Iran Opposition Leaders Urge Rally on Anniversary
New York Times / Nazila Fathi

Throwing up a challenge to the increasingly violent tactics of Iran’s ruling elite, the country’s two leading opposition figures are urging protesters to defy the government and take to the streets in an antigovernment rally on Feb. 11.

The government announced on Tuesday that it would execute nine protesters; two were hanged last week. The prosecutor also asked Wednesday for the death sentence for a 24-year-old protester, having charged him with moharebeh, or waging war against God, for “throwing rocks during protests,” the news agency ISNA reported.

The statements by the two opposition leaders, Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hussein Moussavi, appeared to reflect a unanimous decision to stand fast in the face of the brutal treatment of protesters by the government.

The statement from Mr. Karroubi, posted Wednesday on his Web site, called for free elections, the release of political prisoners and an end to what he described as a police state created since the June 12 presidential election. He renewed his accusation that the results of the election were “engineered,” and dismissed claims that he was seeking a compromise with the government.

“I will defend the legitimate and legal freedoms and rights of the people,” he said. “This is my unbreakable vow.”

Mr. Karroubi’s statement followed by a day some of Mr. Moussavi’s harshest remarks to date against the country’s leaders and the government, which he called “dictatoria... >>>

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