Iranian Cleric Calls for More Executions

Iranian Cleric Calls for More Executions
# 29 January 2010 21:43 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati praised judicial authorities during Friday prayers in Tehran for executing two political dissidents a day earlier. And he urged officials to continue executing dissidents until opposition protests come to an end, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Jannati heads Iran’s powerful Guardian Council and is a supporter of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
He said Iran made a mistake by tolerating the protests following Mr. Ahmadinejad’s re-election last June, and that there is no longer any room for mercy.
The United States on Thursday strongly condemned Iran for executing the two men.
White House spokesman Bill Burton described the executions as murder, calling it a "low point" in Iran’s "unjust and ruthless crackdown on peaceful dissent."
The spokesman also said such action will not bring Tehran respect but further isolate it in the world.
Iranian authorities said opposition activists Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahmanipour were hanged Thursday. It is the first reported execution of Iranian dissidents since protests erupted over last June’s disputed re-election of President Ahmadinejad.
Human rights groups say the two dissidents were arrested before the June election and do not appear to be connected to the protests. But Iran said the men confessed to planning assassinations and bombings for the pro-monarchist Kingdom Assembly of Iran.
Iranian officials say a new group of post-election protesters will go on trial in coming days. They did not say how many defendants are involved.
Iran already has sentenced more than 80 people to prison terms of several months to 15 years over the unrest. Dowlatabadi says nine detainees face death sentences.
The disputed June election plunged Iran into its deepest internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Iran’s opposition accuses President Ahmadinejad of rigging the vote to win re-election and has been staging anti-government protests for more than six months.
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