Top Ayatollah Appeals for Calm in Iran

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2009 4:22 PM CDT
Top Ayatollah Appeals for Calm in Iran
Demonstrators, some carrying posters of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, attend a state-organized rally today in Tehran.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Iran's supreme leader addressed the nation on TV tonight to criticize anti-government protesters and appeal for calm, the Guardian reports. Those stirring up trouble are simply “tension seekers,” said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Rival protests again filled the streets of Tehran, though no more deaths were reported. Khamenei has promised at least a partial recount, though he also referred to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the “elected president.”

“This destruction is not carried out by supporters of any of the candidates, and the two sides should not upset each other,” said Khamenei. “These people who are creating all this are just pursuing tension. Even if this result had not come out this way, the same thing might have happened.” Mass arrests of supporters of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi were reported on university campuses. (Read more Iran stories.)

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