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Vote protesters still on streets of Tehran

TENS of thousands of black-clad protesters filled the streets of Tehran again yesterday, joining opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi to mourn demonstrators killed in clashes over Iran's disputed election.

Many in the massive crowd wore green wristbands and carried flowers in mourning as they filed into Imam Khomenei Square, a large plaza in the heart of the capital named for the founder of the Islamic Revolution, witnesses said.

The fourth consecutive day of protests openly defied Iran's supreme leader, who has urged the people to pursue their allegations of election fraud within the limits of the cleric-led system.

Mousavi and his followers have rejected compromise and pressed their demands for a new election.

Trying again to satisfy the protesters' demands, Iran's main electoral authority invited Mousavi and two other candidates who ran against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a meeting.

An Iranian TV report said the three candidates would meet with the Guardian Council tomorrow.

The unelected body of 12 clerics and Islamic law experts has said it was prepared to conduct a limited recount of ballots at sites where candidates claim irregularities.

Mousavi, who has said he won the vote, charges the Guardian Council is not neutral and supports Ahmadinejad and has demanded an independent investigation and a new election.

The Council's spokesman Abbasali Khadkhodaei said yesterday that it received a total of 646 complaints from the three candidates who ran against Ahmadinejad in the June 12 election.



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