Source: Radio Zamaneh
The last Friday Mass Prayers of the Iranian New year in Tehran was led by Ahmad Khatami who urged people to "engage in joyous programs and activities." The Iranian hardliner reportedly declared: "Religious people value healthy leisure activities as much as they value prayer. Leisure activities and centers should not be the sole property of loose people. The pious should value healthy hobbies."
Ahmad Khatami delivering Friday Prayer sermon in June 2009
The very podium that was used in January to
commend and promote the execution of political dissidents, today informed
worshippers that the authorities have taken various forms of initiative to make
Nowruz a happy occasion for all and the public is expected to collaborate with
While Ahmad Khatami warned people against "immoral behaviour," he urged people to partake in the joyous activities of the New Year.
Iranian authorities are making every effort to tell the public that everything in the country is back to normal and the protests of the past nine months against the alleged fraud in the elections are over.
Ahmad Khatami told worshippers that in the past year, "foreign elements" waged "a soft war against the people of Iran by offering them false goods, guile and deception."
The Islamic Republic has repeatedly maintained that the protests against last year's presidential elections which saw hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on the streets of Tehran asking for their votes, was in fact a foreign conspiracy.
The opposition in turn rejects the accusations and claims that far from trying to topple the Islamic Republic, they support the essence of the system and demand the full execution of the laws and provisions of the constitution.
Despite government insinuations that the protests are over, opposition leaders have repeatedly maintained that they will not retreat in their demands.
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