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Iran Bristles as Sarkozy Gets In a Zinger

After crackdowns, deaths and the detention of 1,000 protesters and nine British Embassy employees, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has warned the West of the power of the “united fist” of the Iranian people if it continues criticizing the Iranian election results. The announcement came after French firecracker President Nicolas Sarkozy said Monday: “Really, the Iranian people deserve better than the leaders they have today.”

For the latest on the ground in Iran, check out this article:

The Christian Science Monitor:

The Iranian regime continued this weekend in its bid to paint citizens protesting the announced results of its June 12 presidential election as tools of outside powers.

In a scathing editorial published Saturday in the influential state-run newspaper, Kayhan, editor-in-chief Hossein Shariatmadari said opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi had committed “terrible crimes,” including “murdering innocent people, holding riots, co-operating with foreigners, and acting as America’s fifth column.”

This comes on the heels of a leading Iranian cleric’s call Friday for some Iranian employees of the British Embassy to be tried for allegedly inciting pro-democracy protests.

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On the latest interplay between the West and Iran:

The New York Times:

In sharpening exchanges with the West, Iran’s supreme leader warned Monday that outside criticism following its disputed June 12 election would backfire and that the Iranian people would become a “united fist” against what he termed meddling by foreign powers.

But, in a new broadside from a European leader, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France was quoted as saying Iranians deserve better leaders.

The remarks were the latest fallout from the vote, which returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power in the face of opposition claims that the ballot was rigged. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets in protest, provoking a harsh crackdown that ended the demonstrations.

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