Ahmad Khatami, the senior Iranian cleric, as well as a senior member of the Assembly of Experts
In this sermon, delivered after the Friday prayers in Tehran on Friday, February 2, 2018, the infamous Iranian regime hardline cleric Ahmad Khatami threatens that participants in growing anti-regime protests, who he refers to as “insurgents against Islam”, face execution for opposing the theocratic regime led by Khamenei.
The sermon came in the wake of a resurgence in massive public protests across Iran and, symbolically, the day after the 40th anniversary of the regime’s imposition of theocratic rule on February 1, with the Supreme Leader Khamenei dispatching Khatami, a member of the board of the regime’s Assembly of Experts, to Tehran to lead the Friday prayers in an effort to intimidate and threaten dissidents.
With the protests clearly alarming the regime leadership, especially with many protesters chanting “Death to the dictator” in reference to Khamenei, Khatami insists that the Supreme Leader is “the just ruler of Islam”. The cleric continues, “I said once, during the sedition of 2009 [anti-regime protests in the wake of a rigged election], and I am saying again now that in our jurisprudence the one who pours onto the streets against the just ruler of Islam, who starts fires and kills people, he is an insurgent against Islam and in our jurisprudence his sentence is death.”
The firebrand cleric and confidante of Khamenei has previously called for “strangling” the voices of those protesters who expressed anger at the regime’s multibillion-dollar expenditure on regional militias during a spiralling economic crisis whilst many Iranians are starving by chanting “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, I sacrifice my soul for Iran,” labelling the protesters as Israeli propagandists working for Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
During that sermon, delivered on January 5, 2018, Khatami said, “The slogans that have been chanted by protesters on Netanyahu’s behalf, saying ‘Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, I sacrifice my soul for Iran’ – in the second part of this slogan they are lying that they would sacrifice their souls for Iran. In such circumstances, they would not sacrifice their souls for Iran, and those who state ‘Neither Gaza nor Lebanon’ are chanting this slogan on Netanyahu’s behalf; this voice is alien and must not be heard, but such a voice must be strangled.”