Today, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the leaders of the opposition to be prosecuted for post-election unrest. 

“Those who have organized, provoked, and implemented the desires (protests) of the enemy should be dealt with decisively,” he said in a speech before thousands of people at Tehran University. 

During its first decade in power, the Islamic Republic of Iran was authoritarian in nature: it had strict limits on political participation. But the political system has experienced a loosening of restrictions since the 1990s. Societal pressure from women and younger voters has renewed emphasis on civil society, conforming to laws, and democracy. But even with those democratic demands, there was still a fair amount of uniformity in the state’s government. 

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The House of Saud (royal family of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia) has been at overt odds with Osama bin Laden since 1994. At that time, the Kingdom revoked his citizenship and froze his assets within the country. This was due to bin Laden’s support for militant movements within the country. Once this happened, bin Laden was moved to the fringes of Saudi society and became more outspoken against the royal family. Bin Laden and dissident activists have called for the removal of the House of Saud ever since. 

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