Fundamentalist Iranian cleric calls on public to confront protesters
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.
Ayatollah Janati (file photo)
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
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
... Payvand News - 09/26/09 ... --