Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Friday, 19 June 2009 13:29 UK

Khamenei speech: Iran reaction

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Khamenei repeated his view that the election result would stand

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called on opposition supporters to end their protests over the disputed results of last week's presidential elections.

Many of those protesters have been quick to criticise the ayatollah's tone, with several telling the BBC their protests would continue.

The Iranian government views BBC coverage of the election results as undermining its rule, and very few supporters of President Ahmadinejad contact our teams. The comments below represent the range of responses we have received.

Behrooz, student, Tehran

We all know that Mr Ahmadinejad did not get 24 million votes. But Ayatollah Khamenei has just repeated that statistic as true.

There's clearly a power struggle going on between Mr [Hashemi] Rafsanjani [a former president and head of an influential body which elects the supreme leader] and Mr Khamenei. I think in the end this can only be good for us, although I think today's speech makes it more dangerous for us to protest.

For the moment Mr Rafsanjani is silent... [But] he brought Khamenei to power, so he will be the one who brings him down
Behrooz, Tehran

We just have to keep the demonstrations so big that they cannot attack us. If the crowd is just 2,000 strong, they can scare us with 200 soldiers. But if we are a million, what can they do?

I don't think the Guardian Council will agree to a new election. They don't want to lose prestige. They will agree to a recount which gives the same result.

I voted for Mr [Mehdi] Karroubi because he was the one with the best plan to change this rotten system. Maybe nothing will change for now, but I do think this is the start of some sort of revolution. Hopefully not a destructive one like in 1979.

As long as we are in the street, people will know we are not satisfied.

For the moment Mr Rafsanjani is silent, and we don't know what he's doing. But he's a very powerful man. He's the leader of the Assembly of Experts which selects supreme leader. He brought Khamenei to power, so he will be the one who brings him down.

Shiva, student, Tehran

His speech was hardly a surprise, we didn't expect him to change his mind in a week.

I think the chances of having another vote at this stage, are now nil. But that's still what we want.

He said allegations of cheating could be pursued through legal means and through the Guardian Council. He even said that certain contested ballot boxes could be recounted in front of the opposition candidates. But that's not enough.

We will continue to protest. Even if it changes nothing, at least we have achieved the ability to express ourselves and to make the rest of the world hear what it is we really want. That is an achievement in itself.

Arash, computer programmer, Mashhad

Khamenei didn't say anything unexpected. We didn't think he would change his original stance all of a sudden.

People are being beaten up in Mashhad. There have been no demonstrations in the past two days. People wait until night to go on the roofs and shout "Allahu akbar" ["God is great] to show their support for the opposition.

People from here go to Tehran to demonstrate, to be part of the bigger, safer crowds.

I'll be interested to hear the reaction from Mousavi and Karroubi, the next move depends on them. People are expecting to gather in Tehran on Saturday.

E-mails sent to BBC Persian TV, translated from Farsi

Aynaz: In the leader's speech at Friday prayers he clearly threatened the opposition. What Mr Mousavi or Mr Karroubi will decide to do is hard to predict. My only worry is that Khamenei's threat will make the Basijis [pro-government militia] and the government supporters be extremely violent and massacre the opposition. The interesting thing is that the leader used the word "stupid" when talking about governments that oppose him.

Anonymous: We will not back down. We have 15 martyrs and we will not let them die in vain. Whether Mir Hossein Mousavi wants it or not, we will take our vote back [the BBC has been unable to confirm whether people have died outside of Tehran, where eight are thought to have been killed.]

This is a youth movement, it's our movement and we will not have these men [ie all the politicians] take credit. They are threatening us with violence and they are holding Mir Hossein [Mousavi] responsible. If one drop more blood is shed from anyone, the leader of the nation will be responsible.

Amir, Mashhad, aged 23: Please let the world know the people of Iran are using the election and its outcome as an excuse, their real problem is the whole system and the corrupt regime of the Islamic Republic. Anything that happens to us is because of this religion. How can I make you understand, religious beliefs are personal and should not be enforced on the public.

Saman, Tehran: Today, Friday, Mr Khamenei made his position extremely clear. He hasn't left any room for anything else to be said. Tomorrow, Saturday, there will be a massive gathering in Enghelab Square [Revolution Square] in Tehran. With the tone that Mr Khamenei used, it seems they intend to make more martyrs out of our loved ones. I am sorry that Mr Khamenei is using this tone, seeing as very soon he will be consigned to history's dustbin.

Amir: Unfortunately Mr Khamenei doesn't want to learn his lesson and accept the will of the public. My people have always fought for their rights and there is no way we will back down. In his speech he made a lot of accusations about us, he even said that the police and the Basiji were unlawfully killed! How dare you! How many people did the Basiji kill on Monday with their weapons? The public had only stones to throw.

Anonymous: Mr Khamenei should know that this regime was put in place with the revolt of the people and can be also put aside with the revolt of the same people. He can only end this crisis by annulling the elections, and we will continue to stand up for our right and not let the blood of our loved ones be taken in vain.

Sheida: It's not fair that only people in Tehran should pay the price for all the uprising. People in smaller towns also feel the same passion and want to protest. But because of the severe controls in place, they cannot. Demonstration organisers should tell people to congregate in cities other than Tehran. Experience has shown that when millions take part in Tehran, the system simply cannot cope.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific