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article imageSupreme Leader of Iran Warns Opposition Not to Threaten Security

By Chris Dade     Jul 20, 2009 in World
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today issued his latest rebuke to those opposition leaders who continue to dispute the result of June's presidential election in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a second term in office.
It was only on Friday that one former President of Iran, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who is still a highly influential figure in the country, was addressing the crowds gathered for prayers at Tehran University. He appealed for the release of those imprisoned for their part in the protests that began almost as soon as President Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of the election and also suggested that the Iranian government had lost the trust of the people. The country had, he added, been given the chance to be "the best" but had "let it slip".
According to Bloomberg News between 1.5 and 2.5 million people had gathered in the streets surrounding the university as Mr Rafsanjani was speaking. Among them were tens of thousands of opposition supporters. The police were out in force, along with members of the Basij militia, and there was the spectacle once more of tear gas being fired at those assembled, or attempting to assemble, outside the university.
Mr Rafsanjani's criticism of the current leadership of Iran was then followed by comments made yesterday by his successor in the post of President, Mohammad Khatami. Calling for a referendum in which the Iranian people could vote on the "legitimacy of the government", Mr Khatami, who at one stage was himself contemplating running as a candidate in the election, apparently voiced his belief that any faith the voters might have had in the electoral process of Iran had disappeared.
Mir Hossein Moussavi, the man who ran as the main reformist candidate in the election and allegedly only attracted 13.2 million votes, in contrast to the 24.5 million people who voted for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, met today with the families of many of those protesters still being detained by the authorities. He echoed the calls already made for their release before going on to say the following words, first reported by the Iranian Labor News Agency and repeated on CNN:These difficulties and hardships are part of the price that our society pays for a better future. We strive for an Islamic and free state in which all free thinkers are valued and people can determine their own destiny. Those who were arrested did not move outside of these values
The words of all three men have drawn a strong response from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has consistently declared the election results to have been fair and free of any corruption. Insisting again that foreign governments had stoked the unrest that swept through the country after the election, Mr Khamanei issued what, CNN seemed to suggest, was a thinly veiled attack on Mr Rafsanjani in particular. Mr Khamanei's statement was released through the Islamic Republic News Agency, which is a government run organization. In it he warned:Anyone, regardless of his position and title, will be hated by the people if he tries to direct the society toward insecurity. Political figures must be vigilant because their words, analyses and actions could cause social disturbance and insecurity, which is moving against the path of the nation of Iran. Each Iranian expresses his opinion, but since the nation is aware of the fact that there is enmity toward the system and that there is a hand that is directing the effort to attack the country's management system, the nation distances itself from them, even if they use the same slogans that the nation believes in
Speaking on an important day in the Muslim holy calendar, the day when God is believed to have chosen Mohammed as a prophet, the Supreme Leader stated that undermining the security of the Iranian nation would be “the biggest sin”.
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