Iran's supreme leader warned opponents Friday that any confrontation with the country's Islamic establishment would meet with a "harsh response."
The remarks by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were a clear message to the Iranian opposition and reformists who have challenged his authority in the aftermath of the disputed June presidential election.
Khamenei said authorities would strongly punish those who "take up the sword" to "confront the principles of the Islamic system."
But he said peaceful differences and criticism by officials would be tolerated.
Khamenei led Friday prayers in Teheran. His sermon was broadcast on state television.