Borzou Daragahi of the Los Angeles Times reports that two days following the firing of shots at the car of former Iranian presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi,
…Iran’s supreme leader Saturday told shadowy pro-government militias not to interfere in the nation’s postelection unrest even as the head of the notorious Basiji militia warned that his forces would “jump into the fray” if authorities didn’t act strongly against the opposition movement.
In his first public comments since protests last month that coincided with a major religious holiday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a rare attempt to ease tensions. Two days after gunmen with suspected ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard allegedly opened fire on the car of opposition figure Mehdi Karroubi Khamenei urged all to abide by the law.
“Relevant bodies should fully respect the law in dealing with the riots and the ongoing events,” he told clerics and seminary students bused to Tehran from the shrine city of Qom for an annual political commemoration.
“Those without any legal duty and obligations should not meddle with these affairs,” he said. “Everyone should hold back from arbitrary acts and everything should go within the framework of the law.”
Borzou Daragahi, “Iran’s Supreme Leader Tells Militias not to Meddle,” Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2010
Khamenei’s remarks on January 9 were also quoted extensively by Iran’s English language television channel, Press TV, as follows:
…Ayatollah Khamenei warned that the enemy was drawing up an “intricate” plot for a “dangerous game.”
“In these unclear conditions, we must act with vigilance and open eyes. However, when the conditions require, we must also show firmness. This way we can stop the enemy in its tracks,” the Leader explained.
Ayatollah Khamenei then asked all responsible bodies of the Islamic Republic to precisely implement the articles of the law in a “full and firm” fashion.
The Leader said that “those who have no responsibility or legal duty” must not interfere in that process.
“Some innocent people, who hate these villains, may seriously be hurt. Therefore, everyone must refrain from taking any action on their own. Everything must be done according to the law.”
Tehran’s leading English language newspaper described the remarks in similar terms. The Tehran Times, January 9, 2010