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Tehran’s ‘Sea of Black’
Unrest in Iran continues as demonstrators took to the streets on Thursday to protest against the presidential election results. This is the nation’s biggest crisis since the Islamic revolution in 1979.
June 18, 2009 1:32 by Dana El Baltaji
Iranian demonstrators hit Tehran’s streets dressed in black on Thursday to mourn the death of over 14 protesters this week following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election victory on Friday.
The unrest, reportedly the largest and longest running since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, began after the country’s Interior ministry announced that conservative leader Ahmadinejad won the election with 63 percent of the votes against opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi’s 34 percent.
Supporters of Mousavi – including six soccer players on Iran’s national team, who wore green wristbands at a World Cup qualifying game against South Korea – have accused their government of rigging the results, and have demanded a new presidential election.
“The people of Iran are finally fed up with the lies, the temperament, the foolish actions of Ahmadinejad,” a 20-year-old Iranian man said to CNN.
Meanwhile, the Guardian Council, Iran’s election authority, announced it will recount votes in a number of areas throughout the country, but Mousavi insists the council cannot be trusted.
He urged his supporters to continue demanding a new election, and has asked the government stop the “illegal and violent clashes” in a letter published on his official website.
“The use of violence against ordinary people, raiding people’s residences just because they chant the sacred phrase of ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great), beating up women and men, destroying buildings” is not in line with the Islamic republic’s principles, he wrote.
Incidents of violence were reported by student activists throughout the country, including at a dormitory in Tehran.
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