TEHRAN: Iran’s main opposition leaders called on Tuesday for protests to mark the first anniversary of the June 12 disputed presidential vote.
Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi took a decision when they met on Monday to call on their supporters to stage demonstrations on June 12, Karroubi’s website reported. Mousavi and Karroubi “insisted on staging a demonstration on June 12... and called on all reformist groups, organisations and parties to send their requests for this to the interior ministry,” Sahamnews website reported.
The two leaders lost out to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in last year’s elections and quickly dismissed the result as massively rigged, sparking street protests which rocked the Islamic republic throughout the summer. Security forces cracked down heavily, with dozens of protesters killed, hundreds arrested and scores of prominent reformist leaders, journalists and rights campaigners put on trial – many receiving stiff jail sentences.
Authorities have vowed to show no mercy towards protesters and branded the opposition Green Movement a “sedition” masterminded by Iran’s foreign “enemies.” Demonstrations continued sporadically in the winter but following violent clashes in which eight people were killed on December 27 at the Ashura procession, fewer people have turned out and protests have been more muted.