Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mousavi Calls for More Iran Protests as 10 Killed

Mousavi Calls for More Iran Protests as 10 Killed

June 21 (Bloomberg) -- At least 10 people were killed during clashes with Iranian police and defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi called for further demonstrations in defiance of Iran’s supreme leader.

If Iranians “are not able to defend their rights in a civil, peaceful reaction, there will be dangerous ways ahead,” Mousavi, who claims officials rigged President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s June 12 re-election, said in a statement on his Web site.

Ten people were killed yesterday and more than 100 injured in rioting, state television reported today, quoting deputy chief of police Ahmadreza Radan. He said security forces did not use firearms and “terrorist groups” among the protesters were responsible for the casualties. CNN television, citing staff at a Tehran hospital, said 19 people were killed.

In a sign of widening divisions within the regime, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said a majority of Iranians contest the official results of the election, state-run Press TV reported on its Web site today, citing comments he made yesterday on Channel 2.

Iran’s Security Council and police yesterday warned Mousavi against holding rallies. The day before, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of the Persian Gulf nation of 73 million, ordered a halt to the demonstrations.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have opposed Ahmadinejad’s re-election in the largest demonstrations since the Islamic Revolution that ousted the shah in 1979. The protests and split within the ruling elite mark an unprecedented challenge to the authority of Khamenei, the successor of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution. Read more...
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