No Moussavi reaction to Iran leader’s warnings on protests

Opposition leader Mir-Hossein Moussavi has still not reacted to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s warning Friday that he was opposed to demonstrations over the disputed presidential election. At Friday prayers, Khamenei said that he opposed the protests and warned Moussavi and the opposition of consequences if the street rallies continued.

Another mass rally was scheduled for Saturday afternoon from the Enqelab (freedom) Square in western Tehran, where Moussavi was scheduled to speak.

Former president Mohammad Khatami and other leading reformists were also to attend the rally.

Moussavi had sought permission from the Interior Ministry to hold Saturday’s rally, but after Khamenei’s opposition it was unlikely that this would be granted.

Without the ministry’s permission, the police would be authorized to take action against the participants. An earlier rally along the same route was attended by hundreds of thousands of mainly Moussavi supporters.

Moussavi has constantly called on his supporters to keep their protests peacefully.

Considering the risk of violent clashes on Saturday, Moussavi could eventually call off the rally, observers said.

Khamenei said the June 12 election and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory were both legitimate.

Moussavi, together with the two other presidential candidates – Mehdi Karroubi and Mohsen Rezaei, are to attend the preview session of the Guardian Council, a legislative body in charge of approving election results.

It remains to be seen whether the Interior Ministry and the Guardian Council, both close to Ahmadinejad, would check the numerous election violations alleged by the three candidates.

Moderate cleric Karroubi sent a new letter to the Guardian Council calling for an annulment of the election results and fresh elections. Moussavi had earlier voiced the same request.


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