SUDAN WATCH: Tehran, Iran: Leading demonstrators must be executed, Ayatollah Khatami demands

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tehran, Iran: Leading demonstrators must be executed, Ayatollah Khatami demands

A hardline cleric close to the Iranian regime demanded the execution of leading demonstrators yesterday as the opposition ended the week in disarray.

In a televised sermon at Friday prayers in Tehran, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami called on the judiciary to “punish leading rioters firmly and without showing any mercy to teach everyone a lesson”. He said that those leaders were backed by the United States and Israel. They should be treated as mohareb — people who wage war against God — and deserved execution.

In a clear warning to all other dissenters, he declared: “Anybody who fights against the Islamic system or the leader of Islamic society, fight him until complete destruction.”

The Ayatollah claimed that Neda Soltan, the woman shot during a demonstration last Saturday, had been killed by fellow protesters because “government forces do not shoot at a lady standing in a side street”. [...]

The most outspoken criticism of the regime is now coming from outside Iran. On Thursday President Obama called the regime’s suppression of dissent “outrageous”. He admitted that his hopes of opening a dialogue with Iran had been damaged but rejected Mr Ahmadinejad’s demand that he apologise for criticising the crackdown.

Speaking after talks with Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, he said that their two countries spoke with “one voice” in condemning the regime’s behaviour.

The foreign ministers of the G8 powers, meeting in Italy, issued a statement deploring the crackdown and urging Iran to resolve the crisis over the disputed election through democratic dialogue. “We deplore post-electoral violence which led to the loss of lives of Iranian civilians and urge Iran to respect fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression,” the G8 ministers said in a joint statement.

Full story: The Times by Martin Fletcher, Saturday, 27 June 2009:
Leading demonstrators must be executed, Ayatollah Khatami demands

Note, one of 101 comments at the article says:
Do not be fooled by the uneasy calm. There is something in the offing in Iran. They have a saying 'there is fire underneath the ashes'. Ayatollah Khatami (not to be confused with the former president of the same name) might find himself being strung upside down, sooner than he thinks.

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