‘One dead’ as shots are fired during Iran protest

Witnesses say at least one person has died after shots were fired during a demonstration in Iran against last week’s presidential election results.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Tehran in support of defeated opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who is appealing against the election result.

Hardline Islamic Basij militiamen loyal to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are understood to have opened fire when their building was attacked by demonstrators.

An Iranian photographer at the scene witnessed that shooting but residents have also reported hearing gunshots in three different districts of northern Tehran.

Members of Iran’s security forces have at times fired into the air during two days of unrest and used batons to beat protesters who pelted police with stones.

Earlier, in defiance of an interior ministry ban and in reply to President Ahmadinejad’s state-organised victory rally on Sunday, vast crowds converged on Revolution Square, where Mousavi made a speech.

The disputed election, which swept President Ahmadinejad back to power, has dismayed Western powers.

The US State Department says it is “deeply troubled” by reports of violence and allegations voting irregularities.

The European Union has increased pressure on Iran to agree to opposition demands to investigate Ahmadinejad’s landslide victory and halt a crackdown on protesters.

Briatin, France and Germany are leading the EU campaign to persuade Iran to clarify the results.

“The implications are not yet clear,” said Foreign Secretary David Miliband. “What we know is that there has been no Iranian response to the outreach that has been made by the international community, including the United States.”

The protests over Ahmadinejad’s re-election are the sharpest display of discontent in the Islamic Republic for a decade – and have drawn much broader support than the student unrest of 1999.

In a statement on his website, Mr Mousavi said he had formally asked the Guardian Council, a legislative body, to cancel the election result.

“I urge you, Iranian nation, to continue your nationwide protests in a peaceful and legal way,” he added.



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