Iranian leader threatens elite over security

Original source:

Iran's supreme leader has warned the 'elite' not to disturb the country's security in a strong message to the opposition to back down after one of its top figures called for a referendum on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for the opposition to be cautious regarding the turmoil that has shaken the country since the disputed presidential election on June 12.

Mr Khamenei said that hurting Iran's security was 'the biggest vice,' adding: 'Anybody who drives the society toward insecurity and disorder is a hated person in the view of the Iranian nation, whoever he is.'

The comments reported on state radio were clearly directed at Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the powerful cleric who on Friday criticised the leadership over the elections, and former president Mohammad Khatami, who yesterday called for a referendum to decide whether Mr Ahmadinejad's administration is legitimate and for a neutral body to oversee the vote.