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03 July 2009

Iranian cleric: British Embassy staff to be tried

from Associated Press by LEE KEATH

EDITOR'S NOTE: Iranian authorities have barred journalists for international news organizations from reporting on the streets and ordered them to stay in their offices. This report is based on the accounts of witnesses reached in Iran and official statements carried on Iranian media.

A powerful cleric said Friday that Iran will put British Embassy staffers on trial for fomenting postelection turmoil, a step that would likely increase Iran's isolation and alienate Western nations that have been trying to keep options open with Tehran despite its crackdown on protesters.

The announcement fueled calls in Europe for tougher action against Tehran. Britain is pressing for members of the European Union to pull their ambassadors out of Tehran to protest the staffers' arrests last week.

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