Amid protests, supreme leader urges Iranians to unite


Iran’s supreme leader is urging Iranians to unite behind the ruling system led by clerics, amid rival demonstrations over the outcome of the presidential election.

Iranian state television quotes Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (hah-meh-neh-EE’) as saying “voters had different tendencies, but they equally believe in the ruling system and support the Islamic Republic.”

Khamenei, who is Iran’s ultimate authority, also said representatives of all four candidates should be present for any limited recount of disputed ballots.

Two competing rallies drew thousands of people today. Foreign media have been barred from covering them, so word comes from witnesses.

Amateur video shows a large column of supporters of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi (meer hoh-SAYN’ moo-SAH’-vee) walking peacefully along a Tehran avenue. A witness tells The Associated Press that the line stretched more than a mile.

In another location at about the same time, a state-organized rally drew thousands of people waving flags and pictures of the supreme leader.

AP.org

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