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Crowds call for death of Iran’s dissenters

Associated Press / February 19, 2011

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TEHRAN — Thousands of government supporters called yesterday for the execution of opposition leaders in response to antigovernment demonstrations earlier in the week. And authorities appeared to tighten restrictions on one of the leaders under house arrest.

Hard-line cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said during a prayer service in Tehran that the opposition leaders have lost their reputation among people and are practically “dead and executed,’’ while worshippers chanted for their actual execution.

Jannati proposed more restrictions on Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, who are both under house arrest but still managed to organize the largest opposition protest in more than a year Monday.

“Their communications with people should be completely cut,’’ Jannati said. “ . . .They should be prisoners in their homes.’’

Authorities appeared to be acting to further isolate Mousavi.

An opposition website reported yesterday that a new deployment of government guards appeared outside Mousavi’s house and have stopped his three daughters from visiting or contacting their parents since Wednesday. The report said the guards belonged to the prosecutor’s office.

The head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, said Thursday that opposition leaders would be prevented from communicating with their supporters and that a possible trial was still on the agenda.

The remarks by these prominent figures suggest there is still no concrete plan for arresting the opposition leaders.

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