Conservative surprises Iranians by openly blasting Supreme Leader
Associted Press / Ali Akbar Dareini

A prominent Iranian conservative respected by supporters of the country's Islamic regime issued a blistering condemnation of the ruling establishment and its supreme leader on Monday, adding an unexpected voice to a growing chorus of criticism over the bloody aftermath of Iran's disputed election.

The apparent change of heart on the part of Mohammad Nourizad, a filmmaker and activist praised until recently by hardliners, was a surprising sign that the lethal force used by the government against pro-reform protesters has infuriated even some of the government's supporters and turned them into critics.

His letter, published on several Web sites, was exceptional for its harsh language and for taking the risky step of explicitly targeting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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