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Iran top leader warns West over alleged meddling

 An Iranian female worshipper holds a poster of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during a Friday prayer ceremony, at the Tehran University campu...
 In this photo released by Mehr News Agency, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Saturday July, 4, 2009. (A...
 In this photo released by Mehr News Agency, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Saturday July, 4, 2009. (A...
 In this photo released by Iranian Students News Agency, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Saturday July,...

Mideast Iran

An Iranian female worshipper holds a poster of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, during a Friday prayer ceremony, at the Tehran University campu...

IRAN

In this photo released by Mehr News Agency, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Saturday July, 4, 2009. (A...

IRAN

In this photo released by Mehr News Agency, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Saturday July, 4, 2009. (A...

IRAN

In this photo released by Iranian Students News Agency, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Saturday July,...

Iran's supreme leader warned Western governments on Monday of a "negative impact" on relations due to what he called their meddling in Iran's post-election riots, state television reported.
The comments by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reflect continued efforts by the regime to blame Western powers such as the U.S. and Britain, not internal anger, for widescale unrest following the country's disputed presidential election. They also come one day after the American vice president said the U.S. is still open to negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program.
"Some leaders of Western countries at the level of president, prime minister and foreign minister openly intervened in Iran's internal affairs that had nothing to do with them. Then, they said they don't intervene in Iran's internal affairs," the television quoted Khamenei as telling thousands of Iranians during a ceremony to commemorate a revered Shiite saint.
Iran quashed street protests following its disputed June 12 election, and the leadership has been trying to erase any lingering doubts about the legitimacy of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by portraying the unrest as sparked by foreign meddling.
Reformist opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has said the government has stolen the election results and that he was the rightful winner of the vote, not Ahmadinejad. Khamenei has sided with Ahmadinejad over the dispute.
While the regime has managed to silence the protests challenging the election results, the demonstrations and continued opposition being voiced by reformist politicians and their allies through other channels has produced a rare challenge in a country where the supreme leader's word is supposed to be final.
Khamenei said Monday that Iran will pay attention to the remarks and behaviors of Western governments and said that it will definitely have a negative impact on future relations with Iran.
"These governments must be careful of their hostile remarks and behaviors because the Iranian nation will" react, the television quoted Khamenei as saying. "We will calculate the interventionst remarks and behaviors of these governments. Definitely, it will have a negative impact on future relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran."
In the post-election fallout, Iran detained hundreds of activists, journalists and bloggers, although most have been released. The country also detained nine local employees of the British Embassy, leading to vocal protests from Britain and the European Union.
Britain's Foreign Office said Monday that Iran has released another British Embassy staff member, leaving one employee still in custody.
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, a close aide to Khamenei, said Friday that Iran would put detained local employees of the British Embassy on trial for inciting post-election protests, in a further effort to prove foreign elements were behind the unrest.
Hossein Rassam, a political analyst at the embassy, still remains in detention, according to his lawyer Abdolsamad Khorramshi. Khorramshi said Saturday that his client has been charged with "acting against national security." Britain has dismissed claims of intervention as baseless.
But the administration of President Barack Obama, which has made an effort to reach out to Iran since taking office, has left the door open to talks. In an interview on ABC's "This Week," Vice President Joe Biden Sunday said the U.S. offer to negotiate with Tehran on its nuclear program still stands. Some thought the administration's approach might change in light of the Iranian government's harsh crackdown on protesters after the June 12 presidential election. Opponents of the ruling authorities claimed the vote was rigged against them.
"If the Iranians respond to the offer of engagement, we will engage," Biden said.
Biden also seemed to give Israel a green light for military action to eliminate Iran's nuclear threat, saying the U.S. "cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do."
Israel considers Iran its most dangerous adversary and is wary of Ahmadinejad. Israel and the U.S. accuse Iran of seeking to develop weapons under the cover of a nuclear power program. Iran denies that.
Iranian police have said that 20 "rioters" were killed during the violence as well as eight members of the Basij militia tasked with putting down the protests. More than a thousand people were arrested.
There have been no street protests for more than a week now but Mousavi has maintained his opposition to the results, saying he considers Ahmadinejad's government illegitimate.
"A majority of the people _ including me _ do not accept its political legitimacy," Mousavi said on Wednesday. "There's a danger ahead. A ruling system which relied on people's trust for 30 years cannot replace this trust with security forces overnight."
Yadollah Javani, a top commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards, late Sunday accused Mousavi's green movement of seeking to pressure Khamenei with the ultimate goal of overthrowing the ruling system.
"They (Mousavi and his supporters) were intending to pressure the leadership and the system through launching the green wave. This current put itself against the system and those who wanted to threaten the system through riots were exposed," Javani said in a statement.
The Guards chief, Gen. Mohammad Ali Javafri, also said in remarks late Sunday that the Guards played the key role in putting an end to street protests, the first admission that the Guards were directly involved in quashing the demonstrators.


Updated : 2021-10-19 14:31 GMT+08:00