Iran Cleric: Execute the 'Rioters'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2009 7:32 AM CDT
Senior hard-line cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, bottom left, leads a Friday prayer at the Tehran University, June 26, 2009. Khatami, said that rioters should be punished "strongly and with cruelty."   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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(Newser) – Iran’s Guardian Council today called the election the “healthiest since the revolution,” and one of its members suggested executing the “rioters” protesting it, Reuters reports. “I want the judiciary to punish leading rioters firmly and without showing any mercy,” Ahmad Khatami told worshipers at Tehran University, suggesting they be tried as “mohareb,” or one who wages war against god. The penalty for mohareb is death. "They should be punished ruthlessly and savagely."

The Guardian’s Council has yet to formally certify the election, but said it was almost finished reviewing candidates’ complaints, and had found no “major violations.” The statement all but precludes further legal challenges, short of an attempt to topple Ayatollah Khamenei. Though the head of the Assembly of Experts, the group that can constitutionally depose Khamenei, is a Mousavi ally, he’s unlikely to take so radical a step.