Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, January 18, 2020—After several days of widespread advertisements and offering perks such as free metro and trips to Tehran, Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Iranian regime, made his first appearance in the Friday Prayers of Tehran after eight years.
Khamenei took the leadership of the prayers at a time that his regime is engulfed in a multitude of domestic and foreign crises. Khamenei confessed in his sermon that his regime has put behind “two very eventful weeks,” referring to the death of his top terrorist commander Qasem Soleimani and the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane by the IRGC, which itself triggered a chain of events inside Iran and across the globe.
What was Khamenei’s goal?
Khamenei primarily tried to revive the faltering spirits of his troops and commanders, who are losing morale in face of regime’s seemingly endless setbacks and are questioning their leader’s absence and lack of response. This is why he stressed on the supposed “million-strong” gathering at Soleimani’s funeral and tried to exaggerate the impact of his regime’s response to Soleimani’s killing, a missile attack that intentionally missed its target to avoid further retaliatory strikes by the U.S.
Khamenei tried to compensate his own dwindling power by promising his troops that “God is with us.” While boasting about his regime’s supposed “victories,” in the past weeks, Khamenei failed to address key issues. He did not apologize to the families of 176 victims of the airplane crash and made no reference to the responsibility of the IRGC in targeting and destroying the plane. Instead, he praised the murderous and criminal IRGC.
Khamenei shamelessly tried to downplay the airplane crash and said, “They attempted to portray this in a manner” to cloak the state ceremonies for Soleimani and the regime’s missile attack targeting military bases housing U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
Khamenei didn’t even express regret for the death of 78 people in Kerman, who died in a safety incident during Soleimani’s funeral. The incident was caused due to the regime’s forced measures to channel the crowd in a tight alley to create the impression of a large and tightly packed participation.
Nevertheless, he admitted that the main task of Qods Force’s crime is to secure the regime’s stability inside #Iran . He described millions of Iranians who chant “neither Gaza nor Lebanon, my life only for Iran,” as beguiled & unwilling to sacrifice for his despicable regime.— Mohammad Mohaddessin (@Mohaddessin) January 17, 2020
Khamenei’s fear of uprisings
The most important issue that Khamenei tried to ignore was ongoing demonstrations and uprisings across Iran, including the latest round of student protests that took place in response to the regime’s lying about the plane crash incident. Khamenei described the millions of protesters who have been calling for an end to the regime’s costly intervention in foreign countries as “deceived people” who aren’t willing to sacrifice their lives for his tyrannical regime.
Khamenei was inevitably forced to make a reference to the ripping and torching of the posters and banners of Soleimani in different cities. Again trying to downplay the protests, Khamenei said, “… those few hundred people who insulted the image of Qassem Soleimani,” showing his deep anger over the Iranian people and brave youth expressing their hatred regarding the Soleimani, the murderer of thousands upon thousands of innocent people both inside Iran and abroad.
The nuclear deal
In his sermon, Khamenei lashed out at France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the European signatories of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, for triggering a dispute mechanism over the Iranian regime’s continued violations of the agreement. But again, he claimed that this action too was aimed at overshadowing Soleimani’s funeral ceremony and the regime’s attack on U.S. bases in Iraq.
Meanwhile, he was careful not to explicitly say that he wanted to withdraw from the accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as some of his followers are vehemently demanding.
Despite his harsh tone toward European countries, Khamenei also reiterated his willingness to negotiate with these “cronies” of the U.S., further revealing the desperate state of his regime.
Emphasis on more terrorism
In his sermon, Khamenei made it clear that his regime can’t back down from its terrorism. Khamenei described the Quds Force, the murderous foreign branch of the IRGC, as "combatants without borders" and said that the Quds is “patiently watching everyone and everywhere.”
This clearly indicates that Khamenei remains all the more committed to the mullahs’ regional meddling and terrorism. Khamenei also admitted that the crimes of the Quds Force in other countries are aimed at preserving the regime’s security against protesters inside Iran.
Khamenei’s remarks were again a dismissal of any hopes that change from within the regime is possible.