Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini refuted rumours that he was on his deathbed, and in a speech in Tehran on August 9 denied his country's involvement in planting mines in the Red Sea.
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Background: TEHRAN, IRAN
Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini refuted rumours that he was on his deathbed, and in a speech in Tehran on August 9 denied his country's involvement in planting mines in the Red Sea. In a speech lasting over a half hour, he denounced the recent hijacking of an Iranian jet to Rome and criticised the government-run Tehran Radio for broadcasting a claim by an extremist Islamic group that it was responsible for the mine explosions in the Red Sea which have damaged a dozen ships. Serious measures should be taken to stop unsound statements which defame Iran from being read on the radio, he said. The speech, delivered in a mosque near his North Tehran home and broadcast on Tehran Radio, was his first major public speech since last month. Rumours that Khomeini, 84, had suffered strokes or had become seriously ill began circulation among Iranian exiles about a fortnight ago. President Ali Khamenei, Prime Minister Ali Mussavi and other top officials were present at the speech, during which the Iranian leader said that the army and revolutionary guards should stay out of politics. If they became politically involved, he said, it would be the end of them.
Source: ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN BROADCASTING (IRIB)