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

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid