Friday, June 19, 2009

"Supreme Leader" Khamenei to protesters: Drop dead.

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In a speech at Friday prayers in Tehran, Iran's "Supreme Leader,"Ali Khamenei, claimed last Friday's election was a "definitive victory" for Mamoud Ahmadinejad, warned opposition protesters and their leaders that they were breaking the law, and would be held responsible for any "chaos." In other words, drop dead.

Khamenei wrapped himself in "democracy," saying the election could not have been rigged because Ahmadinejad won by such a big margin, 11 million votes. Despite President Obama's stance of declining to "meddle" in Iran's affairs, Khamenei blamed the United States, Britain, other "enemies" and the "Zionist media" for the trouble being caused by millions of Iranians under his own nose.

While Obama maintained his uncharacteristic silence, the Brits spoke up:

The British government, which the supreme leader singled out as the “most treacherous” of the Western powers, responded swiftly, summoning Iran’s ambassador in London to the Foreign Office to complain. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, cautious until now in its comments on the , stepped up his public criticism.

“We are with others, including the whole of the European Union unanimously today, in condemning the use of violence, in condemning media suppression," he told a news conference after a European Union summit in Brussels.

“It is for Iran now to show the world that the elections have been fair...that the repression and the brutality that we have seen in these last few days is not something that is going to be repeated,” Mr. Brown said, Reuters reported.

Khamenei has now drawn a line in the sand for opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, dissident clerics and the hundreds of thousands of protesters: get in line or there will be bloodshed.

Another protest has been scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Tehran. Lately, the crowds have been chanting, "Death to the dictator," meaning Khamenei. Mousavi has been very tough, demanding nothing short of a new election. It's hard to see how or why the protest movement will simply back down without a further test of wills. Expect more protests. We'll see then if Khamenei still has the power he thinks he has.

UPDATE -- Based on Tweets I've been monitoring from inside Iran, Mousavi has called called a "Sea of Green" vigil starting at 9:00 pm tonight; the planned 4:00 pm protest march in Tehran is still on, and another opposition Presidential candidate, Mehdi Karoubi, is calling for cancellation of the election results on his website.

UPDATE 2 -- AP is reporting that Tehran residents are defying Khamenei by shouting "God is Great" and "Death to the Dictator" from their rooftops.

What do you think? Post a comment.

1 comment:

  1. Please, Khamenei, do the entire planet a favor and drop dead!