Iran arrests children of dissident clerics
Authorities in Iran have arrested at least seven children and grandchildren of senior clerics in the religious city of Qum and threatened to arrest the son of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the powerful cleric and a former president, in what appeared to be fresh pressure on religious leaders who sympathize with the opposition.
The arrests, reported by several opposition Web sites on Tuesday but apparently carried out on Monday, coincided with a harsh rebuke of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, from a senior cleric who is an outspoken dissident, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who urged colleagues to support the opposition movement.
Ayatollah Khamenei has the final say on state matters and has issued fierce warnings against Iranians who have challenged the June 12 election, which the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, officially won by a landslide. [continued…]