TEHRAN — Iran’s leaders warned political dissidents Friday that they have strayed from the Islamic Republic’s path, the latest threats in a purge of politicians who once followed the Islamic revolutionary leadership but who are now aligned with the country’s vocal opposition.
In key speeches, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, also condemned Israel’s deadly raid early Monday on a pro-Palestinian aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip. Khamenei predicted the end of the Jewish nation, telling millions of worshipers that Israel is “falling into the valley of death” because of strategic blunders.
Speaking during the 21st anniversary of the death of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the two leaders said politicians with more moderate interpretations of Khomeini’s will and edicts have betrayed his legacy.
Khamenei reminded throngs of worshipers at a memorial prayer rally how some of the closest allies of the leader of Iran’s Islamic revolution were executed after being labeled traitors.
“What counts is how people behave in the present,” he said, “not what they did in the past.”