TEHRAN — The Tehran funeral on Friday of a nuclear scientist blown up by a hitman saw the ruling clergy urge Iranians to rally behind it at a forthcoming election and face down Western threats against Iran’s nuclear program.
In a mood of high emotion in a city increasingly beset by U.S. and European sanctions and fears of war with Israel and the West, hundreds of chanting mourners carried the flag-draped coffin of Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, killed Wednesday by a motorcycle assassin in rush-hour traffic.
“Death to America! Death to Israel!” roared the crowd streaming away from weekly prayers at Tehran University, where the dead man was hailed as a martyr in the tradition of Imam Hussein, a revered figure for Iran’s Shi’ite branch of Islam.
“Nuclear energy is our absolute right!” young men chanted.