Iranian Lawmakers: Execute Opposition Leaders

Hardliners call for leaders to face trial, death penalty
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2011 11:02 AM CST
Iran Protests: Hardline Iranian Lawmakers Call for Opposition Leaders to Face Trial, Death Penalty
This photo shows Iranian protesters moving a garbage can which is set on fire, during an anti-government protest in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.   (AP Photo)

Inspired by Egypt, tens of thousands turned out yesterday for an opposition rally in Iran—leading some lawmakers to take an especially hard line against opposition leaders today, calling for them to stand trial and be put to death. Pro-government legislators chanted, "Death to Mousavi, Karroubi, and Khatami," three of the leaders, at parliament today, the AP reports. "We believe the people have lost their patience and demand capital punishment," said 221 lawmakers in a statement.

Yesterday's rally was the first major demonstration from Iran's opposition movement since December 2009, and authorities said they will move to stifle such activity quickly. One person was killed in yesterday's protests, officials confirm; dozens more were injured and several were arrested. Iranian hardliners have sought to put opposition leaders on trial before, but calls for the death penalty are new. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed support from the US for the demonstrators yesterday, but an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson today said the US is simply "meddling." Click for more on yesterday's protests.
(Read more Egypt protests stories.)

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