Archive for the ‘Basij militia’ Category

“Death to America, Death to Israel,” Iran Rallies Behind Ayatollah Khomeini

January 31, 2009

In Iran today, the great anti-American religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was honored and celebrated in the usual way: with street marches and slogans most Americans and Jews would find offensive.

President Obama’s outreach and hope of a new relationship between the U.S. and Iran was not yet apparent in Tehran’s streets.

“We will guard the great legacy and principles of Imam Khomeini,” vowed Khamenei on another banner of his mentor who died in 1989.

“The Islamic revolution is the result of sacrifices made by martyrs,” read a banner inscribed with one of Khomeini’s famous quotes.

AFP said a group of hardline Basij militia on Friday washed Khomeini’s tomb with rose water — an Iranian custom to honour the dead — and the grave was later strewn with flowers, state television said.

This year’s anniversary celebrations come barely four months before a presidential election in Iran, with Ahmadinejad seeking re-election for another four year term.

Without George W. Bush to burn in effigy the anti-Americanism of the event was lessened but still present.