Iran’s Ayatollah Ahmed Khatami, at Friday “prayers” in Tehran, showed the sort of mentality the Iranian protesters are up against.
He called for the arrest and punishment of protesters, treating them “strongly and with cruelty” according to some sources, or executing them, according to other sources. None of that silly “let the punishment fit the crime” nonsense. They march in the streets, shout, carry signs, throw a few stones after being attacked by police. Execute ’em! Cruelly!
And of course, he added to the growing number of Iranian leaders accusing the U.S. of somehow engineering and/or aiding the protests. All that does is show that Pres. Obama has been right to be cautious and not add fuel to the fire.
But Khatami may have gone too far when he claimed the protesters themselves killed Neda Agha-Soltan to give themselves a martyr and win international sympathy. I’ve got a hunch that isn’t going to sit too well with the opposition or the rest of the world.