Hardline cleric urges tough stance on Iran detainees

TEHRAN (Reuters) – A hardline Iranian cleric urged the judiciary on Friday to resist Western pressure to free Western-linked detainees held after the country’s disputed June presidential election, state radio said.

Iranians expect the judiciary to act strongly and firmly and not to yield to Western pressure (to release detainees linked to the West),” senior cleric Ahmad Khatami told worshippers at Tehran University.

Iran has staged mass trials of those arrested after June 12 the vote, including a Frenchwoman and employees of the British and French embassies, in a move aimed at uprooting the opposition and putting an end to protests.

The opposition says the poll was rigged to secure President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election, a charge Iran‘s authorities deny, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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