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IRAN: Vanished photo shows angry Khamenei amid tensions following speech


What could have made Iran's supreme leader so visibly angry? 

The extraordinary photo above -- posted to the website of Iran's hard-line Fars news agency but then quickly taken down -- shows supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, at center with his hand raised, extremely angry after the conclusion of the June 4 ceremony commemorating the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

During that event, hard-line supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began angrily shouting down Khomeini's grandson, Hassan -- who appears in a black turban at the top right corner of the picture -- as he delivered a speech in honor of his grandfather.

Hassan is considered a supporter of moderate opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

Just next to Khomeini appears to be a white-turbaned Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, another regime pillar sympathetic to the opposition.

Other political insiders -- including Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammed Najjar -- also appear in the photo. Some newspapers reported that Khomeini and Najjar, a confidant of Ahmadinejad, got into a scuffle after the ceremony. 

There are rumors that Khamenei was reprimanding his deputies for not calming the unruly crowd and letting Khomeini deliver his speech.  Or simply that he was complaining that there was no published schedule for the speakers. 

But in the controversy stirred up by the event, others see tensions between Khamenei and a new generation of brash Revolutionary Guard and Basjii commanders who don't adhere to their elders' rules of decorum. 

Those commanders, whom Ahmadinejad represents, are slowly pushing aside the clergy, the thinking goes. 

The crowd that heckled Khomeini was led by this new group of military and paramilitary professionals,  whom Mousavi describes as a "cult."

-- Los Angeles Times

Photo: Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, upbraids others in the minutes following the ceremony commemorating the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Credit: Fars News Agency

Comments () | Archives (13)

He is not angry. See the complete photo sequence here:

Someone asks for his chaffye, he is pointing to that person and asks one of the people with him to give the chaffye to him. Then he picks it up and takes it to him.

See the photo sequence and judge for yourself.

LATIMES, thanks for this joke post. You made my day.


Obviously Hasan Khomeini and Rafsanjani are correctly referenced. Besides it is obvious that Khamenei is complaining something and others look fearful.

They get what ther deserve!

I have read the comments posted here and would myself wish to comment upon the brief latimes posting with a fascinating, revealing bit of photojournalism from deep in the heart of the modern techno-militant Iranian state. Please excuse my long introductory sentence, while possibly not of perfectly proper grammatically correct English the leaden meaning is itself open to textual comprehension! The other commentators aren't relating to the long history of stasis as suddenly science & industrial heft catapult Iran into the forefront of modern divisions & more, other existential hassles - dilemnas.

Apparently Khamenei is angry, otherwise why everybody is looking at him like that. Is that first time those guys seeing him?

that is not true...
im an iranian and i want to say that mahmood ahmadnejad is not my president is mir hoseyn moosavi...nothing more

the complete photoserie schows that khamenei is not angry. this was just a false analyse. the text is Farsi, but you can still view the photos ;-)
i support the green movement in iran, but the truth should be sayd, even if its not good for us; and sorry for my bad english :-D

To Behzad, Esther Haman and Simth,
Your just full of lies and this article is pretty darn interesting and tries to be nuanced.
Hassan Khomeini is clearly visible, all the spellings are perfect, and you can just see the distinctive back of Hashemi's head next to Khomeini.
From your inferences it's obvious you are nothing more than Basiji trolls -- or even worse -- lame Iranian crypto-nationalists living lives of resentment and quiet rage in the Diaspora.

With regard to the spelling issue, I would assume that Khomeini's grandson Hassan Khomeini probably spells his surname the same as his grandfather. One doesn't even need a rudimentary understanding of Iran to figure this out.

It is such a poor analysis which shows what prejudices the author holds than about the conditions in Iran. Actually the photo does not show Hasan Khomenei at all. Also absent are Najjar and Hashemi. Raising a hand does not mean anger. I am sure every time Obama raises his hands it is not conceived as anger by the media. The other thing which must be noted is that the article is self defeating. On one hand it portrays an Iran which is dictatorial and on the other notes that people speak and oppose each other even with highest authorities around which pretty much shows freedom. I am sure even in many so called democracies, it is exceedingly difficult to dissent infront of ruling class. Anyways the sole reason for the enmity of west towards Iran is not its concern for welfare of Iranians. In fact the west was main supporter of Saddam who attacked Iran and killed over one million Iranians with full western support. The main reason is that Iran has the world's fastest growth in science and technology and that makes Iran a rival for the west and its future. Since a technologically modern Iran in a few years if not stopped in its tracks can create huge problems for the west since Iran has a completely different ideology and world view than corporate capitalism. It is a clash between a new breed of progressive political Islam and the evolved corporatism in west.

What are you trying to say here? That we are better or thy are weak because they have disputes? did the Iranians claimed to be perfect and above it all? Are these sceens any different from the Tea Bagger demonstrations at the capital, where our senators and represenatatives were even thretened to be killed and the "N" word was used on other representatives by the opsitions? Are we trying to say that here in Americ we are better and different than the Iranians?

We still have that good old American racisism in us. This sort of representation of other govermenrs, culture and countries are just beneath us.

death to molas regime

Get the names right.

Khamenei (With an A) is the current leader.

Khomeini (With an O) is the founder of the revolution and deceased.

If you're going to report on this stuff, have someone with rudimentary understanding of Iran check it for you.

This is why journalism is in decline in the US not the internet.


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