AFP: Opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi said that Iran’s Islamic regime was being ruined, after he faced the fury of hardliners when he appeared at the shrine of late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, reports said.
TEHRAN (AFP) — Opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi said that Iran’s Islamic regime was being ruined, after he faced the fury of hardliners when he appeared at the shrine of late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, reports said.
Fars news agency reported late Thursday that Karroubi reached the shrine in south Tehran to pay homage on the 21st death anniversary of Khomeini which falls on Friday.
But the report said hardliners heckled him and shouted slogans “Death to Hypocrites!” and “We are not people of Kufa to leave Ali alone!” after which Karroubi’s bodyguards took him away from the mausoleum.
Karroubi, who along with Mir Hossein Mousavi is spearheading the opposition movement in Iran, later said on his website Sahamnews that the country’s Islamic regime was being ruined.
“They speak in a way as if Imam (Khomeini) belongs to them only and others have broken path with the Imam,” said the reformist cleric who in the past was considered as one of the pillars of the regime.
“Whoever objects to fraud in election is accused of being a Mossad or CIA agent. The fate of election is in the hands of Basijis (Islamist militia) and Sepah (Revolutionary Guards),” he said.
“I am worried about the Islamic aspect of the regime. They have ruined the republic side of the regime in the name of Islam.”
Karroubi and Mousavi continue to refuse to recognize the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year, saying it was the result of a massive fraud.
Officials meanwhile say more than two million people are expected to attend the 21st anniversary of Khomeini’s death at his shrine on Friday, with Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei leading the weekly prayers.
Khamenei, who succeeded Khomeini as the supreme leader, last led Friday prayers a year ago in which he decisively defended the re-election of Ahmadinejad.
“More than two million pilgrims are expected to arrive for the ceremonies via 49,600 buses and minibuses,” Colonel Hadi Hashemi, commander of Tehran’s traffic police was quoted by Donaye Eghtesad daily on Thursday as saying.
Officials said some 750,000 people are expected to be transported from around Iran, while 1,250,000 are to come from Tehran province, which has some 14 million people.
Media have reported that Ahmadinejad and Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the man who toppled the US-backed shah in 1979, would also give addresses.
Friday’s massive mobilisation comes a week before the June 12 anniversary of last year’s disputed presidential election.