Politics & Policy

Iranian Regime Threatens

After Monday saw the larges demonstrations (ostensibly in solidarity with Egyptian protesters, but in fact against the regime) in Iran since those of June, 2009, Tuesday saw fewer protests, but vociferous calls for a crackdown from Iranian parliament. Several MP’s wish to execute protest leaders as the “corrupt of the earth.” The Times reports

 

Members of the Iranian Parliament called on Tuesday for the two most prominent opposition leaders to be prosecuted and sentenced to death for stirring unrest.

The call came as confrontations between government authorities and protesters inspired by the Tunisia and Egypt revolutions continued to unfold elsewhere in the region, with violent clashes in Bahrain and Yemen.

The protests in Tehran and other Iranian cities on Monday brought thousands onto the streets, defying an official prohibition and reviving memories of the mass protests that convulsed Iran after the disputed presidential election in 2009.

The demonstrations were ostensibly called to offer support for the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, but they soon turned into what opposition figures depicted as a renewal of the anti-government sentiment that the authorities sought to quash last year.

Iran’s two man opposition leaders, Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Mussein Moussavi, were prevented from attending the protests on Monday in Tehran.

Nonetheless, the official IRNA news agency reported, 222 members of the 290-seat Parliament issued a statement on Tuesday saying they “are corrupts on earth and should be tried.” the official IRNA news agency quoted members of parliament as saying in a statement.

The offense of being “corrupt of the earth,” a catchall indictment of political dissent, carries the death sentence. It was not immediately clear whether the two men would be arrested. Both are under effective house arrest with their communications and movements restricted.

Iranian Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said that the judiciary will deal “firmly and swiftly” with those behind the riots, the state-controlled Press TV said.

The official fury seemed to denote the authorities’ displeasure and embarrassment at their opponent’s ability to muster a significant display of defiance.

A spokesman for Mr. Moussavi said the protests had shown that the so-called Green Movement, formed to challenge the disputed election in 2009, had scored a “great victory” and was “alive and well” despite a huge government crackdown when the government quashed dissent through the shooting of demonstrators, mass trials, torture, lengthy jail sentences and even executions of some of those taking part.

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