0855 GMT: Earlier this month, possibly because of nerves about the public support for June's Presidential elections, some leading politicians and clerics spoke in gentler terms about opposition leaders and 2009 Presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.
Figures like conservative politician Habibollah Asgharouladi said Mousavi and Karroubi, held for 23 months under strict house arrests, were not "seditionists" although they had been surrounded by those who had pursued sedition. The remarks prompted speculation that, to attract reformists and even the Green Movement into involvement in the campaign, restrictions on the two men would be eased.
That moment seems to have passed. Iran Prosecutor General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei said on Thursday that neither man could be placed on the Presidential ballot.
That in itself is far from surprising. More striking was Mohseni Ejei's words --- Mousavi and Karroubi had committed "atrocities against the ruling system and the nation".EA WorldView: EA Iran