Iranian tinhorn Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants his opponents prosecuted for their roles in fanning the flames of protest after his disputed re-election.
Ahmadinejad's call, made in a pre-sermon speech at weekly prayers in Tehran, raised the nation's political temperature just a day and a half after Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sought to cool tempers in a conciliatory speech. Ahmadinejad did not explicitly name his rivals Mir-Hossein Mousavi or Mehdi Karroubi, but it was clear he was speaking about them in calling for the punishment of the "masterminds" who allegedly spurred weeks of unrest that followed his widely disputed June 12 reelection.
"All of those who organized and instigated [the riots] and followed the enemy line have to be seriously confronted," he said as the crowd outside Tehran University called for the "ringleaders" to be excuted. "The masterminds of the riots should by no means enjoy any immunity."
While a crackdown appears to have halted a protest movement that erupted amid allegations of vote-rigging in the elections, it has failed to quiet reformist and moderate politicians who continue to defy hard-liners' threats to have them jailed.
"We will not budge regardless of all the pressures aimed at dislodging reformists," President Mohammad Khatami said at a meeting of political activists Thursday night. "We can no longer defend our Islamic Republic against rigid-minded, extremist and inhumane groups working under the name of Islam."
Get more: The Los Angeles Times