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Crackdown keeps protestors off streets -- for now

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Crackdown keeps protestors off streets -- for now


A security crackdown in Iran appears to have deterred anti-government protestors from taking to the streets, but Tehran is braced for more demonstrations tomorrow.

The country’s religious leaders ruled President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election victory was valid, but have extended a deadline to investigate the oppositions claims of fraud. One man on the streets of Tehran said: “When the Guardians Council extends the deadline, they must have a good reason. It’s certainly found something to follow up.” A woman said: “If the Council declares a neutral stance it could end all this. It should be neutral. We hope they’ll find a solution to end the killing.” Evidence of the government’s tougher response to the unrest can be seen in videos of recent protests posted on the internet by demonstrators. Today Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has reiterrated the government will not give in to pressure and said the rulings on the election in his words “must be implemented”. Ahmadinejad’s supporters have also been on the streets, as a diplomatic row with the West intensifies. They protested outside the British embassy after Iran accused the UK of inciting the anti-government riots and expelled two British diplomats. The move provoked a similar action by Britain in response.

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