Ahmadinejad urges stiff punishment for election dissenters

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday urged stiff punishment for those who "orchestrated and provoked" the "painful" unrest after the June 12 presidential election, according to Iran's state-run Press TV. "I call upon security and judicial officials to decisively and mercilessly act with those who committed inhumane acts in the guise of the friends (of the establishment) since they inflicted damage on people and tarnished the image of the establishment, security and police forces," said Ahmadinejad, who made the remarks in a pre-sermon speech to Friday prayers.

The government declared Ahmadinejad the overwhelming winner in the disputed June 12 election.

The protests sparked a government crackdown that led to thousands of arrests, scores of injuries and at least 30 deaths. Judiciary officials say most of those arrested were released, though several dozen face charges as part of the mass trials.

In his remarks Friday, Ahmadinejad said there has been no evidence found that would undermine the election results and he criticized Western nations for interfering in Iran's internal affairs before and after the election.
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