Iran's opposition leader criticizes ruling clerics

Iran's opposition leader condemned the country's hardline ruling clerics for abuses against anti-government detainees, while insisting that the protest movement remains committed to a nonviolent path.

Mir Hossein Mousavi has often spoken out against the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but has recently stepped up his criticism of Iran's clerical leaders.

In remarks posted late Thursday on his website, Mousavi was quoted as telling a gathering of families of detained political activists that their "children, brothers, sisters and husbands are innocent."

"What did they do? They asked for the most basic rights of the nation. But they were arrested ... tortured," he said. "Even their families are attacked, disrespected and assaulted."

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