News / Middle East

Iranian Govt. Calls for Friday Rally to Show 'Hatred' for Opposition

A pro-government Iranian holds a poster of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during the funeral ceremony of Sane Jaleh, a student who was killed during Monday's clashes, in Tehran, Iran, February 16, 2011
A pro-government Iranian holds a poster of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during the funeral ceremony of Sane Jaleh, a student who was killed during Monday's clashes, in Tehran, Iran, February 16, 2011

Iran's clerical establishment has called for a major rally in Tehran on Friday, to express what it calls its "hatred" of reformists who organized a day of major anti-government protests earlier this week.

In a statement Wednesday, Iran's Islamic Propagation Coordination Council urged Tehran residents to join the rally after Friday prayers to show anger at what it calls the "crimes" of "seditionist" leaders and their rebel allies.

Iranian conservative lawmakers have accused reformist leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi of sedition for organizing anti-governments protests that drew thousands of people to the streets of Tehran and other cities Monday. Sedition is a crime punishable by death in Iran.

Iran's chief prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei said Wednesday he supports calls for the two reformists to be punished.

The opposition leaders issued defiant statements Wednesday, with Karroubi saying he is willing to "pay any price" for his country, while Mousavi called the demonstrations a "great achievement." They had called the protests to show solidarity with recent uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia against authoritarian rulers.

Monday's demonstrations were the biggest in Iran since 2009, when Mousavi and Karroubi led much bigger rallies against the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that year. Mr. Ahmadinejad ridiculed the protest organizers Tuesday, saying they will not achieve their goals.

Iranians take part in the funeral of Sanee Zhaleh, a student who was shot dead during an opposition rally on in Tehran, February 16, 2011
Iranians take part in the funeral of Sanee Zhaleh, a student who was shot dead during an opposition rally on in Tehran, February 16, 2011

Iranian authorities say two people were killed in Tehran Monday as police dispersed the protesters. One of the dead was a Tehran University student whom authorities identified as a government-allied Basij militiaman. But opposition activists say the student, Sanee Zhaleh, came from their ranks.

Iranian state television says a memorial ceremony for Zhaleh at Tehran University erupted into fighting between opposition activists and government loyalists. It says the government loyalists forced the opposition activists to leave Wednesday's ceremony by chanting slogans calling for the death of seditionists.  

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has praised the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia as an Islamic awakening, akin to the 1979 revolution that ousted Iran's U.S.-backed shah.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs