An influential Iranian cleric told worshipers Friday that those stirring unrest in connection with the recent election should be punished “ruthlessly and savagely” and convicted for waging war against God, a crime that under Shiite Islamic law is punishable by death.
The sermon at Tehran University by Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami was broadcast live on state television, amplifying the ominous tone the state has adopted this week toward the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have massed in the streets to question the results of the June 12 presidential balloting. The government has declared the gatherings illegal.
“I want the judiciary to . . . punish leading rioters firmly and without showing any mercy to teach everyone a lesson,” said Khatami, an influential cleric close to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “Based on Islamic law, whoever confronts the Islamic state . . . should be convicted as mohareb. . . . They should be punished ruthlessly and savagely.”Meanwhile, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad went after Barack Obama, demanding an apology or else. Or else what?
“Do you want to speak with this tone?” Ahmadinejad said Thursday, addressing Obama. “If that is your stance, then what is left to talk about?” “I hope you avoid interfering in Iran’s affairs and express your regret in a way that the Iranian nation is informed of it.”
He asked why Obama “has fallen into this trap and repeated the comments that Bush used to make” and told the U.S. president that such an attitude “will only make you another Bush in the eyes of the people.”
'Hundreds' jailed in Iran crackdown - MSN UK News
Iranian authorities threaten protesters with execution - Belfast Telegraph
Obama scoffs at Ahmadinejad's demand for apology - The Guardian
Iran's president lashes out at Obama - Forbes