Related News

Home » World

Peaceful protest urged in Iran

DEFEATED Iranian presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi urged supporters to stage peaceful protests or gather in mosques to mourn those killed after a disputed presidential poll set off Iran's worst unrest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory against the reformist Mousavi sparked demonstrations and bloody street battles in Tehran that killed at least seven people on Monday while other protests flared up in cities across Iran.

"A number of our countrymen were wounded or martyred," Mousavi said, calling for a day of mourning today.

"I ask the people to express their solidarity with the families ... by coming together in mosques or taking part in peaceful demonstrations," Mousavi said on his Website.

Further protests planned for today are a direct challenge to Iranian authorities.

In a stark warning, Fars News Agency yesterday quoted Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli as saying "no permission has been issued for a gathering or rally in Haft-e Tir Square."

State television has said the "main agents" behind the turmoil have been arrested with guns and explosives.

Tens of thousands of pro-Mousavi supporters defied authorities to rally in Tehran on Tuesday after the seven were killed in Monday's violence but international media were forbidden from leaving their offices to cover the event.

After Monday's deaths, Mousavi asked followers to call off a planned rally in the same downtown area on Tuesday so the marchers headed north instead.

Tuesday's rally was addressed by Faezeh Rafsanjani, daughter of the former president who backed Mousavi. Her public support was another sign of high-level rifts in the Islamic Republic. Hardline students called for her to be arrested for incitement.

A prosecutor-general in Isfahan Province, said: "We warn the few ... controlled by foreigners who try to disrupt domestic security by inciting individuals to destroy and to commit arson that the Islamic penal code for such individuals waging war against God is execution."

A reformist source said Saeed Laylaz, editor of business daily Sarmayeh, and activist Mohammadreza Jalaiepour were both arrested yesterday.

"I condemn widespread arrests of children of the revolution and (the arrests) will motivate people more to continue and expand protests," Mousavi said.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's highest authority, who has favored Ahmadinejad, has called for calm, allowing some ballot boxes to be recounted.

But Iran's top legislative body ruled out demands for an annulment of the vote.



Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend