Iran accuses opposition chiefs of treason

Last Updated: Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 23:31

Tehran: Iran on Thursday accused two
opposition leaders of treason and vowed to block their ability
to communicate with their supporters on the eve of a
pro-regime "hatred" rally against them in Tehran.

The leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi
Karroubi, are under de facto house arrest but have regularly
issued defiant messages to their supporters through their
websites, including one which led to anti-government protests
on Monday that left two people dead and several wounded.

The protests angered regime-backers and furious
lawmakers demanded the execution of the pair, who were once
pillars of the Islamic establishment.

Tehran: Iran on Thursday accused two
opposition leaders of treason and vowed to block their ability
to communicate with their supporters on the eve of a
pro-regime "hatred" rally against them in Tehran.

The leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi
Karroubi, are under de facto house arrest but have regularly
issued defiant messages to their supporters through their
websites, including one which led to anti-government protests
on Monday that left two people dead and several wounded.

The protests angered regime-backers and furious
lawmakers demanded the execution of the pair, who were once
pillars of the Islamic establishment.

"They (the people) should be certain that we will
block the mechanism through which the sedition leaders issue
their statements," he said, urging people to be patient and
vigilant.

Mousavi and Karroubi have regularly issued
anti-government statements on their respective websites and
had called for a rally in support of Arab uprisings.

Heeding the call, thousands of their supporters
took to Tehran streets on Monday and turned the gathering into
a fresh anti-government demonstration which led to clashes
with security forces and militiamen.

In the unrest two people were killed and several
others wounded, including nine members of security forces,
officials and opposition websites reported.

Similar but deadlier opposition protests that
lasted several months in the wake of the the June 2009
disputed presidential election shook the pillars of Iran`s
Islamic regime and divided its elite clergy.

Dozens of people were killed, scores wounded and
thousands arrested when authorities cracked down on those
protesters, leading them to adopt, until Monday, a much lower
profile.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 23:31

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