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Friday, July 17, 2009

Violence in Iran: Opposition "As Strong as Ever"

Security forces fired tear gas and plainclothes militiamen armed with batons charged at crowds of protesters gathered near Tehran University after a Friday prayer sermon delivered by the cleric and opposition supporter Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, his first appearance at the nation's weekly keynote sermon since before the election.

Rafsanjani, in a closely watched speech, lashed out at the hard-line camp supporting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, criticized the June 12 election results and promoted several key opposition demands. However, he failed to offer a solution to what has emerged as Iran's worst political crisis in decades.

His inconclusive speech and the Muslim Sabbath clashes between security forces and supporters of opposition figure Mir-Hossein Mousavi that followed suggested the political firestorm unleashed by the marred vote would continue and that the movement it had inspired was as strong as ever.

link: Tehran's streets erupt after a key cleric speaks - Los Angeles Times


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