Opposition Leader: Dictatorial ''cult'' Rules Iran
New York Times

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's opposition leader said Saturday that a dictatorial ''cult'' was ruling Iran in the name of Islam -- his strongest attack to date on the country's clerical leadership.

Mir Hossein Mousavi also challenged the government to let his supporters take to the streets freely, saying that would allow it to gauge the opposition's true strength. Two days ago, Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, charged that Iran's the opposition had lost its credibility and its right to participate in politics by not accepting the results of June presidential elections.

''This is the rule of a cult that has hijacked the concept of Iranianism and nationalism,'' Mousavi said in an interview published on his Web site. ''Our people can't tolerate that (dictatorial) behaviors are promoted in the name of religion.''

The opposition alleges President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the vote through massive fraud and that Mousavi was the rightful winner. A massive wave of protests provoked a bloody government crackdown, in which more than 80 demonstrators were killed and hundreds of rights activists, journalists and pro-reform politicians were rounded up.

The government puts the number of confirmed deat at 30. It has accused opposition leaders of being ''stooges of the West'' and seeking to topple the ruling system through street protests.

Meanwhile, it has put more than 100 people on a mass trial that began in August. Eleven people have be... >>>

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