Iran resumes mass trial of activists, protesters

Dozens of opposition activists and protesters stood trial in Teheran Saturday on charges of rioting and plotting to topple the ruling Islamic system following the disputed presidential election, Iran's state media reported. The mass trial in Teheran's hardline Revolutionary Court demonstrates the government's resolve to discredit the reform movement in one blow and bring an end to anti-government protests that have persisted since the June 12 election. This is the second day of an extraordinary mass trial that started a week ago, although those standing trial Saturday were not the same defendants who attended the court last week. Saturday's session saw new faces including several prominent reformist politicians as well a 23-year old French academic arrested in July. During the session, a prosecutor read out an indictment outlining what he said was plans by the US and Britain to foment unrest in Iran with the aim of toppling the ruling Islamic system through a "soft overthrow", the official IRNA news agency reported.