Iran MPs slam "misled" opposition leaders after deadly demo

AFP , Tuesday 15 Feb 2011

Iran's lawmakers were enraged at opposition after deadly protests

A dumpster burns on a street during clashes between protestors and police near Azadi Square in Tehran (Photo: Reuters)

Furious Iranian lawmakers on Tuesday demanded the hanging of opposition leaders who had called anti-government protests which left one person dead, saying they had been "misled" by Iran's arch-foes.

MPs singled out Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who had called for protests in Tehran on Monday in support of Arab uprisings that quickly turned into anti-government demonstrations and ended in clashes with police in which several people were hurt, including nine security force members, and two were killed.

Mohammad Khatami, former reformist president, also came under fire from the nation's conservatives following his open backing of the opposition movement since disputed June 2009 presidential elections.

"Mousavi and Karroubi should be executed! Death to Mousavi, Karroubi and Khatami!" the lawmakers shouted in the house, state news agency IRNA reported.

They said the United States, Britain and Israel had orchestrated Monday's protests through the opposition leaders, who, according to parliament speaker Ali Larijani were being "misled" by Iran's arch-foes.

"The parliament condemns the Zionists, American, anti-revolutionary and anti-national action of the misled seditionists," a visibly angry Larijani told the parliament.

"How did the gentlemen (Mousavi and Karroubi) ... fall into the orchestrated trap of America?" he asked.

The anti-government demonstrations were the first in Tehran since February 11, 2010.

Mousavi and Karroubi allege Ahmadinejad's re-election in June 2009 was rigged and in the months after the results were announced called for protests which drew tens of thousands onto the streets, shaking the pillars of the Islamic republic and angering its leaders.

Britain, the United State, France and the European Union appealed to the Iranian authorities to show restraint, recalling Iran's earlier support for the uprising in Egypt.

Spain, meanwhile, said it has protested to Tehran over a "very serious" incident in which Iranian authorities detained a Spanish diplomat for four hours, the Spanish foreign ministry said in Madrid Tuesday.

Spanish media said the diplomat was detained by police outside the Spanish embassy in Tehran near where an anti-government demonstration was taking place on Monday.


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