Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei will lead Friday prayers in Tehran on Friday, January 17, amid heightened tensions and recent calls for his resignation following the downing of a Ukrainian Airlines plane on January 8. Khamenei has not personally led Friday prayers since 2012. The prayers sermon will be held at Musalla mosque; large crowds are likely at the event.
A heightened security presence and associated transportation and business disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of Musalla.
Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced on January 11 that the incident was due to "human error" after the plane flew too close to a Revolutionary Guards' military site. The plane crashed near the Tehran suburb of Parand shortly after taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) at approximately 06:12 on January 8. None of the 176 passengers and crew members on board survived the crash.
Individuals in Tehran are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all large public gatherings as a precaution, anticipate a heightened security presence and associated disruptions, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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