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World Khamenei says Iran's strikes at U.S. targets show "hand of God"

14:05  17 january  2020
14:05  17 january  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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By Parisa Hafezi. DUBAI (Reuters) - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a Friday prayers sermon that Iran ' s missile strikes on U . S . targets in Iraq showed it had divine support in delivering a "slap on the face" to a world power.

Iran responded with missile strikes on U . S . targets in Iraq on Jan. 8, injuring although not killing U . S . troops. "The fact that Iran has the power to give such a slap to a world power shows the hand of God ," said Khamenei , in a reference to the strikes , adding that the killing of Soleimani showed

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DUBAI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a Friday prayers sermon that Iran's missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq showed it had divine support in delivering a "slap on the face" to a world power.

Making the main weekly sermon in Tehran for the first time since 2012, with Iran and its clerical rulers under pressure at home and abroad, Khamenei also said that U.S. sanctions imposed in a row over its nuclear program would not make Iran yield.

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Iran responded with missile strikes on U . S . targets in Iraq on Jan. 8, injuring although not killing U . S . troops. "The fact that Iran has the power to give such a slap to a world power shows the hand of God ," said Khamenei , in a reference to the strikes , adding that the killing of Soleimani showed

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei , Iran ’ s supreme leader, addressed Friday prayers in Tehran for the first time since 2012 and used the platform to praise the country' s retaliatory strike against the U . S . over the killing of one of its top generals and called President Trump a clown who cannot be trusted.

Thousands had gathered inside a large prayer hall in central Tehran and packed the area and streets outside the building, chanting "Death to America."

a man wearing a hat standing in front of a crowd: Funeral procession for Major-General Soleimani and commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Tehran © Reuters/OFFICIAL KHAMENEI WEBSITE Funeral procession for Major-General Soleimani and commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Tehran

The sermon was delivered after Iran's rulers faced days of often violent protests after the military admitted to mistakenly shooting down an airliner in the tense hours after the missile strikes, which were in turn launched in retaliation for the U.S. killing on Jan. 3 of a top Iranian commander, close to Khamenei.

"The fact that Iran has the power to give such a slap to a world power shows the hand of God," Khamenei, saying the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, showed Washington's "terrorist nature."

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30 were a manifestation of the hand of God at work in the Islamic republic, Iran ' s supreme leader said . Iran was gripped with political unrest following opposition to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during a weekend speech in the holy city of Qom said the pro-government demonstrations were a

Iran ' s supreme leader Ali Khamenei weeps over Soleimani' s coffin at Tehran funeral as assassinated warlord' s daughter warns ' Hand of God ' prevents rocket from striking its target : Israeli Iron Dome operator It was not told or reported to me. I saw the hand of God send that missile into the sea.'

U.S. President Donald Trump, who pulled Washington out of a nuclear deal with Iran in 2018 and ratcheted up tension by reimposing U.S. sanctions, had ordered the drone strike that killed Soleimani, who built up proxy militias across the region.

After days of denying a role in the plane crash, the Revolutionary Guards, a parallel military force answering directly to Khamenei that acts as guardian of Islamic Republic, finally admitted on Jan. 11 that one of its air defense operators mistakenly shot down Ukraine Airlines International flight 752.

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Vigils for the 176 victims swiftly turned into protests against Iran's rulers. "Death to Khamenei" was chanted at protests and spray painted on walls of Tehran and other cities. Such public criticism can result in a jail term in Iran.

Khamenei described the crash as a tragedy and a very sad incident that was used by Iran's "enemies," used to describe the United States and its allies, to overshadow the killing of Soleimani, whose funeral drew huge crowds onto the streets.

In the demonstrations after the downing of the airliner, police launched a sometimes crackdown and deployed riot police outside universities, where many students had protested.

Video footage posted online showed protesters were beaten and also recorded gunshots, teargas and blood on the streets.

Iran's police denied firing at protesters and said officers had been ordered to show restraint.

How strong is Iran’s opposition? .
There have been anti-government protests in Iran, but how strong is opposition inside the country?Some of the protesters have been heard shouting slogans against the leadership.

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