Friday Prayers in Iran: Saudi misconduct, American infiltration
The Mina incident and United States' 'infiltration' were the main themes of Friday prayers this week.
In Tehran, Ayatollah Seddighi lambasted the Saudi regime for the Mina stampede that took the lives of hundreds of pilgrims, including Iranians. "The Saudi royal household had proven its incapability many times before," said Seddighi. "But this time, the scope was much broader; it caused the death of many pilgrims." The Friday prayers sermonizer accused the Saudis of trying to cover up the issue by hiding the real number of casualties and dismissing their Ministry of Health. He also slammed Riyadh for its attack on Yemen. The Saudi household, "fathered by the US and the UK", have come to taint the face of Islam he said. "They want to run a massacre of Muslims. They attack Yemen, they ruin schools and mosques … they have recently targeted a wedding ceremony and killed 140 innocent people," the ayatollah said.
In Shiraz, the Friday prayers leader called for establishment of a fact-finding mission by the international community to shed light on the real extent of the catastrophe in the hajj ceremony of this year. Ayatollah Imani praised the Supreme Leader's strong warning to the Saudis, and called for other officials to pursue the rights of the Iranian nation in a similar way. He also echoed Ayatollah Khamenei's concern about the post-deal conditions, asking the officials to be vigilant against the enemy's 'infiltration', since "the enemy seeks every way to infiltrate and undermine the country and interests of the nation."
In Ahvaz, Ayatollah Hassanzadeh vaunted Iran's impenetrable stance against Americans: "the US should know that it cannot even dream of infiltration into Iran," he said. "No benefit is reaped from relations with the United States." Hassanzadeh also addressed the Mina incident, criticizing the Saudis for their mismanagement. "They wanted to bury the bodies in Mecca so no one finds out about the catastrophe," he said, had it not been for the Supreme Leader's warning.
In Isfahan, the Friday prayers sermonizer Ayatollah Tabatabaeinejad also warned about continuing diplomatic interactions with the United States. "As long as they [Americans] are in a state of war, and behave in an imperialistic manner … we will not negotiate with them," he stated. "The Supreme leader … has no personal grudge against anyone; but there is no reason to negotiate with those who stand against religion [of Islam] and want to break apart Muslim countries."
In Tabriz, Ayatollah Mojtahed Shabestari, long-time sermonizer of Friday prayers in this city, also uttered similar remarks. "The Supreme Leader explicitly banned any negotiations with the Americans. This was a strong response to those who thought nuclear talks will pave the way for Iran-US talks in other areas," he said, implicitly referring to advocates of détente with Washington inside Iran. "Everyone should know … that it is unacceptable to discuss this issue any further."