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Iran's Karroubi: Government Threats Will Not Stop Reform


An Iranian opposition leader says government threats will not stop the path for reform, days after an opposition Web site said gunmen attacked the leader's car.

Former presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi said on his political party's Web site (Sahamnews.org) that the government cannot suppress people in the name of religion. He was referring to statements from hardline clerics in Iran that called on the judiciary to punish opposition leaders for what they called "warring against God."

Last week, his party's Web site said Karroubi's armored car was hit by gunfire from pro-government demonstrators and militiamen. The site added that Karroubi was unhurt and only windows on the vehicle were damaged.

The site said the shooting happened as Karroubi tried to leave a building in Qazvin escorted by riot police. It says about 500 protesters had surrounded the building, where Karroubi was staying to attend a mourning ceremony for slain opposition protesters.

Karroubi lost to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran's disputed election last year. He and another opposition leader who lost in the election, Mir Hossein Mousavi, have said the vote was fraudulent.

Karroubi has also criticized the government's use of force in violent post-election protests.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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