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The warning over the president's defiant actions highlights the rift among Iran's conservatives. Meanwhile, the government denies a request for a rally by Mousavi's supporters.
Political hard-liners warned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday that he could be deposed like past Iranian leaders if he continued to defy the country's supreme religious leader.
The implied threat was the latest evidence of the rift within Iran's conservative camp and could serve to further sap the authority of
Conservatives are also bothered by Ahmadinejad's push to broadcast the confessions of detainees, local media reported. His supporters see airing the confessions as a way to discredit and silence reformists and protesters, a tactic used extensively by hard-liners in the early 1980s.
But conservatives say televised confessions could prove politically explosive and appear dangerously out of step with the national mood. Several local news outlets said Mohseni-Ejei, along with state television chief Ezatollah Zarghami, clergy and judiciary officials, have been locked in a back-room fight with Ahmadinejad over the airing of such confessions, according to Iranian news websites.
Over the weekend, one lawmaker sternly warned authorities not to broadcast confessions obtained in prison.
"Broadcasting confessions can only add to public awareness if they are made under normal conditions, not if they are extracted under irregular circumstances," Ali Motahari told Press TV, according to an article on the website of the state-owned broadcaster. "The arrests may have been legal, but the important thing is how individuals were treated during interrogation, whether Islamic code was maintained, and whether they suffered any emotional, psychological or physical pressure or not."
Human rights groups and former prisoners say authorities typically extract the videotaped confessions after holding detainees in solitary confinement or following grueling interrogations that sometimes include physical abuse. They are often told what to read. In recent years, many said during the interrogations that they were foreign dupes, only to disavow the remarks later.