In a sermon delivered on June 26 at Tehran University, senior Iranian cleric Ahmad Khatami called on his government to harshly punish leaders of the protests that have rocked Iran since its June 12 presidential election. Khatami also accused foreign journalists of instigating the demonstrations.
In a statement published by the White House on June 24, President Obama, using emergency powers, extended a set of economic sanctions on North Korea for another year. The order becomes effective on June 26, the day the previous sanctions issued by former president George W. Bush were due to expire. They will remain in effect for one year.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced on June 24 to state-run Press TV that he would not yield to pressure generated by his political opponents over the disputed June 12 presidential election that resulted in the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Bloomberg News reported his statement: "The Islamic establishment and people will never give in to forceful demands in regard to the election. The violation of the election will lead to dictatorship."
Demonstrators protesting what they charge was a rigged election to maintain Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hold on the presidency continued to occupy the streets of Tehran on June 22, as government riot police attempted to quell the protests. At least 457 people were detained during street demonstrations on June 20 and at least 13 people died during clashes that sometimes turned violent.