Iran MPs call for 'maximum punishment' of protesters
29-Dec-2009 (one comment)

TEHRAN — Iranian MPs called for the "maximum punishment" of opposition demonstrators on Tuesday after violent protests erupted during a Shiite religious commemoration and eight people were killed.

The conservative-dominated parliament condemned "disgusting comments" by Western governments about Sunday's unrest and accused the protesters of being "anti-religion" and "counter-revolutionaries."

"Parliament wants the judiciary and intelligence bodies to arrest those who insult religion and impose the maximum punishment on them without reservation," said the statement read out by parliament speaker Ali Larijani on television.

But the MPs appeared to be softer on opposition leaders, who reject President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's June re-election as fraudulent, and urged them to distance themselves from the protests. Related article: Recent key events in Iran.

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