Iran News ...


09/26/09

Fundamentalist Iranian cleric calls on public to confront protesters

Report by Radio Zamaneh


Ayatollah Janati (file photo)

Ayatollah Janati, a fundamentalist cleric and chairman of the Guardian Council, told the crowd listening to his Friday sermon, that if the judiciary and the security forces are unable to confront "rioters and agitators", it is the duty of every Muslim to confront them.

In the course of protests that broke out following allegations of fraud in the elections, many conservative figures and media have referred to protesters as "rioters and agitators." During the violent crackdown on protesters, groups of plainclothes forces attacked the crowd brutally beating and injuring the peaceful demonstrators. To date no official government body has assumed responsibility for these attacks.

Ayatollah Janati told worshipers that "all Muslims are obligated to confront those who commit any cruelty, aggression or disturbance." This is the first time an Iranian official calls on the public to take the law into their own hands with regard to election protesters.

Prior to Ayatollah Janati's sermon, Major-General Rahim Safavi, the Supreme Leader's military adviser spoke of how in the last three months of unrest, "several members of the elite circle of people close to the leader have betrayed him by not firmly confronting lawbreakers." The internal rift in the Islamic government was alluded to by Mr. Safavi who declared "some of our own people created problems by assuming stances that were contradictory to our security and national well-being."

MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the two disputing candidates of the elections have been accused by military commanders of "provoking unrest and breaking the law." Without naming any names, Mr. Safavi expressed his hopes that "these people would return to the bosom of Islam."

The "soft war" to topple the Islamic Republic that has been cited by several Iranian officials as the aim of the recent protests, was also a topic of Mr. Safavi at the Friday worship. While yesterday the Supreme Leader listed foreign media, human power, writers, intellectuals, thinkers and international business people as tools of the soft war, Major-General Safavi cited discrediting the armed forces as another instrument of this so-called soft war.

The violent attack of election protesters was carried out by several branches of the Iranian armed forces, including security forces, Islamic Revolutionary Guards and the Basij militia.

In the recent months, many protesters have been detained at the Revolutionary Guards detention centres. Thousands of protesters have been arrested in the past three months in connection with the election protests that challenge Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory.

 

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