September 07, 2009
By Golnaz Esfandiari
Who is damaging the Islamic republic?
This question pits two increasingly irreconcilable camps against each other as the debate continues to heat up in Tehran.
To hard-liners, the answer is clear: it is the reformists, who are accused of plotting a “velvet coup.” To reformists, it is the hard-liners themselves, whose actions undermine the very system they seek to preserve.
Now, hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, whose fraud-tainted reelection led to massive street protests and widened the gulf between the two sides, has reiterated his call for opposition leaders to be put on trial for directing the postelection unrest.
“Those who led the [unrest] and planned it, those who accepted the support of the enemy” should be prosecuted, Ahmadinejad said at a press conference with Iranian and foreign media.
“The least was that they didn’t react and by their silence they accepted the support of the enemy and they tried to strike a blow.”
Concern has grown that key figures who are seen as the leaders of the opposition movement could be arrested. They include former President Mohammad Khatami, presidential candidates Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi, and the head of the Assembly of Experts, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.