Sunday, August 2, 2009

Iran's "show trial" of foes hurts system: Khatami

Reuters, By Parisa Hafezi (2/8/2009)

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian authorities have tightened pressure on their opponents by staging what former President Mohammad Khatami derided on Sunday as a "show trial" of 100 reformists accused of trying to instigate a "velvet revolution."

...The political uncertainty has posed fresh challenges for Western powers which had hoped to engage the Islamic Republic in substantive talks on its nuclear program, which they suspect has military purposes, not only civilian ones as Iran insists.

Another potential source of friction with the United States arose on Saturday when Iran arrested three American hikers who an Iraqi Kurdish official said had strayed across the border.

Washington said it was taking the case very seriously.

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