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Khamenei: Iran Will Not ‘Yield to Pressure’

BY Admin  June 24, 2009 at 11:20 AM EST

Pro-government supporters in Iran; AFP/Getty

“On the current situation, I was insisting and will insist on implementation of the law. That means, we will not go one step beyond the law,” Khamenei said on state television, according to media reports.”For sure, neither the system nor the people will give in to pressures at any price.”

Police and militia-based security forces appear to have gained control of the streets after the biggest anti-government protests since the 1979 Islamic revolution rocked the country following the disputed June 12 election.

Results of the election show President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winning re-election by a landslide with 62.6 percent of the vote. Ahmadinejad’s main challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, has charged massive fraud in the poll.

Iran’s hardline leadership is blaming much of the unrest on foreign governments and foreign media. Tehran has imposed tight restrictions on foreign reporters in the country, although many are still able to file reports from the country’s capital.

“Britain, America and the Zionist regime (Israel) were behind the recent unrest in Tehran,” Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli said, according to the semi-official Fars news agency and as reported by news services.

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama said he was “appalled and outraged” by the clampdown in Iran, providing more evidence of rising tension with the West.

Khamenei ordered an end to protests on Friday and security forces clashed with protesters and at rallies the next day. State media have said that at least 17 people have been killed in post-election unrest.

A Web site of Mousavi’s said a protest was planned outside the Iranian parliament for Wednesday afternoon, but there were no confirmed reports that the demonstration was going forward.

The AP also reported that the Web site distanced Mousavi, the former prime minister, from the protest, calling it independent and saying it had not been organized by the candidate himself.

Mousavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard said on a Web site associated with the candidate that his supporters had the constitutional right to protest and the government should not deal with them “as if martial law has been imposed in the streets.”

Rahnavard is a former university dean who campaigned beside her husband during his run for the presidency and is considered an influential player in the opposition movement.

“I regret the arrest of many politicians and people and want their immediate release,” Rahnavard said in her statement, according to the New York Times. “It is my duty to continue legal protests to preserve Iranian rights.”

Another opposition figure and presidential candidate, Mahdi Karroubi, has called for a national day of mourning for people killed in the protests, which social networking Web sites are reporting may happen Thursday.

Meanwhile, Mohsen Rezaie, a conservative candidate in the election, said he was withdrawing his complaints about voting fraud for the sake of the country, state television reported, according to the Associated Press.

The decision moves the Iranian government one step closer toward securing Ahmadinejad’s re-election. State TV reported that Ahmadinejad would be sworn in sometime between July 26 and Aug. 19.