Accessibility links

Iranian Opposition Leader Mousavi Calls for More Protests


Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has issued a statement supporting further protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed election victory.

In a statement posted on the Internet Sunday, Mousavi said Iranians have the right to protest what he called lies and fraud. But he pleaded with his supporters to show restraint and refrain from violence.

Witnesses in Tehran said Mousavi supporters took to their rooftops Sunday after sunset, to exchange chants of defiance against the government.

Police and pro-government militia patrolled the streets of the Iranian capital Sunday, following deadly protests the day before.

Iranian state television said at least 10 people were killed Saturday, bringing the official death toll to at least 17 since the protests began.

There were no confirmed reports Sunday of massive opposition protests in the capital, although a government-imposed news blackout has hampered coverage of events in Iran by independent media.

On Saturday, police used tear gas, batons and water cannons to disperse thousands who rallied despite a warning by the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to stop demonstrating against the disputed June 12 elections.

Iranian media say the daughter of one of Iran's most powerful figures, former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, and four family members were detained during the protests but later released.

State media also quote Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani as saying everyone should respect the opinions of those who believe the nation's election results are not accurate. He said the Guardian Council (which supervises Iran's elections) should thoroughly investigate those claims. But Larijani said there are differences between those who question the election results and those who riot in the streets.

A British think tank released its analysis of Iran's official election returns, citing apparent irregularities that could support suspicions that the vote was rigged.

Chatham House and the Institute of Iranian Studies at the University of Saint Andrews said that in two conservative provinces, Mazandaran and Yazd, the number of votes cast exceeded the number of eligible voters.

The study also said that the official results suggest Mr. Ahmadinejad won the support of 47.5 percent of those who backed reformist candidates in 2005. The study's authors called that figure "highly implausible."

Video of protests in Iran obtained by VOA's Persian News Network can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/pnnvideo.

XS
SM
MD
LG