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Terrorism & Security

Ahmadinejad blames West for fomenting Iran unrest

The Iranian president's accusations come as opposition leaders start movement, challenge Supreme Leader's standing.

By Correspondent / August 16, 2009

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks to members of parliament during his swearing-in ceremony in Tehran August 5.

Raheb Homavandi/ Reuters

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the West of attempting to foment the overthrow of the Iranian government on Sunday, even as Iranian reformers launched new critiques of the Iranian government and its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Reuters reports that Mr. Ahmadinejad warned that the West that it would be "held accountable" for what he claims was its role in the unrest after Iranian's disputed elections.

"This time you clearly interfered in Iran's domestic affairs and you thought you would be able to harm the Islamic nation," the official IRNA news agency quoted [Amhadinejad] as saying on Sunday. "You should be held accountable for your actions but we know very well the fuss you created in the world is not a sign of your authority but rather it is a sign of your weakness and downfall," Ahmadinejad said. Tehran and the West are already at odds over Tehran's nuclear work, which Washington fears is aimed at making bombs but which Iran, the world's fifth-biggest oil producer, says is for peaceful electricity generation.

Iran has repeatedly accused Britain and the United States of attempting to incite an overthrow of the Iranian government in the aftermath of the Iranian elections. Both countries deny the charges. The Christian Science Monitor reported Friday that despite the belief of many in the West that such accusations are merely political rhetoric, Iran's political hardliners do appear to believe that Western nations are actively seeking to start a 'velvet revolution' in Iran.

Exhibit A: The indictment against roughly 100 journalists, politicians, academics, and clerics accused of treason who are undergoing a mass show trial. The three-page document, recently translated by Evan Siegel on his blog Iran Rises, opens a window into the world view of the Iranian hardliners who fear change most. "The most important point which must be noted concerning a velvet coup is that the theoreticians bought by the West's spy and intelligence services have developed this method at the orders of their commanders to get World Arrogance out of its practical dead end by overthrowing independent systems or systems which are not in alignment with the West's hegemony and lust for domination," explains Iranian prosecutor Abdor-Reza Mojtaba in the indictment.

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