Iran: Revolutionary Guards pledge repression
Police again broke up protests in Tehran June 22, as the Revolutionary Guards warned they would crush "rioters" opposing the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "In the current sensitive situation...the Guards will firmly confront in a revolutionary way rioters and those who violate the law," said a statement on the Guards' website. Thestatement comes a day after pposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi called for continued protests. Ali Shahrokhi, head of parliament's judiciary committee, said Mousavi should be prosecuted for "illegal protests and issuing provocative statements." (Reuters, June 22)
The funeral of Neda Salehi Agha Soltan, the 27-year-old whose shooting at a protest June 22 was captured on video, has apparently been forbidden by the ruling clerics. Mehdi Karroubi—the presidential candidate who, together with Mousavi—is contesting the victory of Ahmadinejad, called a public commemoration of Neda in defiance of the ban. Karroubi made his appeal on Facebook. It is unclear if the demonstration was held. Twitter entries announced that Neda was buried at the Behest Zahra cemetery and that the authorities had prohibited a funeral. (AGI, June 22)
Official media cited unnamed security officials saying the "US-backed" and "terrorist" Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) has played a major role in the unrest, and that several of those detained have been identified as MKO members. According to the security officials, the detained militants confessed that they were extensively trained in Iraq's camp Ashraf to create post-election mayhem in Iran, and received orders from an "MKO command post" in Britain. On June 20, MKO leader Maryam Rajavi expressed support for recent wave of protests in an address to supporters in Paris. (Tehran Times, June 22)
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