January 17, 2020 / 9:30 AM / a month ago

Iran's Khamenei calls for unity after unrest over plane disaster

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s supreme leader called on Friday for national unity and a high turnout in a February election, after protests erupted following the military’s admission that it had shot down an airliner by mistake during a confrontation with the United States.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaking during his first Friday prayers sermon for eight years, at a time when Iran is under pressure at home and abroad, also said steps should be taken to prevent incidents like the “tragic” downing of the Ukraine International Airlines plane on Jan. 11, in which 176 people died.

Reporting by Parisa Hafezi and Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Edmund Blair

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