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BBC Monitoring Middle East – September 19, 2008
At 0805 gmt on 19 September, Iranian radio and the Iranian News Network began broadcasting live Tehran Friday prayer sermons led by supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene’i in Tehran University Campus. President Ahmadinezhad, a number MPs including Speak Larijani, former Speaker Haddad-Adel and current vice-Speaker Bahonar, as well as other senior officials of the country were present in the sermons.
During his first sermon, he commented on Qadr evenings, during which the Koran is said to have been completed.
He then commented on the first Shi’i Imam, Imam Ali whose martyrdom anniversary is on 22 September this year. He said that Imam Ali was the symbol of ethical behaviours and called on the people to follow Imam Ali’s line.
The ayatollah then elaborated on the materialistic and spiritual issues in the world. He said that God has created the universe and the world for human beings to enjoy.
However, he said, human beings should enjoy these blessings while complying with God’s commands.
He warned worshippers against “getting dependent” on what the materialistic world offered them and said justice should be observed in using the blessings granted by God. He said Imam Ali was a role model for being spiritual and not caring about materialistic issues.
He called on the people to say prayers on the evenings of Qadr and think about God and Islam.
The first sermon ended at 0839gmt and was immediately followed by the second sermon.
In his second sermon, Ayatollah Khamene’i, congratulated the first-time fasters this year and praised them for their strong will to avoid sins and food. He said Iranians should recite the Koran and say prayers during the holy month of Ramada.
He said the Islamic Republic has always been dedicated to Islamic laws while not being backwarded. He said Iranians have always contributed to the reconstruction of the country, development of science and fighting against the enemy’s aggression.
He said that the Iranian nation has always defended all its rights, including its rights in the nuclear issue. The ayatollah said the enemies of Iran have never gained anything by putting the nation and officials of the country under pressure. He said the enemies do threat Iran but never gain anything from their threats.
He said the nation should take the best option to stand against the enemy, which is unity.
He said the people should feel politically and socially secure and those who try to sensationalize some issues were those who are against the Islamic Republic system.
Alluding to the controversial comments of Vice-President Masha’i on friendship with the people of Israel, he said the issue is being used for sensationalism purposes. He said the comments (by Masha’i) were not right and that the Muslim nation of Iran was not friends with the people of Israel. However, he said, making hue and cries about such comments were unnecessary and those who know the real position of the state with regards to Israel should not try to make furore over the issue.
“Someone has made a statement about people who live in Israel. This is of course a wrong statement. To say that we are friends with Israeli people, like other people, is not right. Who are Israeli people? They are those who are usurping houses, lands, farms and businesses. These people are those who play as extras in the Zionist land. Muslim nations cannot be indifferent about those who are the agents of essential enemies of the Islamic world. We don’t have any problem with the Jews, Christians and followers of other religions. But we have problem with the usurpers of the Palestinian land.
The usurper is not just the Zionist regime. This is the stance of our state, revolution and people. Someone may say something that may lead to certain reactions. The issue should be concluded at a point. It is not right for individuals to exchange views on the subject from here and there for a long time. This is sensationalism. A statement was made. It was wrong. Let us finish it now. The position of the Islamic Republic of Iran is not what was said. This [Israel] is different from other countries where its people are not living on usurped lands. Jewish settlements are filled today by the same people who are called Israeli people. They are those who the fake Zionist government has armed against Muslim Palestinian people. This is to scare off Palestinians from the settlements. A wrong statement was made. This should not be used as a means for sensationalism. I call on everybody not to sensationalize a statement made by someone for a long time. The stance of the state is clear, full stop.”
On criticism against the government, he said defamation was not in the interest of the country. He said defamation should not be used in election campaigns. He called on officials to avoid defaming other officials.
On the issue of Palestine, he said that the “usurper” regime of Israel has intensified its actions against the Palestinians since it has lost its intimidating image among the Arab nations.
He said the government of Gaza was legitimate and called on the nation and other Arab nations to pour into streets to mark the Qods day, the last Friday of Ramadan [26 September]. At 0906gmt, Khamene’i started his address to Arab nations in Arabic. The second sermon ended at 0918gmt.
(C) 2008 BBC Monitoring Middle East. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

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