It’s Friday again! Time to go to church and hear about God’s love for his flock (à la iranienne)!

Times Online – Hardliner says Iran protesters should be punished ‘without mercy’

A hardline cleric seen as a mouthpiece of the Iranian regime today demanded that opposition demonstrators be punished “without mercy”.

Even as Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami delivered his uncompromising message at Tehran’s Friday prayers, foreign ministers of the world’s leading industrialised nations issued a statement deploring the regime’s violent crackdown on the protestors and demanded it “stop immediately”.

Mr Khatami’s televised sermon came at the end of a week in which the regime has brutally suppressed all streets protests and rounded up hundreds of opponents for daring to question President Ahmadinejad’s re-election. It conveyed the unmistakable message that no dissent would be tolerated, and that the crackdown would, if anything, intensify.

His response to Michael Jackson’s demise has so far been untranslated in the English press.