[JURIST] A prominent conservative newspaper in Iran urged in an editorial [text, in Persian] Saturday that opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi [IranTracker profile; JURIST news archive] and former reformist president Mohammad Khatami [RealiteEU backgrounder] be tried for crimes against the nation. The piece was written by Kayhnan [media website, in Persian] newspaper's chief editor Hossein Shariatmadari [PBS Frontline materials], and places responsibility for the protests following recent elections on the two men while alleging the existence of documents showing Mousavi and his supporters acted under American orders. The newspaper is supervised by the Office of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [official website] and Shariatmadari was appointed by Khamenei himself. Khamenei has publicly expressed his support for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after the June elections.
The Iranian government on Wednesday barred publication [press release, in Persian] of the opposition Etemad-e-Melli [media website, in Persian] newspaper, linked to opposition candidate Mehdi Karroubi [personal website, in Persian], in an attempt to quash anti-government reporting in the country. International journalists in the country have also been ordered to stay indoors [AP report].The ongoing post-election protests have reprotedly resulted in at least 17 deaths and hundreds of arrests [JURIST report]. Iranian authorities have said that those arrested will be tried by the courts [Reuters report]. Human rights groups have characterized the arrests as political repression [JURIST report], saying that Iranian authorities are using the protests to "engage in what appears to be a major purge of reform-oriented individuals."