Blaming Those Who Bleed for Bloodshed
Iran's Top Leader Endorses Election Opposition Is Warned It Will Be Held Liable for Bloodshed From Protests By Thomas Erdbrink and William Branigin Washington Post Foreign Service Saturday, June 20, 2009 TEHRAN, June 19 -- Iran's supreme leader on Friday put his full authority behind the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, rejecting allegations of vote fraud and declaring that foreign "enemies," including the United States, were behind a week of massive street demonstrations. By placing his personal seal of approval on the election's official result, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei significantly raised the stakes for Iran's political opposition, which must now either concede the election or be seen as challenging the supreme leader himself. . . . In a dramatic speech before thousands of worshipers at a Friday prayer service, Khamenei warned that the leaders of the protests will be held "directly responsible" for any bloodshed that results from continued demonstrations.