Opposition seeks show of strength at Friday prayer
Associated Press / Ali Akbar Dareini

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters massed at Iran's main Islamic prayer service Friday, attempting a show strength at one of the country's most important and symbolic political platforms. Police fired tear gas at others as they headed to the prayers.The opposition is seeking to show their movement remains vibrant even after the crackdown put down huge anti-government protests that erupted after Iran's disputed June 12 presidential election.Since the turmoil began, the main Friday prayers at Tehran University have been a stage for hard-line clerics to lay down the line of Iran's supreme leader. But for the first time since the election, Friday's sermon is being delivered by the opposition's top backer in the clerical leadership, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Pro-reform activists hope he will show support for the movement in his sermon.Tens of thousands - mostly pro-opposition but also some government backers - packed the prayer hall and shouted competing slogans. Hard-liners made traditional chants of "death to America," while opposition supporters countered with "death to Russia" - a reference to government's ties to Moscow. Many pro-reform worshippers wore green headbands or wristbands or had green prayer rugs - the opposition movement's color.In the front row of the worshippers was opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, attending for the first time since the election. Mousavi claims he won the election and that results showing President... >>>

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