Iranian police clashed with demonstrators in Tehran Thursday, as
thousands of protesters defied government orders and massed in two
locations to mourn those killed in post-election violence.
Witnesses say police with batons and tear gas moved in as at least
2,000 people gathered at the Grand Mosalla, an open-air prayer venue in
Defeated Iranian presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi
Karroubi had asked to hold a silent ceremony there to mark the 40th day
since a deadly crackdown on street protests. Authorities denied their
Iran's state-run Press TV reported that police used tear gas to
disperse protesters at a demonstration earlier in the day at Tehran's
Behesht-e Zahra cemetery.
People on the scene say thousands of mourners had gathered in the cemetery and that police detained several mourners there.
Mr. Mousavi and Karroubi attended that gathering separately. Witnesses
say police surrounded Mr. Mousavi and forced him back into his car, as
opposition supporters chanted slogans supporting the defeated candidate.
The mother of slain Iranian Neda Agha-Soltan was expected to visit the
cemetery to mark the 40th day since her daughter's death. Neda
Agha-Soltan became a symbol for reformist demonstrators after a graphic
video posted on the Internet showed her die after being shot during a
post-election protest in Tehran.
Iranian lawmakers say 30 people were killed in the unrest and protests that followed Iran's disputed June 12 election.
Official election results handed incumbent President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad a landslide victory. The political opposition alleges
fraud, but Iranian authorities say Mr. Ahmadinejad's re-election was