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Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Friday, 28 August 2009 11:48 UK

Action urged on Iran opposition

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - 28 August 2009
Mr Ahmadinejad was re-elected president in June

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for leaders of the protests that followed his disputed re-election in June to be dealt with decisively.

Speaking ahead of Friday prayers in Tehran, he said the "main elements should not enjoy immunity and security" while their followers were punished.

He also acknowledged some arrested protesters had been abused but said security forces had not been involved.

A detention centre was closed after it emerged that prisoners were beaten.

Thousands of people were arrested in June following mass street protests in Tehran that ended in violence as security forces moved to stop them.

Many have been released but Iran is currently trying more than 100 detainees over their alleged involvement in the protests.

They include a number of senior opposition figures accused of conspiring with foreign powers to organise the unrest.

Critics have dismissed the trials as show trials.

'Enemy scenario'

"The leaders and the main elements involved in the [post-election protests] should be dealt with most seriously," Mr Ahmadinejad said in a speech before thousands of people ahead of Friday prayers at Tehran University.

"Those who have organised [the protests], provoked and implemented the desires of the enemy should be dealt with decisively," he said in the speech, also broadcast live on state radio.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday he had seen no proof that protest leaders were acting as agents of foreign powers such as Britain and the US.

Mr Ahmadinejad acknowledged that some prisoners had been abused, a persistent accusation from opposition figures.

"These actions that were carried out in custody... were part of the enemy's scenario," he said.

"Security, military and intelligence forces are free from these shameful acts."

The Kahrizak detention centre was closed on Ayatollah Khamanei's orders in July. He said it had failed to "preserve the detainees' rights".

Two officers have been punished for beating prisoners at the centre.

Police officials have also admitted that some of those held since June might have been tortured.

Both the Iranian parliament and judiciary have established committees to investigate the post-election unrest and the government's response.



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