Iranian opposition leaders whereabouts unclear

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Iranian opposition leaders whereabouts unclear

Iranian opposition leaders whereabouts unclear
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Reports that Iran’s two main reformist leaders have fled Tehran to the north of the country have been denied by family members.

They say the two, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karouobi, are still in the capital.

The news comes as hundreds of thousands turned out for a series of rallies organised by the government.

Chanting allegiance to the clerical establishment, and anti-opposition slogans, the full weight of the state is being used to dampen down political unrest.

At one rally a spokesman for Iran’s Supreme leader described opposition leaders as “enemies of God” who should be executed.

In the face of international criticism President Ahmadinejad has denounced the anti-government demonstrations as a “foreign-backed masquerade”. He’s accused Britain of interfering and summoned London’‘s ambassador for an explanation.

But in Paris and London, small demonstrations were held to show solidarity with the opposition protesters.

Although foreign media is restricted from reporting anti-government protests within Iran, amateur footage continues to emerge.

The recent mobile phone pictures of what is alleged to have been last Sunday’s crackdown on anti-government rallies have raised tensions both inside Iran and with the West.

In the country’s bloodiest unrest since the immediate aftermath of the disputed June 12 presidential election, eight people are said to have been killed and at least 20 pro-reformist figures arrested.