Leader says violence planned within Iran

Aug. 27, 2009 at 7:47 AM
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TEHRAN, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The violence following Iran's presidential elections cannot be blamed on outside influences, Iran's supreme leader told a group of university students.

"I don't accuse the leaders of the recent incidents of being affiliated with foreign countries, including the United States and Britain, since the issue has not been proven for me," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was reported as saying by Iran's state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. "But there is no doubt that the events were planned, no matter whether their leaders knew it or not."

Iranian Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hosein Mohseni Ejei Sunday said the British Embassy in Tehran "played a heavy role in the recent disturbances," he said, adding the United States has led the effort, CNN reported Thursday.

Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have claimed Western nations interfered in Iran's internal affairs since the June 12 elections, in which Ahmadinejad was declared the landslide winner and opposition supporters said were rigged. Ahmadinejad also has spoken of repercussions over the alleged meddling.

After the elections, two weeks of protests followed. More than 1,000 people were arrested in a government crackdown, and Iran said at least 30 people were killed in post-election violence.

The fourth round of mass trials of people arrested during the demonstrations began earlier this week.

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