BEIRUT, Lebanon — As Iran prepares for a major commemorative rally on Wednesday, the leaders of the opposition movement called over the weekend for a renewed challenge to the government, setting the stage for a possible showdown between protesters and the police.
Although the opposition leaders, Mir Hussein Moussavi and Mohammad Khatami, did not openly call for street protests, their remarks were widely seen as a call to arms on a day of considerable symbolic importance.
The occasion is the 30th anniversary of the takeover of the United States Embassy in Tehran by hard-line students on Nov. 4, 1979. The day is marked every year with anti-American rallies.
For weeks, opposition groups have been calling for their supporters to turn the event into a protest against the disputed June presidential election and its violent aftermath. The authorities have repeatedly vowed to put down any protests fiercely.