150 people dead over the results of an election?!? Kind of puts the anger felt by the Left here after Bush vs. Gore 2000 in perspective.
The country's foreign minister disputed allegations of ballot irregularities in Iran's disputed presidential election, and the parliamentary speaker implied the nation's election authorities had sided with one candidate.
Amateur video showed large crowds marching down a major Tehran thoroughfare shouting, "Don't be afraid, we're together!" and "Death to dictator!" The person who shot the video said it was taken Sunday, but CNN could not immediately verify that the protest had taken place.
Eyewitnesses reported a protest also took place at Southern Tehran's Azad University, where final exams were postponed after about 200 students refused to take them.Thousands of riot police and members of the Basij militia lined the streets of the city, according to eyewitnesses. Security personnel surrounded the headquarters of the country's state television and radio. Many shops were closed, and shopkeepers whose stores were open said they planned to close early Sunday. However, no tanks were seen on the city's streets. Traffic was light.
A statement purportedly from opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi on Sunday called on Iranians to "exercise self control" during protests in Tehran, while still supporting their right to demonstrate against the government and the results of the disputed June 12 presidential election.
"The country belongs to you. The revolution and the system is your heritage," the statement attributed to Moussavi said in a statement posted on his Web site. "Protesting against lies and cheating is your right. Be hopeful about regaining your rights. Do not allow anyone who tries to make you lose hope and frighten you make you lose your temper."
The authenticity of the message could not be verified; it was posted in Farsi and translated by CNN.The message came a day after hospital sources said 19 people were killed in clashes between anti-government protesters and police. Unconfirmed reports put the death toll as high as 150. "The sad news of the martyrdom of another group who protested the results of the elections has caused our society astonishment and our people mourn them," said the statement attributed to Moussavi. "Firing on people, militarization of the city's atmosphere, threats, agitations and show of force are all the illegitimate children of law breaking and we are facing all of that. It is a wonder that the perpetrators accuse others of breaking the law for expressing their opinions."