September 15, 2009

State-run propaganda surrounds Quds Day prayer

Three days before the important Quds Day’s ceremony in Iran, Iran’s state-run are organizing a concerted propaganda effort to mislead the public about who will lead the Friday Prayer in Tehran.
According to mowjcamp, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani has been expected to lead the Friday Prayer in Tehran on Quds day for nearly a week.  Opposition leaders Karroubi, Khatami, and Mousavi have all confirmed their participation in the rally and Friday Prayer, which will mark the last Friday of Ramadan.  However, IRNA and Fars (both pro-government news agancies) reported on Tuesday that the schedule has changed, and that  hardline cleric Ahmad Khatami will deliver the important sermon.  Additionally, President Ahmadinejad is planning to deliver a speech prior to the Friday sermon, though it was originally reported that he would do so at an alternative location, given that Rafsanjani would be in Tehran.
The rumors appear to be intended to spread confusion about the events surrounding the Quds Day prayer ceremonies, possibly contributing to the opposition’s lack of organization in planning demonstrations.  Rafsanjani has yet to officially deny the claims that he will not in fact be delivering the prayer in Tehran.

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