Tehran, Jan 17, IRNA -- Substitute Leader of the Tehran Friday Prayers Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said the Iranian people highly observe the founder of the Islamic Republic and the cartoon published in the now banned daily Hayat-e Now was an outrage to the Islamic sanctities.
Addressing thousands of worshipers gathered at the Tehran University campus for the weekly congregational prayers, Ayatollah Jannati added that the people of Iran would not tolerate such outrages to the Islamic system top figures as the demonstrations held by the seminarians in the holy city of qom showed clearly the fact.
The ayatollah said the demonstrations by the public and the seminarians was in fact a lesson to those who act thoughtlessly while calling for the Judiciary to deal with such a case of insults.
He thanked the people who have come to the scene and disappointed the agents of the enemies and said there are however agents of enemies who have infiltrated in many organizations.
A group of theology students and clerics rallied in the religious city of Qom on Sunday to protest against the publication of a cartoon which they said insulted the founder of the Islamic Revolution late Imam Khomeini.
Chanting slogans, the protestors, some clad in blood-soaked shrouds and carrying black-colored flags as a sign of mourning, set out from the former house of the late Imam to gather at the Qom theology school where they issued a tough-worded resolution.
The Special Court for Clergy in Tehran on Saturday summoned managing editor of the daily Hayat-e No, Hadi Khamenei, and ordered his paper to suspend publication.
The controversy started after Hayat-e No printed the 1937 cartoon of former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt frowning at then chief justice over a dispute between executive and judicial branches of the United States.
Ayatollah Jannati also praised the Judiciary for having dealt with the press offenses committed previously by some dailies and periodicals in Iran. He said "the traitors to the people" should be brought to the justice.
Ayatollah Jannati further commented on the cased of those who have conducted a public opinion polls on the resumption of ties with the United States and these traitors should also be punished.
He said such pollsters try to insinuate their own ideas and beliefs to the people and attempt to deviate the people.
He said these agents try to create tension in the society and make trouble.
He said the detained pollsters have made attempts to remove the people's trust in the Iranian system by saying that only 35 percent of the people have expressed ideas in favor of the high officials of the Iranian system.
He criticized those who have been critical to the Judiciary judges and said the judges dealing with the case of pollsters should not pay attention to these criticisms.
Jannati who is also Secretary of the Guardian Council said the people and the clergy are well united in Iran. There is however a small number of agents who are after sparking trouble and tensions at times.
Commenting on the case of pollsters, he said what has been discovered was only part of the illegal actions done by the pollsters.
The move by the pollsters to conduct an opinion poll on the resumption of talks with the United States is meant to weaken the will of the people against the Americans, Jannati said adding that the foreigners are after creating a false atmosphere in the country.
He said these agents of enemy have confessed to their offenses and links with the foreign elements and enemies of the Islamic Revolution.
He termed as "treason" the acts of the pollsters and thank the Judiciary to severely deal with the agents behind the public opinion.
The poll drew the wrath of Iranian authorities and sparked judicial proceedings against Behrouz Geranpayeh, the head of a polling institute linked to that poll.
Geranpayeh was accused of spying and collaborating with an armed opposition group and his institute has been shut down. Others, including journalist Abbas Abdi, have also been arrested and are being investigated for links to the controversial poll.
Jannati stressed that the Iranian people remain committed to the directives given by the late Founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini and would make no compromise with the US leaders.
Jannati vociferated against some American agents who have infiltrated into the Iranian society and are encouraging resumption of talks with the United States.
He went on to say that the enemies have targeted Islam as their schemes have failed, he noted.
Iran and the United States severed diplomatic relations after the 1979 Islamic revolution, when students following the line of Imam Khomeini seized the US embassy here and held its staff hostage.
US President George W. Bush had in his State of the Union address termed Iran, Iraq and North Korea as "axis of evil" and accused them of attempting to develop weapons of mass destruction.
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