Iran’s top leader strikes defiant tone amid month of turmoil

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (graphic courtesy: MGN Online)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran’s supreme leader has lashed out at Western countries as he led Friday prayers in Tehran for the first time in eight years.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed “American clowns” who he said pretend to support the Iranian nation but would stick their “poisoned dagger” into its back.

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He insisted Iran would not bow to U.S. pressure after months of crushing sanctions and a series of recent crises, from the killing of a top Iranian general to the accidental shootdown of a passenger plane.

Khamenei said the mass funerals for the general who was killed in a U.S. airstrike show that the Iranian people support the Islamic Republic despite its trials.

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Bobbi McSwine joined the ABC 36 News Team in March 2020. She started as a Web Content Producer in November 2019. She was born and raised in Chicago, IL, known to many as the “Windy City.” She studied journalism at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. While in school, she had a number of internships ranging from Free Spirit Media, ABC 7 Chicago and Illinois Public Media. She fell in love with writing in high school and paired that with a newfound passion for storytelling in college. She misses her hometown, but she loves the horses and rich history in Lexington. When she’s not working, she’s probably listening to music or binge-watching Netflix. She’s always looking to get to know more people in Central Kentucky, so feel free to shoot her a message on Facebook @BobbiWTVQ, follow her on Twitter @McSwineB_News, or send her an email at