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Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

June 8, 1989 | From Times Wire Services
Parliament Speaker Hashemi Rafsanjani said today that Iran will help free American hostages in Lebanon if the United States tries to win freedom for Iranians held by Christian forces in Lebanon. It was the first time a top Iranian leader has commented on the foreign hostages since the death of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on Saturday. Under Khomeini, Iran supported pro-Iranian groups in Lebanan that are believed to be holding most of the 15 foreign hostages, including nine Americans.
June 7, 1989 | From Times wire service s
About 11,000 people have been injured and many have died during three days of anguished grieving for the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Iranian government said today. Tens of thousands turned out for memorial services for Khomeini today, with many voicing support for Iran's new leader, President Ali Khamenei. Carrying black flags and portraits of Khomeini, the crowds at Tehran University chanted "Obedience to Khamenei is obedience to the imam of the Islamic nation." Iranians called Khomeini their imam, or spiritual leader.
June 7, 1989 | WILLIAM TUOHY, Times Staff Writer
The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Iranian revolution and firebrand of Middle East politics, was buried in a simple grave Tuesday--after frenzied mourners snatched away his shroud and tore it into pieces for relics. As the 86-year-old Shiite Muslim leader was borne to his grave in the Cemetery of Martyrs south of the capital, a throng of mourners toppled his simple wooden coffin to the ground. Masses of people surged in, chanting, "Imam! Imam!" Many, among them dozens of Revolutionary Guards, reached out to touch the body.
June 6, 1989 | From Times wire services
The World Cup qualifying matches between China and Iran, scheduled for later this month, have been postponed, according to FIFA, the world soccer body. An FIFA official, who declined to be identified, said today that all the remaining matches in Group 5 of the Asian section of the tournament will be played at a later date "because it is simply impossible to play soccer in China at the moment and Iran has declared a state-mourning period of 40 days." China is in the midst of internal upheaval, and Iran is mourning the death of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
June 6, 1989 | ROBERT C. TOTH, Times Staff Writer
President Bush on Monday called upon the Iranian government, in the wake of the death of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, to work for the release of American hostages held by Muslim extremists in Lebanon if it wishes to improve relations with the United States. He also said U.S. experts are still uncertain about political developments in Tehran after Khomeini's death. Iran's president, Ali Khamenei, was named Khomeini's successor as the nation's spiritual leader. "But in a society of that nature," Bush noted, "it's hard to predict" what will happen.
June 6, 1989 | From Reuters
The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini denounced the United States as a terrorist state in a final diatribe from the grave and said his greatest achievement had been to paralyze the nation he once dubbed "the Great Satan." In his will, read publicly Monday, Khomeini urged Muslims around the world to protect as a "divine gift" the Islamic republic he founded 10 years ago. He said Islam's enemies are headed by "America, this innate state terrorist which has set the whole world ablaze."
June 6, 1989 | ROBIN WRIGHT, Times Staff Writer
The scene at New York's opulent Waldorf-Astoria Hotel was surreal. In a formal ballroom, underneath elegant chandeliers, Iranian President Ali Khamenei was having breakfast with 15 American journalists. Surrounding Khamenei was a squad of formidable, bearded Revolutionary Guards from the fearsome military unit made famous by its quest for martyrdom during the war with Iraq. And in the hallways just outside, U.S. Secret Service agents provided their own protection for a man whose government had officially dubbed the United States "the Great Satan."
June 6, 1989 | From Times Wire Services
Millions of frenzied mourners carried away with grief tore the white shroud from the body of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, toppling his half-naked corpse to the ground, before the Iranian leader was buried today. Mourners blocked the path of a van carrying Khomeini's body in an open coffin to the cemetery from the square where it had lain in state for 24 hours in an air-conditioned glass cubicle. In a scramble for mementos, they grabbed the tightly wrapped white shroud in which Muslims are buried and tore it to shreds.
June 6, 1989 | SHIREEN T. HUNTER, Shireen T. Hunter is a deputy director of the Middle East project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
Few people in recent history have been at once as respected, revered, reviled and despised as the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. To his supporters in Iran, Khomeini was the uncompromising and principled leader who for years single-handedly opposed the Shah, even when the monarch was at the height of his power and influence. The ayatollah then stood up to the superpowers and their pressures, fought a lonely battle against Iraq, and--although he did not win that war--pulled Iran back from the brink of disaster.
June 6, 1989 | WILLIAM TUOHY, Times Staff Writer
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians struggled for a last glimpse of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as he lay in state Monday, and in the wild expressions of mass grief, at least eight people were crushed to death and an estimated 500 others were injured. In temperatures of more than 100 degrees, the crowd of mourners, estimated by some officials at 2 million, jammed into Moussalam Square, a huge area reserved for prayer meetings in north Tehran. Weeping, wailing and chanting, they pushed forward to see the body of their spiritual and temporal leader, who lay on a makeshift catafalque--boxes draped with cloth and topped by an air-conditioned glass covering.
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