Friday , 2 June 2023

Khamenei’s New Year Holiday In Mashhad Under Air Defense Protection

Iranwire – Ali Khamenei, the 84-year-old leader of the Islamic Republic, usually travels to the northeastern city of Mashhad twice a year amid tight security, for the Persian New Year holidays in March and during the summer.

In his hometown, Khamenei resides in a palace in Malekabad Gardens, where he meets with relatives. He also discusses important issues with government officials and holds talks with provincial officials, prominent Shia clerics from Mashhad and other spiritual leaders who have offices in the city.

Khamenei usually spends between 20 days to one month in Mashhad, where he also meets with the families of those who died in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and relatives of prominent officials who were assassinated.

During his presidency from 1981 to 1989, Khamenei used to routinely travel to Mashhad to visit his parents, but he stayed in the provincial governor’s office or Astan Quds Razavi residences.

After Khamenei became supreme leader, parts of the Malekabad Gardens which previously housed staff and workers were transformed into residences for Khamenei and his guests.

Protection of Khamenei’s Residence

Forces of the Vali Amr Corps, a unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that is responsible for protecting Khamenei, travel to Mashhad ahead of the supreme leader’s visits.

Reports over the past years have indicated that security in Mashhad has been increased during the visits.

According to a Swiss website that focuses to military issues, advanced Russian S-300 missile defense systems were deployed in the city on three occasions between 2017 and 2018, which coincided with visits by Khamenei.

The Khatam al-Anbia unit, which is affiliated with the IRGC, took steps to build a new missile base north of Mashhad airport, according to the website.

S-300 missile defense systems have been deployed around Bushehr and Isfahan, where nuclear facilities are located.