Ahmadinejad: punish Iran opposition leaders

Iran’s president Friday called for the prosecution of opposition leaders over the postelection turmoil, saying that senior activists currently on trial should not be the only ones punished.

The call from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stepped up the pressure against reformers in the ongoing unrest that has gripped the country following the June 12 presidential election and proven the strongest challenge to the cleric-led regime since its 1979 inception.

“Serious confrontation has to be against the leaders and key elements, against those who organized and provoked (the riots) and carried out the enemy’s plan. They have to be dealt with seriously,” Ahmadinejad told a crowd of thousands in the capital Tehran before Friday prayers.

The president said prominent activists who are currently standing trial have to be treated with “Islamic mercy,” portraying them as “deceived” into taking part in the unrest.


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