Iran Guards warn opposition against rally

TEHRAN — The Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday warned opposition leaders not to stage a rally after the anniversary of Iran's Islamic revolution, as a top official said the planned event aimed to sow division.

Iran's judiciary chief said opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi were walking free only because their arrest after the disputed June 2009 presidential poll would have made them appear to be "saints."

Their plan to stage a rally next Monday was a ploy by Iran's "enemy," as happens each at around the time of the revolution's anniversary, which falls on February 11, said Guards commander Hossein Hamedani.

"The seditionists (opposition leaders) are nothing but a dead corpse and we will strongly confront any of their movements," Hamedani told the state news agency IRNA.

"We definitely consider them as anti-revolutionary and spies, and we will strongly confront them," he said of protesters against the election results.

The warning from Hamedani, whose division was in charge of Tehran's security during the unrest after the election, comes after Mousavi and Karroubi sought permission to hold a rally in support of Arab uprisings.

But critics have termed the rally a ploy to stage fresh protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government, of the kind unseen on Tehran streets since last year's Islamic revolution anniversary.

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