Thousands call for execution of Iran opposition leaders

February 18, 2011 14:36

Supporters of Ahmadinejad's regime answer anti-government protests with demonstrations of their own against Mir Hossein Mousavi.

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Pro-government Iranian protester with Khamenei pic

Pro Regime Iranian 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Thousands of government supporters called for the execution of opposition leaders at Friday prayers in the Iranian capital Tehran, following last week's anti-government demonstrations.

Hardline cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said during the Friday prayers that the opposition leaders have lost their reputation among people and are practically "dead and executed," while worshippers chanted for their actual executions.

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Janati proposed more restrictions on Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, opposition leaders who are under house arrest, but still managed to organize the largest opposition protest in more than a year on Monday.

"Their communications with people should be completely cut. They should not be able to receive and send message. Their phone lines and internet should be cut. They should be prisoners in their home," he said.

The head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani said Thursday that opposition leaders would be prevented from communicating with their supporters and a possible trial was still on the agenda, he said without elaborating.

The remarks by these prominent figures, suggest there is still no concrete plan for arresting the opposition leaders, possibly to avoid giving them more public attention.

Late on Thursday, Karroubi's website,, quoted him as saying he was ready to stand trial.

The opposition demonstrations on Monday aimed at showing solidarity with Egypt's uprising, but turned into a major opposition rally. Two people were killed in clashes with police.

Mousavi and Karroubi are leaders of a protest movement that grew out of the disputed presidential election in 2009 in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters poured into the streets after the re-election of Ahmadinejad, calling it fraudulent. Opposition says scores were killed after the massive government crackdown.

Dozens of opposition members and activist were sentenced to prison terms from six months to 15 years in the crackdown.

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