Last Updated: Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:44 am (KSA) 08:44 am (GMT)

Iran arrests cleric close to Montazeri: Web

Iranian surf the internet at a cafe in Tehran
Iranian surf the internet at a cafe in Tehran

Iran arrested a cleric close to late dissident Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri
And warned opposition supporters against using text and email messages to organize rallies, opposition media and ISNA news agency reported Friday.

Mid-ranking cleric "Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Taghi Khalaji was arrested at his home in the city of Qom on Tuesday," Norooznews said.

"The cause of his arrest is not known yet but he had on several occasions backed protests against election results" which saw President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad returned for a second term amid allegations of massive fraud.

Meanwhile, Iran’s police chief has warned opposition supporters against using text and email message to stage anti-government protests, ISNA news agency reported.

 These people should know where they are sending the SMS and email as these systems are under control. They should not think using proxies will prevent their identification 
Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam

"These people should know where they are sending the SMS and email as these systems are under control. They should not think using proxies will prevent their identification," Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam said.

"If these people continue, their (data) records will be examined and those who organize or issue appeals have committed a worse crime than those who come to the streets," he warned.

Iran's cyber-savvy young opposition supporters have used the Internet effectively since unrest erupted in Iran after the disputed June 12 presidential election to organize demonstrations and spread news and pictures.

Despite a heavy crackdown by police, opposition supporters take the streets on every possible occasion to stage anti-government rallies against what they say was massive rigging of the presidential vote to secure hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term in office.

Reports are now circulating that the opposition plans to take to the streets again on the anniversary of the Islamic revolution on Feb. 11.

Iranian authorities have vowed to show no tolerance towards any new protests by opposition supporters, who often hijack official events to stage their rallies.

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