Britain deserves punch in the mouth: Iranian foreign minister

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London, Dec. 30 (ANI): The Iranian government has blamed Britain for the bloody protests sweeping across the country, saying that London deserved a "punch in the mouth" for its role as the "chief culprit" behind the ongoing turmoil.

"Britain will receive a punch on the mouth if it does not stop its nonsense," The Independent quoted Iran's Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, as saying.

Iranian anger had been fuelled by Foreign Secretary David Miliband's condemnation of the crackdown.

The British ambassador to Tehran was summoned to the foreign ministry to answer charges of interfering in the internal affairs of Iran.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei further upped the ante, branding senior opposition members "enemies of God" who deserved to be executed.

"Those who are behind the current sedition in the country ... are mohareb [enemies of God] and the law is very clear about punishment of a mohareb," he said.

Meanwhile, Iranian police has told leading opposition members that safety could no longer be guaranteed once they are outside their homes.

Among those to receive the warning was Mehdi Karroubi, whose son said that his father was effectively under "house arrest".

On Tuesday, Mousavi's brother-in-law, Shapour Kazemi, was detained, and Shirin Ebadi, the human rights lawyer who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, said that her sister had been arrested in an attempt to silence her.

"This arrest is illegal because my sister is a dentist, she is not in any way active in human rights or politics ... and she didn't participate in any protests. She is detained for the sake of me," Ebadi told French radio.

The opposition website Jaras estimated that more than 900 people had been arrested in marches that began following the death of the senior dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri on December 19. (ANI)

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