Iranian President Ahmadinejad announced Wednesday that opposition prisoners arrested during post election turmoil should be released before 7 August.

The announcement came after the Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the closure of a detention center and the release of its 140 opposition prisoners.

“The 140 will be released over the next couple for days, said Kazem Jalili, spokesman for Iran's Parliamentary Committee for Prisons.

Ahmadinejad said “the maximum of compassion in the name of Islam” should be shown to the prisoners.

He hopes the protestors can be “free and able to go back to their families for the anniversary of Imam Mahdi on 7 August.”

But he refused an opposition request for a day of mourning to remember those who were killed during the protests.