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The story: Iran's top Sunni cleric is under fire by hardline media in the country after criticizing the crackdown on protests and calling for a “referendum” on state policies. Pro-establishment outlets are accusing Molavi Abdolhamid of having ties with Saudi Arabia, a Sunni regional rival of Iran, and partially blaming him for the ongoing unrest.
The coverage: Abdolhamid Esmailzehi, popularly known as Molavi Abdolhamid, expressed strong criticism of state policies in his Nov. 4 Friday prayer sermon in Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan Province. Of note, the region is mostly home to Iran’s Baluch ethnic minority.
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