The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is set to deliver an important Friday sermon in Tehran as the Islamic Republic grapples with the fallout from the targeted killing of its top general in a United States air attack and popular anger after it accidentally downed a Ukrainian passenger jet.
The last time Khamenei led Friday prayers at Tehran’s Mosalla mosque was in February 2012, on the 33rd anniversary of the country’s revolution.
On January 8 Iran launched a series of missile attacks on facilities housing US forces in Iraq. At least 11 US troops were wounded in the attacks, according to a statement by US Central Command released on Thursday. The attacks also caused significant material damage.
As Iran’s Revolutionary Guard braced for a US counterattack that never came, it mistakenly shot down a passenger aircraft shortly after it took off from Tehran’s international airport, killing all 176 people on board.
The plane had been travelling to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and was carrying mostly Iranian and Canadian passengers.
‘Families want answers’
Canada’s foreign minister on Thursday promised to push Tehran for answers about the tragedy.
“Families want answers, the international community wants answers, the world is waiting for answers and we will not rest until we get them,” Francois-Philippe Champagne said at a meeting in London.
BREAKING NEWS 10.30 AM GMT – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said European nations including the UK “cannot be trusted” but Tehran is not against negotiating with anyone – except the US.