Ahmad Jannati

The head of Iran’s Guardian Council, Ahmad Jannati, said at today’s Tehran mass prayers that the opposition leaders under house arrest should be thankful for not being given a death sentence.

MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi challenged the legitimacy of the 2009 elections. When their allegations led to months of mass street protests, the two presidential candidates were put under house arrest in February of 2011 and they remain there today.

There has been a push by progressive forces to get the new administration to negotiate the release of the opposition leaders; however, so far the efforts have been fruitless.

Jannati, a prominent hardliner in the Islamic Republic establishment, said: “The regime has been merciful to these people. They are confined to their homes. If they need a doctor, they get it but still they refuse to express remorse.”

“When the Monafeghin were in jail and stood by their beliefs, the Imam stated that they should be executed,” Jannati said. “If they express remorse, then there may be a way out.”

The Islamic Republic establishment refers to the Iranian dissident group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, as the Monafeghin.

Jannati also commented on the nuclear talks currently taking place in Geneva, saying that he and the Iranian Supreme Leader are not very hopeful about the outcome of the talks, emphasizing that the world powers are demanding everything in exchange for nothing.

The third round of talks is in progress today, and the Iranian delegation has stated that there has been “scant progress” so far.