Accessibility links

Breaking News

Hardline Cleric Claims Iran Will Be "De-Islamized" Soon

IRAN -- FILE PHOTO: Iranian cleric Ahmad Khatami delivers a sermon during Friday prayers in Tehran July 24, 2009.

A member of Iran’s powerful assembly of experts and conservative ayatollah Ahmad Khatami bemoaned the“de-Islamization” of Iran during his Friday Prayers sermon.

According to Khatami it is the possible legalization of alcohol that would bring about the “de-Islamized” Iran. He argued, "Today there will be alcoholic drinks, tomorrow the headscarf for women will be abolished and then the day after tomorrow we will probably be having a referendum on whether the system should remain Islamic or not".

Khatami who is known as a hardliner has in previous speeches threatened the destruction of Israel saying “Iran is going to stand side by side the Lebanese Hezbollah until Israel is totally annihilated.”

Alcohol is banned in Iran but widely available through illegal dealers. Recently alcohol distributed through these dealers has caused scores of deaths and poisonings.

No Iranian official or body has suggested that alcohol should be legalized. Katami was reacting to a column by notable reformist journalist Abas Abdi that highlighted deaths from bootleg alcohol and urged a change in policy.

Khatami maintained that the three pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran: Islam, the republic and the Supreme Leader must remain intact. Khatami also asserted that "Islam is our life, so clerics like me will resist this de-Islamization with the last drop of our blood."