Iran has arrested several protesters for allegedly tearing up a photo of the founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Tehran prosecutor Jafari Dolatabadi said Monday those arrested remain in detention and have confessed to tearing up the photo of Ayatollah Khomeini during protests on December 7.
Sunday, Iran's supreme leader accused the
pro-reform opposition of insulting the Islamic Republic's founder and trying to
undermine the Islamic system. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the opposition's
relentless protests were disrespectful.
Hundreds of opposition students demonstrated again Sunday at Tehran University. They said the government is falsely accusing reformers of setting the images ablaze in an attempted smear campaign.
The students are protesting what they call a staged act against the students and the opposition movement by the regime which has been using the state TV, its propaganda machine, to repeatedly broadcast a suspicious footage of tearing up a picture of Imam Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic, and accusing the students and the Green movement of being behind it. The students see this suspicious act by the regime as a precursor and excuse for harsher crackdowns of the Green movement and its leaders.
A message on the ("Kalameh") Web site of defeated presidential candidate and reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi warned that "propaganda in the government-run media could lead to something new and unexpected."
It asked supporters to remain "alert."
State television had broadcast footage of what it said were opposition supporters destroying photos of both Ayatollah Khamenei and Ayatollah Khomeini during the December 7 protests.
Students and the opposition leaders are denouncing the state TV for repeatedly broadcasting the footage of Ayatollah Khomeini's photo being burned and attributing the act to the opposition
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards on Sunday called for punishment of the demonstrators who tore up or burned photos of the late Ayatollah Khomeini.
Mr. Mousavi was quoted Saturday as saying his supporters would not allow any insult against Iran's supreme leader.
Supporters of Mr. Mousavi and other reformist leaders held mass protests earlier this year after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad secured a second term in a disputed June election. The post-election demonstrations were the largest in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The opposition accuses Mr. Ahmadinejad of rigging the vote.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters
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