Leader Ali Khamenei radically hardened his stance against opposition leaders during his sermon at Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's mausoleum in a ceremony marking the 21st anniversary of the death of the Islamic Republic's founder.
Referring to Islamic history, Khamenei recounted how Imam Ali, the first imam of Shiites and Muhammed's son-in-law, led his forces from Medina against former allies who had strayed from the true path in the 7th century AD.
Then Khamenei made a thinly-veiled and extraordinary threat. 'There were individuals who accompanied the Imam [Khomeini] on the plane to Tehran who were later executed [for treason],' he said.
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