Iran’s top leader defends Iranian ‘Death to America’ chants

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in Tehran September 14, 2007. (Reuters)
Updated 08 February 2019

Iran’s top leader defends Iranian ‘Death to America’ chants

  • He says the Iranian people “will not stop saying ‘Death to America’
  • Khameini’s remarks come as Iran marks the 40th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution

TEHRAN: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is defending “Death to America” chants that are standard fare at anti-US rallies across Iran but says the chanting is aimed at America’s leaders and not its people.
Khamenei’s website on Friday quoted him as saying the chant means “death to US leaders, death to (President Donald) Trump and John Bolton and (Mike) Pompeo.”
He says the Iranian people “will not stop saying ‘Death to America’ as long as the US acts malicious” toward Iran.
Khamenei was referring to Trump’s State of the Union address this week in which the American president, among other things, said: “We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants death to America.”
Khameini’s remarks come as Iran marks the 40th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution.


Explosion hits Hezbollah building in southern Lebanon

Updated 54 min 11 sec ago

Explosion hits Hezbollah building in southern Lebanon

CAIRO: A huge explosion was heard in southern Lebanon in the village of Ain Qana, according to Lebanese broadcasters and witnesses.

The explosion occurred in an arms depot for Hezbollah in the village, one Lebanese security official in south Lebanon said, without elaborating on the cause. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
An official with the militant group Hezbollah confirmed there was an explosion but declined to give further details, according to the Associated Press. Another local Hezbollah official could not confirm any casualties and said the nature of the blast was not yet clear. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give official statements.

Members of the group imposed a security cordon around the area. Security sources said earlier there were injuries in the blast. 

Pictures from Lebanese news media showed clouds of dark smoke rose from the area. The cause of the blast about 50 km (30 miles) south of Beirut was not immediately clear.

Twitter account Intel Sky shared footage of what the explosion purportedly looks like.

 

The mysterious explosion comes seven weeks after the massive explosion at Beirut port, caused by the detonation of nearly 3,000 tons of improperly stored ammonium nitrate. The explosion killed nearly 200 people, injured 6,500 and damaged tens of thousands of buildings in the capital, Beirut.
It is still not clear what caused the initial fire that ignited the chemicals, and so far no one has been held accountable.

(with Reuters and AP)