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Iranian MPs call for execution of opposition leaders

February 16, 2011

Moussavi and Karroubi under house arrest

222 members of Iran’s 290-seat Parliament calling for the execution of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who remain under house arrest after being detained from attending anti-government protests in Tehran. The Parliament issued a statement on Tuesday calling them “corrupts on earth [who] should be tried.” The term “corrupts on earth” refers to political dissidents, who are usually punished as traitors and executed under Iranian law. U.S. President Barack Obama said in a press conference that he found it “ironic that you’ve got the Iranian regime pretending to celebrate what happened in Egypt, when in fact they have acted in direct contrast to what happened in Egypt by gunning down and beating people who were trying to express themselves peacefully in Iran.” Iranian leaders have attempted to portray the protests in Egypt and Tunisia as a surge in Islamic populism in the face of Western-backed authoritarian governments, similar to Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979 that saw the ousting of the Shah and the rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini. Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in the Iranian cities of Tehran and Isfahan on Monday to protest the government. At least one person has been killed.

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