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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Vows to Block Opposition

VOA News February 17, 2011

The head of Iran's judiciary says the government will block opposition leaders from making statements to their supporters as anti-government activists call for nationwide demonstrations on Sunday.

Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijana commented Thursday, a day before a planned pro-government rally in Tehran. Officials say the rally organized by the state will demonstrate what they call "hatred" against the country's opposition movement.

Ayatollah Larijani says the government will prosecute "seditionists" - a reference to opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. Sedition is a crime punishable by death in Iran. The two men who lost their 2009 presidential bids to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are leaders of the opposition Green Movement. Both men have been under house arrest.

Opposition websites have made calls for nationwide rallies Sunday to show support for Mousavi and Karroubi and to mourn the deaths of two people who died in Monday's anti-government protests.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.



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