Ahead of pro-government rally, Iranian leader says US president 'can't control his emotions'
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attacked Barack Obama on Friday, saying the American president "doesn't even know how to spell his own name properly."
During a visit to Bushehr ahead of a scheduled rally in support of his regime, the Iranian leader said, "Obama wants to rule the world, but he can't even control his own emotions."
Thousands of Iranians are expected to take to the streets after Friday prayers to show their support for the regime in Tehran and protest against opposition leaders Mir Hussein Moussavi Mehdi Karroubi.
A statement issued by the regime in Tehran said, "The public will unite and express hatred toward the barbaric crimes of the incitement leaders and their hypocritical allies."
Iranian lawmakers called for opposition leaders to be tried and executed as punishment for the protests that took place in Tehran on Monday and after the disputed 2009 presidential elections.
"Mousavi and Karroubi should be executed," lawmakers chanted at Tuesday's open parliament session. "Death to Mousavi, Karroubi and Khatami!" they shouted, the state-run news agency IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) reported.
"We believe the people have lost their patience and demand capital punishment" a statement signed by three-quarters of the lawmakers read
Despite the threats, messages posted on the Internet have urged opposition supporters to continue the protests.
On Monday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US stands with Iranian opposition supporters. She called on Tehran to grant its citizens the same freedoms that were recently won by protests in Egypt.
"Let me, clearly and directly, support the aspirations of the people who are in the streets in Iran today," Clinton told reporters after meeting with the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner.
"What we see happening in Iran today is a testament to the courage of the Iranian people, and an indictment of the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime -- a regime which over the last three weeks has constantly hailed what went on in Egypt," Clinton said.
"We wish the opposition and the brave people in the streets across cities in Iran the same opportunities that they saw their Egyptian counterparts seize."
Clinton spoke after an Iranian opposition website said dozens of people were arrested on Monday while taking part in a banned rally in Tehran to support popular uprisings which toppled the governments in Egypt and Tunisia in recent weeks.
The rallies amounted to a test of strength for the reformist opposition, which had not taken to the streets since December 2009 when eight people were killed.
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