Iran warns of action as opposition remains defiant

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Tehran, Feb 16 (AFP) Iran said today it is planning totake action against opposition leaders after MPs demanded theybe executed, as the two former regime pillars defiantlylaunched fresh anti-government tirades.

Clashes meanwhile erupted between regime backers and"apparent" supporters of the opposition at a funeral attendedby thousands in Tehran of a student killed in anti-governmentprotests of Monday, state television reported.

Iran''s prosecutor general Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeiewarned that action would be taken against opposition leadersMir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who reject thepresidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and who had called forMonday''s demonstration which turned deadly.

"The heads of seditions are the people who should bepunished for their criminal acts and God willing actions inthis regard are being taken," Mohseni Ejeie said, according toFars news agency.

"People have given them their punishment, but peoplealso have a legitimate right to demand (punishment) from thejudiciary which we hope we would be able to fulfill."

Mohseni Ejeie said several people were arrested duringMonday''s protests but some were immediately released, addingthat some more arrests were expected.

"In general the anti-revolution current is behindthese events. Unfortunately, some have fallen in traps ofAmerica," he said. Iranian officials accuse the United States,Britain and Israel of influencing the opposition movement.

Thousands of anti-government protesters took tostreets of Tehran Monday and clashed with riot-police in whichtwo people were killed -- including the student buried today-- and several wounded, officials and opposition websites say.

Among the wounded were nine members of the securityforces, one of whom was seriously hurt.

The protest, initially held under the pretext ofshowing solidarity with Arab uprisings, were the firstanti-government demonstration since February 11, 2010 whensimilar agitation was crushed by security forces andmilitiamen.

But Karroubi and Mousavi came out fighting today,issuing statements slamming the authorities and praisingdemonstrators, after lawmakers the previous day demanded theybe executed for their role in Monday''s protests.

Karroubi said in a statement posted on his websiteSahamnews.org, he was ready to "pay any price."

"I declare that I am not afraid of any kind of threatand as a soldier of this great nation for the past almost 50years, I am ready to pay any price," he said.

"I am warning that before it is too late, take out thebuds from your ears and listen to the voice of the people.

Forcing violence and opposing peoples'' wishes will last onlyfor a certain time," the cleric said. (AFP)

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