Within the advanced and opaque politics of Iran, this week’s Friday prayers within the capital Tehran was a kind of moments which supplies clues on the nation’s power, its route and the arrogance of its management.

The nation’s supreme chief delivered the sermon within the metropolis’s principal mosque for the primary time in eight years.

At an acutely tough second for the Islamic Republic, with the assassination of a key determine, downing of a passenger plane and home protests, the looks alone was an tried show of nationwide unity.

With the nation’s subservient president watching, Ayatollah Khamenei’s rhetoric was acquainted.

“These American clowns, who with lies and utter evil, say they stand by the Iranian individuals, they need to see who the Iranian individuals are,” the supreme chief informed a crowd of hundreds.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Picture: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei known as People ‘clowns’

He referenced the European signatories to the fractured nuclear deal – the “evil governments of France, Germany and the UK are lackeys to America”, he mentioned.

However on the prospect of future negotiations, he provided some hope.

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“We’re not towards negotiations, in fact not with the US, however with others. Nevertheless, not from a weak standpoint however from a place of power. Thank god we’re robust and can develop even stronger.”

Iran has accepted full duty for the downing of the Ukrainian passenger aircraft over Iran final week. And because the investigation into the crash continues, he echoed the Iranian authorities’s remorse.

“I wish to say that to the identical extent that we’re saddened and felt grief in our coronary heart by this aircraft crash, our enemy was overjoyed to the identical extent.

“Our enemy was overjoyed, they thought they’d discovered a lever with which to carry into query the forces, our navy forces, to query the Islamic institution.”

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers his first Friday sermon in Tehran in eight years
Ayatollah assaults US in uncommon handle

He was preaching, actually, to the transformed contained in the mosque and outdoors the place hundreds extra gathered.

They have been principally his loyalists, however little doubt too, amongst them, have been some who felt compelled to be seen there.

What number of actually imagine the ‘demise to America’ mantra? There was an intriguing second on the state TV footage.

Because it streamed dwell photos of individuals strolling in direction of the Friday prayers, it briefly captured one man selecting to stroll round an American flag which had been positioned on the bottom for individuals to stroll over.

There have been related photos in footage of the protests towards the federal government earlier within the week – protesters selecting to stroll round large American and Israeli flags protecting the bottom.

The protests over the previous few days have been a response to the unintended downing of the Ukrainian aircraft.

They adopted weeks of protests in cities throughout Iran towards the Iranian management itself. The one pause to the protest motion got here through the few days round the American assassination of General Qaseem Soleimani.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Picture: Iran’s supreme chief addresses supporters in Tehran

By way of diplomacy, espionage and guesswork, the West continuously tries to decipher the inside workings of the Iranian management.

Maybe greater than every other nation, it’s the Israelis who actually really feel threatened by Iran and so it is they who watch most fastidiously.

The evaluation from these I speak to in Tel Aviv is that it is a very difficult interval for the Iranian management – possibly essentially the most difficult for the reason that Islamic Republic’s formation in 1979.

The stress of sanctions by way of America’s ‘most stress’ coverage is hurting. Protests domestically are rising louder and louder.

And Iran’s regional affect is beneath pressure: the governments it helps in Iraq and in Lebanon are going through their very own home pressures, and in Syria, a victorious President Assad is more and more seeking to Russian monetary help that Iran cannot present.

All that mentioned, few are predicting the upcoming collapse of the Iranian management.

However what’s not clear is whether or not the stress it is beneath – and the strains and energy battle inside – will immediate extra aggression or pull Iran again to negotiations.