Mousavi, 67, and Karroubi, 72, charge that Ahmadinejad’s reelection amounts to an electoral coup d’etat by the government, the Revolutionary Guard Corps and hard-line clerics, and they have called on demonstrators to save the Islamic republic from becoming a dictatorship.
But many protesters have gone beyond questioning the election outcome, more than a dozen opposition supporters said in interviews. Fearing retribution, all insisted on being identified only by their first names.
“I don’t want to save the Islamic republic,” said Reza, a 28-year-old engineer. “I want a total change, something close to a revolution.” Other interviewees made similar comments, saying that extreme violence unleashed by the government against protesters has hardened their views about Iran’s leaders.