Date of Publish: ۱۹ دی ۱۳۸۸

Iran Supreme Leader forbids "arbitrary" action against protesters

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei

Ayatollah Khamenei’s first speech since the Ashura Day protests while repeating the same condemnation of opposition leaders, introduced an element of pause to what he referred to as “arbitrary” action against protesters.

The Supreme Leader who was speaking in a gathering of the heads of the three government branches of the Islamic Republic in Qom, maintained that the pro-government rally after the December 27 protests revealed “people’s will” and therefore all government officials should act firmly and swiftly against “rioters.”

In reaction to Ashura Day protests when hardliners claimed protesters had disrespected the Holy Shiite day, the government made a show of force by orchestrating a rally in condemnation of protesters. During this rally, speakers warned that should the government fail to confront the opposition, people will take things into their own hands.

Attacks by people in plain clothes have become almost commonplace in Iran in the past months. In their latest attack, these forces attacked disputing candidate, Mehdi Karroubi Thursday night and opened fire on him.

Ayatollah Khamenei, while expressing empathy for what he referred to as “indignation and anger of the dear youth and Basiji children of Iran” regarding Ashura day events, he added that: “we must take care that we do not assist the enemy’s sedition with unwise action.”

He emphasized that: “Those who have no legal authority should not interfere in these matters.”