TEHRAN: At least 10 people were killed in the latest unrest to shake Tehran, state television said on Sunday, as the opposition kept up its defiance of Iran’s Islamic rulers over the disputed election.
Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi fired off an unprecedented criticism of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after police clashed with thousands of protesters in Tehran, swept up in the worst unrest since the Islamic revolution 30 years ago.
State television said 10 people were killed and more than 100 wounded in
riots and clashes in Tehran yesterday, blaming “terrorists” armed with firearms and explosives.
Iran’s deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan blamed “thugs” from the exiled opposition group the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran for the violence. Last week, state media reported that at least seven people had been killed and many more wounded in the post-election violence and protests which have engulfed Tehran and other cities since last Saturday.
Mousavi, who is leading the massive wave of public opposition to the June 12 vote that returned hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power, accused the country’s rulers of “cheating” and warned of a dangerous path ahead if the crackdown on demonstrators continued.
He unleashed his broadside against Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s all-powerful supreme leader, after police firing tear gas and water cannon clashed with thousands of protesters who defied an ultimatum from Khamenei for an end to their street protests.
World leaders have voiced mounting alarm over the unrest, which has severely jolted the pillars of the Islamic regime and raised concerns over the future of the oil-rich Shiite Muslim powerhouse.
Iran has fired back, accusing foreign governments of meddling. Britain was the latest target, with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki accusing it of plotting for the past two years to sabotage the election. Mousavi, who was premier in the aftermath of the Islamic revolution, lashed out at Khamenei in an unprecedented challenge to the man who has ruled over Iran for 20 years.
In his first public appearance since the vote, Khameini on Friday ruled out any election fraud and warned that opposition leaders would be responsible for “blood, violence and chaos” if there was no end to protests.