Iran's state prosecutor warned opposition leaders Thursday they could face trial if they do not denounce this week's anti-government protests - the worst unrest since the aftermath of June's disputed presidential election.
The prosecutor, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehei, said the opposition leaders could be accused of supporting people who defy God by protesting against the government last Sunday, when Shiite Muslims observed the sacred day of Ashoura. He said the leaders may face charges of "supporting apostates," or those who go against God. At least eight people died during the protests and hundreds were arrested.
Ejehei's comments, published in state-owned Iran newspaper, deepened the bitter internal strife in Iran.
Also Thursday, a group of government supporters, wearing white funeral shrouds to symbolize a willingness to die in defense of the clerical rulers, staged a rally in southern Teheran and gathered outside the offices of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, state radio reported.