Iran puts more reformists on trial

TEHRAN: Iran put on trial on Tuesday top reformists who were arrested in the aftermath of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed election victory, local news agencies reported.

The reports did not say how many protesters were in the dock of a revolutionary court but on Monday Iranian media said seven protesters who opposed the re-election of Ahmadinejad were to face prosecution on Tuesday.

Iran has already staged mass trials of around 140 people on offences linked to the massive demonstrations that followed Ahmadinejad's victory in the June election.

At previous hearings the defendants have included reformists, political activists, a young French woman lecturer and two employees of the French and British embassies.

The court proceedings, which opposition leaders denounced as "show trials," have angered the international community and heightened political tensions as Iran battles its worst crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Ahmadinejad's re-election triggered massive street protests in Tehran and other cities by supporters of his closest rival, the former post-revolution prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, and other defeated candidates.

Officials have said at least 30 people were killed in clashes with security forces, but the opposition puts the death toll at 69.

About 4,000 people were initially detained over the protests and hundreds are still behind bars, amid opposition allegations that some have been killed, raped and abused in custody.