Iran’s main opposition leader has promised to continue the struggle for reform. In a direct challenge to Iran’s hardliners, Mirhossein Mousavi declared on his website, ‘Peaceful protests are Iranians rights.’
Last week, two people were hanged by authorities for causing political unrest. Nine other protesters also face death sentences and Iran’s leadership has warned anti-government supporters it will not tolerate any further demonstrations like those witnessed at the end of last year.
Mousavi’s comments are especially sensitive with Iran celebrating the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Yesterday marked the day when late supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran 31 years ago. The opposition says it intends to hold mass protests on February 11, the climax of the revolution.
Yesterday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the tomb of Khomeini. Ahmadinejad remains the focus of much of the opposition movement’s fury following last year’s disputed June 12 election.