In a recent interview for the 40th anniversary of the Iranian regime, a firebrand Iranian cleric said that the Islamic Republic had done a 400 year service to the Iranian people during the past 40 years.
Ahmad Khatami, a senior member of the Assembly of Experts and Tehran’s substitute Friday prayer leader is known for his controversial remarks which he usually makes in his Friday Prayer sermons.
During the 2009 post-election protests, he had called for the execution of protesters on “clear orders of the Quran”. He is also known for quoting Quran verses to back his calls to increase Iran’s missile ranges.
Islamic Republic’s 400 years of service
It has become clear for everyone that Iran’s handling of development and construction, and social, cultural, and environmental issues has been marred by corruption and plundering by the regime elites. No sector has been left untouched by the regime’s elites. Yet Khatami claimed in his interview with the state-run ISNA news agency that “during these 40 years, more than 400 years of service has been provided to the people.”
He compared the Islamic Republic with the Pahlavi monarchy and said that the regime had taken significant steps in terms of independence and free elections.
Islamic Republic is a blessing
Khatami cited Pahlavi’s treatment of dissidents in an attempt to whitewash the regime’s 40 years of torture, execution, and the suppression of political and non-political prisoners.
“The SAVAK carried out medieval torture methods. I recently read that there was someone who openly insulted the Shah, directly to the Shah’s face. The Shah ordered that he be thrown in the cage of hungry lions. I want to ask those who say that there is no freedom in Iran whether they have seen or read about this? Thank God that there is freedom today and no one gets arrested for their opinion,” the cleric said.
According to the latest report from Amnesty International, 2018 was “Iran’s year of shame” in which the regime made over 7,000 arrests in a chilling crackdown on dissent.
However, Ahmad Khatami acknowledged that the regime “dealt” with those who wanted to overthrow the regime.
“Of course, any state deals with subversionists and it’s not exclusive to our state. All the so-called democratic states do this,” Khatami said.
“Of course, any state deals with subversionists and it’s not exclusive to our state. All the so-called democratic states do this,”
“Those who oppose the Islamic Republic have not experienced the rule of the Taghut (the Shah) and if they did, they would understand what a blessing the Islamic Republic is,” the senior cleric added.
State should have full control over internet
Ahmad Khatami also stressed that the regime’s elements should play a more significant role on social media platforms.
“I believe that those committed to the Islamic revolution and our Hezbollah (regime supporters) youth should enter these platforms, write documentaries and educate people. The Supreme Leader has counted on the youth’s presence as well,” he said.
He also said that the opposition to the regime is being led through the internet adding that “the command of the internet should be in the hands of the state”.
Fear of 2019 protests
The substitute head of Tehran’s Friday Prayer also disclosed the regime’s fears of widespread anti-government protests this year. He said that the regime’s Supreme Leader Khamenei had indicated that “the enemy was looking to create mischief for subversion”.
“The signs of this mischief are Trumps remarks which he has made both publicly and privately that they want to overthrow the Iranian state,” Khatami said.
He also addressed the regime’s fears of the Warsaw Conference saying that Foreign Secretary Pompeo was meeting with Iran’s neighbors to unite against Iran and that the Warsaw Conference was going to be held to “destroy” the regime.
“When the US Foreign Secretary says that we will use Iranians in Iran against the Islamic state, it seems that our predictions are correct that the enemy is seeking to create a crisis,” he added.
The powerful cleric addressed the health of Iran’s 79 year old Supreme Leader, who, according to some sources, is suffering from prostate cancer.
“Thank God that our leader is in his best condition and is keen on exercising and taking walks, but it’s natural that we should also think about the future of the state,” the senior member of the Assembly of Experts said.
“Thank God that our leader is in his best condition and is keen on exercising and taking walks, but it’s natural that we should also think about the future of the state,”
Khatami stressed that the Assembly of Experts, which has the power of designating the next Supreme Leader, had not designated anyone but said that the Assembly “had solutions” in the event that Khamenei dies.