Iran's opposition leader assails 'cult' of leaders
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One of Iran's opposition leaders, Mir Hussein Moussavi, said Saturday that a dictatorial "cult" was ruling Iran -- one of his most critical statements against the country's rulers since disputed elections last summer.
"This is the rule of a cult that has hijacked the concept of Iranianism and nationalism," Mr. Moussavi said in the interview posted on his Web site, Kalameh. "Our people cannot tolerate such behavior under the name of religion."
The statements appear to be part of a renewed campaign by the opposition's leadership to prove that they are still vital, despite a brutal crackdown by the government and their inability to bring masses of people to the streets in a recent planned protest.
Last week, another opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi, called for a national referendum to gauge the popularity of the government. The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, followed with a statement dismissing the possibility of any compromise with the opposition, saying those who refused to accept the results of the June 12 election had no right to participate in politics.
Both Mr. Moussavi and Mr. Karroubi ran in the election, which the government says was won by the incumbent, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The authorities claimed recently that the poor showing by the opposition at its planned rally on Feb. 11 showed that the government had managed to end the mass protests that had continued sporadically since the summer.
First Published February 28, 2010 12:00 am