Ahmadinejad calls for prosecution of Iran's opposition leaders
Los Angeles Times / Borzou Daragahi

Reporting from Beirut - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demanded the prosecution of opposition leaders today, raising the nation's political temperature just a day and a half after supreme leader Ali Khamenei sought to cool tempers in a conciliatory speech.

In a pre-sermon speech at weekly prayers in Tehran, the capital, Ahmadinejad did not explicitly name his rivals Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, but left little doubt he was speaking about them in calling for the punishment of the "masterminds" who allegedly spurred weeks of unrest that followed his widely disputed June 12 reelection.

"The most important task for the judiciary and security bodies is to deal seriously with the leaders and masterminds" of the unrest, he said. "All of those who organized and instigated [the riots] and followed the enemy line have to be seriously confronted. The masterminds of the riots should by no means enjoy any immunity."

The crowd inside the Tehran University venue chanted, "Execution for the ringleaders!"

Although a crackdown appears to have halted a protest movement that erupted amid allegations of vote-rigging in the election, it has failed to quiet reformist and moderate politicians who continue to defy hard-liners' threats to have them jailed."We will not budge regardless of all the pressures aimed at dislodging reformists," former President Mohammad Khatami said at a meeting of political a... >>>

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