Khamenei warns opposition against undermining establishment

December 13th, 2009 - 11:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Dec 13 (DPA) Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Sunday again warned the opposition over its efforts to undermine the ruling Islamic establishment.
His warning on state television came after protests in which images of him and Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution, were burned by opposition supporters.

Khamenei said opposition leaders should stop their antagonistic approach towards the establishment and prevent their supporters from insulting the system’s sanctities, in an apparent reference to Khomeini.

The protests last Monday angered Iran’s clergy.

Khamenei, who according to constitution has the final say on all state affairs, however called on the people to remain calm and allow the judiciary to deal with the offenders.

Opposition leader Mir-Hossein Moussavi Moussavi, who was prime minister during the Khomeini era, on Saturday expressed doubt that his supporters - the Green Movement - would have committed such acts.

The political turbulence in Iran begam after the disputed June 12 presidential election which led to re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The opposition led by Moussavi and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi accused Ahmadinejad of election fraud. Their supporters have since staged several protests, the last marking Students’ Day.

Khamenei said that the election was over and none of the opposition leaders could prove their claims of fraud.

He said that although the elected president might not be perfect, it was the duty of society to respect him and the people who voted for him.

Khamenei termed the protest rallies illegal and called on Moussavi and other opposition leaders to call on their supporters to refrain from participating.

There had been speculation on opposition websites Sunday night that following the recent protests leading opposition members, including Moussavi himself, might be arrested.

Opposition supporters have warned they would gather in large numbers to protest in Tehran if arrests were carried out.

Due to a ban on media coverage of the protests or contact opposition figures, all related reports could be independently verified.

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