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A Year Later: Suppression Continues in Iran

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami

Born: 1960

Hometown: Semnan

Position: Interim Friday Prayer Leader, Tehran

“Anybody who fights against the Islamic system or the leader of Islamic society, fight him until complete destruction.”





Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami (no relation to former president Mohammad Khatami) was appointed to be an interim Friday Prayer Leader by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on December 18, 2005, an important political and clerical post. Friday Prayer serves as a show of force against enemies and to unify Muslims. The Friday Prayer sermon (khutbih) is considered to be part of the prayer and is delivered by the Friday Payer Imam who must be a brave, intelligent, able and eloquent man.

Khatami is also a member of the Assembly of Experts, which selects and oversees the Supreme Leader. In June 2007, he stated that the fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini calling for the death of Salman Rushdie following publication of his book, The Satanic Verses, was “still alive.”

In his August 14, 2009 sermon, Khatami claimed that young people were duped into protesting by satellite television channels and internet websites. In July 2009, he also called for a befitting response to Mehdi Karroubi’s request for an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at the Kahrizak prison.

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Reports, Right to Protest, Imprisonment