Iran leader to make key sermon

Iran's supreme leader is to lead Friday prayers in Tehran - his first sermon since June when he defended President Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's speech will be closely watched for any indications of further moves against the opposition.

The violence that followed the disputed election left more than 70 people dead.

This week the Iranian authorities arrested two prominent opposition figures.

They also closed down the offices of Mehdi Karoubi who was a presidential contender in June.

Continuing crackdown

The government in Tehran has come through a period of intense political upheaval since the elections.

There has been a continuing crackdown on the opposition by government hardliners, and serious infighting within the establishment.

Analysts say that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is now in a more comfortable position, having had all but three members of his new cabinet approved by parliament in a vote of confidence last week.

Thousands of people were arrested in June following the mass street protests in Tehran that ended in violence as security forces moved to stop them.

Many have been released but Iran is currently trying a number of detainees over their alleged involvement in the protests.

They include opposition figures accused of conspiring with foreign powers to organise the unrest.

Critics have... >>>

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