[QODLink]
Middle East

Iranians mark anniversary of Khomeini's death

Commemoration held in Tehran to mourn leader who led the country's Islamic revolution 34 years ago.

Last Modified: 04 Jun 2013 15:01
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Iranians are marking 24 years since the death of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ruhollah Ayatollah Khomeini.

The commemoration on Tuesday at his shrine in Tehran was attended by Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, along with other high-ranking officials and clerics.

Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the late Ayatollah, was due to address the crowd later in the day.

The commemoration comes 10 days before crucial presidential elections.

Khomeini is seen as the man who led the country's Islamic revolution 34 years ago. After spending 15 years in exile, Khomeini returned to Tehran in 1979 to overthrow the US -backed Shah.

Al Jazeera’s Soraya Lennie, reporting from the Iranian capital, said Ahmadinejad did not address the crowd in the commemoration, an event at which he had spoken in previous years.

"It was a rather awkward encounter for the president. He looked very uncomfortable as he sat there in Imam Khomeini’s shrine," Lennie said.

Growing tension

She said that reflected the growing tension between the presidency and the country's religious establishment.

"He was seated next to the grandson of Khomeini, who is very influential here. The two men had a famous falling out four years ago when Hassan Khomeini backed the reformist candidates in the presidential elections," Lennie said.

In a televised speech to mark the anniversary, Khamenei urged presidential candidates not to make concessions to the West.

His remarks followed statements by some of the eight candidates that they would focus on improving Iran's relations with other countries.

"Some, following this incorrect analysis - that we should make concession to the enemies to reduce their anger - have put their interests before the interests of the Iranian nation. This is wrong,'' he said.

On Monday, the US announced new sanctions against Iran, directly targeting the rial currency for the first time and also the car-making sector, an important source of jobs and revenue.

The measures, which could wreak more economic deprivation inside Iran, followed Tehran's refusal to cede ground in stalled world power talks on its nuclear programme.

They were accompanied by new US warnings of a "painful" and "powerful" escalation of sanctions, as President Barack Obama seeks to convince the Islamic Republic that the price of uranium enrichment is too high.

374

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.