As the Iranian government wages a media campaign against
the opposition for allegedly burning a poster of Islamic Republic founder
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has raised the gauntlet
against movement leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. Calling them
"former brothers," Khamenei warns them to dissociate themselves with the picture
Looking stern and sounding angry Ayatollah Khamenei lashed out at Iran's
opposition movement, once again calling its supporters "rioters" and "lackies"
of Iran's foreign enemies. He also accused them of insulting and defiling the
memory of Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The Iranian media has been waging a campaign for several days against student
members of the opposition for allegedly burning a poster with the images of both
Ayatollah Khomeini and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Opposition members say the
government staged the burnings to discredit them.
Tehran University Students
again on Sunday and denounced the state run TV for fanning the
flames against the students and opposition
The Ayatollah complains rioters are being encouraged by enemies outside Iran to
burn, defile and desecrate Khomeini's image. He says opposition supporters have
taken the honorable portrait of Imam Khomeini and torched it, defiling his
Ayatollah Khamenei also used his speech to a group of clerics to demand the
opposition give up its claim, once and for all, that a June 12 presidential
election was rigged, urging opposition leaders to put an end to agitation in the
He urges the opposition to remain calm. Many, he says, have turned the election
into a campaign against the Islamic Republic. The election is over, he insists,
and their charges of fraud were investigated, but they could not prove anything.
Despite the Ayatollah's call for calm, hundreds of opposition students
demonstrated again Sunday at Tehran University. They denounced the government
campaign against them for allegedly burning photos of Ayatollah Khomeini.
Iranian police reportedly encircled the campus.
Protests at Tehran University on Sunday by students supporting the opposition
Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard took the government campaign a step
further, demanding on its website those responsible for burning photos be
prosecuted and punished. Such a crime in Iran carries a penalty of several
years in prison.
A number of opposition websites warn the Iranian government is preparing to
crack down on the opposition and arrest its top leaders.
Exiled activist Mohsen Sazagara says Revolutionary Guard commanders have urged
Supreme Leader Khamenei to arrest opposition leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and
Ali Nourizadeh of the London-based Center for Arab and Iranian Studies argues
the government campaign against the opposition is not gaining popular support,
other than that of a handful of hardliners, and he questions if Ayatollah
Khameini will dare arrest Mr. Mousavi for fear of a major backlash. "They wanted
to make something out of nothing. They wanted to make demonstrations against
the (opposition) Green Movement, and they burned Khomeini's picture-that is, you
know, crossing all the red lines-but the response was nothing, just in Qom and
some clergymen, some students, seminaries, and that is it. Therefore, that is
not enough for them to have strong support and enough guts to arrest Mousavi.
(Ayatollah Khamenei) may want couple of more days to see the response of the
street and the response of the students, and we will see if Mousavi is going to
be arrested," he says.
Mr. Mousavi's "Kalameh" website asked supporters to remain "alert," warning that
"propaganda in the government-run media could lead to something new and
Iran opposition leader puts supporters on red
alert - Opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi
expressed concern over the suspect circumstances surrounding the
tearing of Ayatollah Khomeini's picture and cautioned his supporters
to be aware of possible government retaliation against them.
WARNING to Iran's Opposition Beware That An
Event Is Unfolding! - Following the planned scenario
for disgracing Imam Khomeini and accusing the Green movement and the
students of this act, since yesterday official pro-Ahmadinejad media
have started a heavy propaganda with a hidden agenda, and based on
the information available it seems that they are preparing for some
harsher crack downs of the opposition movement.
Photos: Basij Students Protest Insult to
Ayatollah Khomeini - A group of Basij students from
Tehran Azad University gathered at Jamaran Hussainieh on Sunday to
protest the burning of photo of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of
Islamic Republic, which was allegedly done by students during the
Student Day protests in Tehran University.
Photos: Qom Clerics and Seminary Students
Protest Desecration of Khomeini's Photo - A large
group of clerics and Seminary students held a gathering in the city
of Qom Saturday to protest the burning of photo of Ayatollah
Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic, which was allegedly done
by students during the Student Day protests in Tehran University.
The protest was led by the firebrand cleric Ahmad Khatami who is
staunchly against anti-opposition.