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Khamenei: Mass Ramadan events in Iran may stop over virus

/ 03:55 PM April 09, 2020

In this picture released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses the nation on a televised speech, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, March 22, 2020. Iran’s supreme leader Sunday refused U.S. assistance to fight the new coronavirus, citing an unfounded conspiracy theory that the virus could be man-made by America. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader suggested Thursday that mass gatherings in the Islamic Republic may be barred through the holy Muslim fasting month Ramadan amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comment in a televised address as Iran tries to restart its economic activity while suffering one of the world’s worst outbreaks.

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“In the absence of public gatherings in the Ramadan month including praying, speeches and so on, that we are this year are deprived of them, we should create the same senses in our lonesomeness,” Khamenei said.

Ramadan is set to begin in late April and last through most of May. Public officials had not yet discussed plans for the holy month, which sees the Muslim faithful fast from dawn until sunset.

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