17 Jan 2020

Khamenei defends military after passenger plane accidentally shot down

International Editor

It’s the first time he’s spoken at Friday prayers in Tehran  since 2012 – as Iran’s supreme leader seized the chance to attack America and defend the country’s elite armed forces after the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described the disaster as a ‘bitter accident’ – but the aim of his address was clear, to divert attention away from anti-government protests and unite behind the fight against Iran’s common enemies.