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Iranian Newspaper Accuses Opposition Leader of Treason


By VOA News

Mir Hossein Mousavi

A top Iranian newspaper is calling for reformist challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi to be tried for treason.

An editorial Saturday in the conservative daily Kayhan accuses Mr. Mousavi of working with foreign governments after he was defeated in last month's presidential vote.  It accuses the former prime minister of acting on orders from the United States to incite the post-election riots.

The editorial by hardline cleric Hossein Shariatmadari, a close aide to Iran's supreme leader, also called for Iran's former president and leading reformist, Mohammad Khatami, to be tried for treason.

Mr. Khatami has accused Iran's leaders of a "coup" against democracy for upholding the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad .

Late Friday, one of Iran's senior pro-reform clerics warned officials many Iranians are still wary of voting "ambiguities."

The statement by Grand Ayatollah Youssef Saanei posted on his Web site also said there is no excuse for the government to violate the rights of the Iranian people.

Iranian authorities have said about 20 people were killed and more than 1,000 arrested in post-election protests.

Also Saturday, a lawyer for a detained employee of the British Embassy in Tehran said his client now faces charges of "acting against national security."

The lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshi, identified his client as Hossein Rassam, the British embassy's top political analyst.

Iranian authorities arrested nine local employees of the British embassy last month.  Seven of the employees have since been released.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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