Iran blames dissidents, CIA for violence

June 24, 2009 at 1:06 PM
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TEHRAN, June 24 (UPI) -- Demonstrators in Iran will not be tolerated by authorities as Tehran focuses the blame on external opposition groups and the U.S. intelligence apparatus.

Broadcasters with the BBC reported Wednesday that the streets of Iran were quieter following days of bloody protests in opposition to the disputed June 12 presidential election.

Iranian law permits peaceful demonstrations without consent, though authorities say they fear none of the protests will proceed without incident.

Meanwhile, state-funded television has aired alleged confessions from protesters who say the BBC and Voice of America encouraged them to take "immoral actions."

Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsuli says the violence in Iran was funded by the U.S. intelligence community and the People's Mujahedin of Iran, an exiled opposition group, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports.

A 2008 article in The New Yorker magazine suggested U.S. President George W. Bush had set aside some $400 million for covert operations against Iran, with a portion going to the PMOI.

Representatives from the PMOI deny both the ties to the CIA and the claims it was behind the post-election violence.

Meanwhile, so-called revolutionary courts in Iran are trying protesters behind closed doors while the conservative regime rounds up high-level figures with the opposition movement of former Iranian Prime Minister and candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who challenges the election outcome.

Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, said he would not back down on the election results, but Iranian officials have extended the deadline to investigate election fraud.

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