NEW YORK - A powerful group of clerics is publicly supporting Iranians who believe their nations presidential election was rigged, The New York Times reported Sunday, citing political observers. In a dispatch, the newspaper said the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum Saturday called the election illegitimate and chastised government leaders for the use of force in crushing public protests across Iran last month. The powerful clerics also urged other religious leaders to join them in fighting the governments refusal to adequately reconsider charges of voter fraud. The clerics statement was an act of defiance against Irans supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the most public sign, so far, of a split in the nations clerical establishment, said Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies Programme at Stanford University. I dont ever remember in the 20 years of Khameneis rule where he was clearly and categorically on one side and so many clergy were on the other side, Milani said. Khameneis government has portrayed the opposition, and its top presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Mousavi, as traitors, while encouraging the nation to accept incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for another term. The clerics announcement came on a day when Moussavi released documents detailing a campaign of fraud by the current presidents supporters, and as a close associate of the supreme leader called Moussavi and former President Mohammad Khatami foreign agents, saying they should be treated as criminals. The documents, published on Moussavis Web site, accused supporters of the president of printing more than 20 million extra ballots before the vote and handing out cash bonuses to voters. Reuters: On Sunday Iran said it had released a Greek journalist covering the election for the Washington Times, while British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said one of two British embassy employees detained in Iran would be freed later in the day. There was no immediate comment from the Iranian Foreign Ministry on the embassy employees, whose arrest led to the summoning of Iranian envoys to European Union countries. Because of the humanitarian efforts made by Irans envoy to Greece ... the Greek journalist was released today, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told state television. Iranian officials deny the election was rigged, saying it was the healthiest since the 1979 revolution. They have clamped down on the protests, but opponents say they will not give up.