Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today criticized those calling for better ties with the United States as "ignorant."
Although he didn't name him, Khamenei was apparently referring to jailed reformist Abdollah Nouri, who was sentenced last month to five years for religious dissent.
"A person, sometimes a cleric, but a deceived one standing against the revolution he once supported, now says something that is the word of the enemy, not his own," Khamenei said during a Friday prayer sermon at Tehran University.
The charges against Nouri also included opposing the teachings of Iran's revered revolutionary leader, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and advocating better ties with Iran's archenemies, the United States and Israel.
"That man, with his corrupted pen, is trying to prove that the U.S. is not the enemy of our nation and that we have to compromise," Khamenei said before thousands chanting, "Death to America."
Nouri, a former interior minister and a major ally of reformist President Mohammed Khatemi, also had his paper, Khordad, closed as part of the sentence.
Since his landslide election victory in 1997, Khatemi has pushed for political reform, calling for an easing of strict social codes and greater freedom of speech. Khamenei, who leads the hard-liners, has used his absolute powers to stall reforms.