Monday, February 8, 2010

Khamenei to Opposition: We Will Punch You in the Mouth

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed today to deliver a "punch in the mouth" to the country’s opposition if it goes ahead with new protests on Thursday 11 February. The opposition has called for a large turnout of its supporters during a government-sponsored demonstration in Tehran marking the 31st anniversary of the Iranian revolution. It was not clear whether Khamenei objected to their participation in the official demonstration, or if he feared that the participants would turn the occasion into an anti-government protest. The opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has announced that he would participate in the demonstration.

“[Iranians] will punch them in their mouths to shock them," Khamenei said. "Today, it is clear that those who stand against the great job done by the Iranian nation in the election, are not a part of the people [of Iran].”

The opposition claims that the presidential election that resulted in Ahmadinejad’s victory for a second term was fraudulent.

In a related development, an Islamic Republic revolutionary court today sentenced Iran’s former deputy foreign minister and foreign spokesman Mohsen Aminzadeh to six years in prison. Aminzadeh is one of the most senior reformist figures yet to be sentenced. He was charged with “spreading propaganda” against the regime [ISNA, 8 February]. Aminzadeh served during the 1997-2005 administration of former pro-reform president Mohammad Khatami.

More than 100 reform activists and politicians were brought in front of a mass show trial late last year. In the past month, two people have been executed, and death sentences have been announced against nine others. A score of others have been sentenced to six years prison terms for participation in or sympathy toward the postelection protests.


Mark Pyruz said...

I've seen this reported by Nasser Karimi of AP, but he doesn't cite the venue for these quotes by Sayyid Ali Khamenei. If they were uttered during today's speech before an assembly of IRIAF officers, it wasn't mentioned in either the FARS or MEHR reports in Farsi, or the Supreme Leader website. I'm not saying Karimi is necessarily incorrect, only that so far I've only been able to find his story as a source.

Also, it should be pointed out that in the persian rendering, the expression "punch in the mouth" is for the most part not intended in the literal sense. In a way, it is offered in a similar same way as Americans use the expression "kick butt", as in the Saints "kicked butt" on the Colts, or the US "kicked butt" on Saddam.

Anonymous said...

Thank you and bless you Mark for this clarification.

it is important, since all of these misunderstandings start with "intentional" misinterpretations...from the ill willing and war mongering "bastards" of this world.

Nader Uskowi said...


"Punch in the mouth" expression was first used by Ayatollah Khomeini after his arrival in Iran against shah/Bakhtiar government. In political use, not literal, it is a challenge to your opponent: surrender or else!

On the quotation, I will check the original Mehr report and will advise.