Iran to execute 9 protesters soon

TEHRAN: Iran will “soon execute” nine people arrested during anti-government protests for seeking to topple the Islamic regime, Fars news agency today quoted a senior judiciary official as saying.

“The two people executed and another nine who will soon be executed were definitely arrested in recent riots and each was linked with counter-revolutionary movements,” deputy judiciary head Ebrahim Raisi told a meeting in the holy city of Qom late yesterday. “They had participated in riots with the aim of creating disunity and toppling the system,” he added.

Iran executed Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani, 37, and Arash Rahmani Pour, 20, last Thursday on charges of seeking to topple the regime.

The executions drew international condemnation and were branded by opposition leaders as an effort to scare protesters and keep them off the streets.

Opposition supporters are planning to demonstrate again during an annual state-sponsored march on February 11 when Iran marks the 31th anniversary of its Islamic revolution.

Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi condemned the hangings and alleged the pair appeared to have

been arrested months before the presidential election and had nothing to do with the post-poll violence.

Today, Mousavi issued his harshest criticism yet of Iran’s regime, saying the 1979 Islamic revolution had failed as the “roots of tyranny and dictatorship” still exist. The interview was posted on his website Ex-premier Mousavi, once rated as a key pillar of the Islamic

revolution, said in the interview that present day Iran showed the “attitude of a historic tyrant regime everywhere.” “Dictatorship in the name of religion is the worst kind. The most evident manifestation of a continued tyrannical attitude is the abuse of parliament and judiciary. We have completely lost hope in the judiciary,” he said. Mousavi said he no longer believed “the revolution had removed all those structures which could lead to totalitarianism.”