Mohsen Rezaei 248 88 ap.
(photo credit: AP [file])
The defeated conservative candidate in Iran's disputed presidential election, Mohsen Rezaei, on Sunday accused the United States and Israel of plotting against Teheran.
In remarks published on his web site, Rezaei said, "They - the US and Israel - plotted this disintegration to weaken Iran and make it surrender through sanctions or attack."
Rezaei also warned the government and opposition protesters that more postelection turmoil could lead to the country's disintegration, and urged the other two defeated candidates - both of them reformists - to drop their push for a new vote and work with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The former commander of the powerful Revolutionary Guard may be trying to position himself as a neutral figure in the dispute who could work to bring Iran's divided camps together.
The two other defeated candidates, including main opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, have charged that Ahmadinejad's landslide re-election was the result of fraud and want the results scrapped. The official outcome of the June 12 vote triggered days of street protests.
Authorities responded with a violent crackdown and roundups of activists, academics, journalists and lawyers.
The election dispute also exposed rifts within Iran's clerical establishment.
"A continuation of the current situation will drive us toward disintegration," Rezaei said.
He also had words of rebuke for the government, saying it should have differentiated between protesters and what he called "counterrevolutionaries" and "violators."
Both sides, he said, were providing opportunities for Iran's enemies through their struggle.
"I believe the continuation of the way of some political activists will drive us backward and toward failure and the method of some others will take us to the precipice," Rezaei said.
He added, however, that "the damage by both sides is still repairable" and said Iranians could learn from the experience for the sake of the country's future.