Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has praised the mass turnout at the government-backed rally marking the 1979 Islamic Revolution. “[He] thanked the ‘tens of millions’ who showed up on Thursday’s anniversary, saying the gathering in downtown Teheran reflected the nation’s strength and that it was time for ‘foreign enemies to wake up and abandon futile efforts to subjugate’ Iran. Khamenei’s message blasted the West, warned the opposition at home and extolled Iran’s progress under the clerical rule. ‘The past thirty one years are not enough to awaken a few arrogant and bullying states to their futile efforts to dominate this Islamic nation,’ said Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters. Khamenei said Thursday’s rally should be a wake-up call for the ‘domestic enemies and deceived groups who claim to represent the people.’ The statement on Khamenei’s Web site came just hours after authorities released a crushing sweep on scattered anti-government demonstrations in the Iranian capital.”
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