’s way towards possession of any type of military equipment, “while they own the worst kinds of weapons”. Addressing Trump’s visa ban, Miremadi called it a “foolish, offensive, unethical, illegal and discriminatory” decision and a political decision not having any connection to terrorism.
Iranians will give a crushing response to Americans, said Friday prayers’ leader of Tabriz Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari. “Americans have shown their evil face in different guises” Shabestari said, adding that Trump’s recent decision was a sign of his Islamophobia. Addressing Washington’s call for a UN Security Council meeting on Iran’s missile program, Tabriz’ Friday prayers’ leader said that Iran’s missile tests did not violate the JCPOA, the nuclear deal, and UN resolutions. “Islamic Iran will not only refuse to stop its military preparedness, but will also speed up its deterrence measures” he announced.