Iranian Lawmakers Call for Death to Opposition

By: AP
By: AP

TEHRAN, Iran -- Hardline Iranian lawmakers called on Tuesday for the country's opposition leaders to face trial and be put to death, a day after clashes between opposition protesters and security forces left two people dead and dozens injured.
Tens of thousands of people turned out for the opposition rally Monday in solidarity with Egypt's popular revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years in power. The demonstration was the first major show of strength from Iran's beleaguered opposition after canceling planned rallies for the past year when authorities refused permission.
In Washington, President Barack Obama criticized the Iranian government for its harsh treatment of protesters and noted the irony of its support for Egypt's uprisings while repressing demonstrators at home.
At an open session of parliament Tuesday, pro-government legislators demanded opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mahdi Karroubi and former reformist President Mohammad Khatami be held responsible for the protests.
Pumping their fists in the air, the lawmakers chanted "death to Mousavi, Karroubi and Khatami."
"We believe the people have lost their patience and demand capital punishment" for the opposition leaders, 221 lawmakers said in a statement.
Hardliners have long sought to put senior opposition figures on trial, but the calls for the death penalty signaled an escalation in their demands.
Parliament formed a special committee to review the case and decide in coming days about how the government should deal with the opposition leaders.


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