Images continue to emerge of brutal attacks on Iranians by elements of the country's security forces, and reports from Tehran said a climate of fear had gripped many residents.
There was little word of the fate of hundreds of people thought to have been rounded up in mass arrests as officials clamped down on the "Where Is My Vote?" rallies that alleged the election had been stolen.
'War' Being Waged
In one high-profile sign of authorities' efforts to return to normalcy, the speaker at Friday Prayers at Tehran University was again a senior cleric, but not Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
In his sermon to the faithful in Tehran, Ayatollah Ahmed Khatami said the government should punish the leaders of the protests "ruthlessly and savagely."
He accused the protesters of being "at war with Islam."
Last week, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used his Friday prayers to warn opposition leaders that they would bear responsibility for any bloodshed in further protest rallies.
Government websites have also returned to a "business-as-usual" look.
Much of the coverage was focused on President-elect Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who is to be sworn in for a second term by August, on official trips and attending official functions.
That contrasts with the situation even 24 hours earlier. On June 25, Ahmadinejad -- who has been largely off-stage throughout the crisis -- emerged to fire a broadside at U.S. President Barack Obama.
He charged Obama with jeopardizing chances for better U.S.-Iran relations by criticizing the violence with which security forces cracked down on demonstrators, accusing him of taking "rude tone" that was "inexcusable."
"We understand that you are still gaining experience and you are still trying to work out what's hot and what's cold," Ahmadinejad taunted, "and I want to give you a bit of friendly advice: We don't want to see a repetition of the mess that was created during the Bush era and we don't want to see the same thing happening to a new administration in the United States."
Ahmadinejad's statement was in line with the
Iranian government's position of blaming foreign capitals for the unrest.
The Interior Ministry has accused the CIA and the armed resistance group The People's Mujahedin of Iran of funding the protests.
State television has shown detained protesters saying they were incited to riot by the VOA and BBC.
But if the streets are now quiet after no protests on June 25, there are signs the fight over the election is heightening within the establishment itself.
Ahmadinejad's top opponent in the election, Musavi said on his website on June 25 that he would continue to challenge the results.
Musavi faulted regime officials with the bloodshed during the protests.
"I am willing to show how election criminals have stood by those behind the recent riots and shed people's blood," the website statement said. "I will not back down even for a second because of personal threats and interests from defending the rights of the people."
The remarks by Musavi, a former prime minister, came amid other signs of deep rifts in the establishment over Ahmadinejad's victory.
Iranian newspapers reported on June 25 that 105 of the 290 members of the conservative-dominated Parliament took part in a victory celebration for Ahmadinejad two days earlier.
There have also been public calls from at least two grand ayatollahs for some effort at national reconciliation, despite Supreme Leader Khamenei's public endorsement of Ahmadinejad's victory.
Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi said that "something must be done to ensure that there are no embers burning under the ashes...and there is cooperation among all parties."
Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri (file photo)
Another Grand Ayatollah, Hossein Ali Montazeri,
called for an "impartial" committee to resolve the election dispute, warning
that it could otherwise undermine the government.
Montazeri is a leading dissident cleric who has long been under house arrest. He was once expected to succeed the Islamic Republic's founder, Ruhollah Khomeini but lost in an apparent power struggle to Ali Khamenei.
Green Light On Protests?
The signs of deepening rifts suggest the feud will not end soon, despite the government's efforts to legitimize the results.
The news network Khabar has quoted the spokesman of Iran's Guardians Council as saying there were no major violations in the June 12 presidential election. He rejected election fraud alleged by the opposition.
Council spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei said that all complaints by the defeated candidates -- Musavi and Mehdi Karroubi, a former parliament speaker -- were reviewed but that there were no major violations.
|With media severely restricted, amateur video and photos remain a key tool to follow events in Iran.|
... Payvand News - 06/26/09 ... --