Iran escalated its standoff with the West as it put a French academic on trial Saturday and confirmed that it had transferred to Tehran three Americans detained on the Iran-Iraq border.
The Christian Science Monitor
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a show of reconciliation at the new government's swearing-in ceremony Monday as leading reformist politicians stayed away, signaling their intent to continue protesting an election they allege was tainted by fraud.
At the end of a rocky week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sought to quash mounting evidence of a rift with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, claiming they were "like father and son."
Thousands of people took to Tehran's streets Thursday after security forces disrupted a crowd gathered to commemorate fallen protesters. Some demonstrators were arrested and police used teargas to disperse crowds.
In the final days before President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's inauguration next week, splits among the country's conservative elite have become increasingly conspicuous. Sometimes portrayed as a lackey for Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, he appears to be jockeying for power and authority – publicly defying Ayatollah Khamenei, sacking his intelligence minister less than a week before his Cabinet would have been dissolved anyway, and angering fellow conservatives by pressing for the broadcast of confessions forced from political prisoners.
A fresh outburst of protests was repressed in Iran Saturday as the struggle deepened among hardliners over appointments in the new government and the opposition movement claimed another "martyr."
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In Iran, the burial Monday of 19-year-old student Sohrab Erabi has caused a fresh flood of sympathy similar to that occasioned by the killing of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman whose death at a protest last month was caught on video and watched by millions around the world.
Though street demonstrations in Tehran have largely died out under the government's strict security measures, Iran's protest movement is gearing up for a big showing at Friday prayers this week – an action that would mark the hijacking of a conservative bastion by the media-savvy opposition.
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