A pro-reform Iranian clerical group said on Sunday the outcome of last month's presidential vote was "invalid," even though Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has upheld the result.
In a sign of a deepening rift among Shi'ite clerics, the Assembly of Qom Seminary Scholars and Researchers also called for the release of Iranians arrested in protests after the hardline president was declared winner of the June 12 vote.
"Other candidates' complaints and strong evidence of vote-rigging were ignored ... peaceful protests by Iranians were violently oppressed ... dozens of Iranians were killed and hundreds were illegally arrested," said a statement published on the Assembly's website. "The outcome is invalid."
Qom is Iran's center of Shi'ite learning, about 80 miles south of Tehran. The assembly has little political influence but its statement is a significant act of defiance since Qom is the power base of the clerical establishment.
These clerics may be powerless, but they must also be a pain in the neck for their bosses on the Supreme Council.
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.