Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Blames Foreign Media for Doubts of Election Results and Warns of Violence if Protests Continue
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sternly cut off any compromise over the nation’s disputed elections on Friday.
In a long and hard-line sermon, he declared the elections valid and warned of violence if demonstrators continue, as they have pledged, to flood the streets in defiance of the government.
Opposition leaders who failed to halt the protests, he said, “would be responsible for bloodshed and chaos.” The tough words seemed to dash hopes for a peaceful solution to what defeated candidates and protesters call a fraudulent election last week, plunging Iran into its gravest crisis since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Rights group Amnesty International said Friday it believed up to 10 people may have been killed in post-election protests in Iran, while condemning comments by the Islamic republic's supreme leader.
The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's remarks in a sermon at the main weekly prayers gave a "green light" to security forces to crack down violently on protesters in coming days, it said.
"According to Amnesty International's count based on news monitoring and information received from Iran, up to 10 people may have lost their lives in clashes with security forces and plain-clothed armed militias," the London-based organisation said in a statement.