Fissures over goals test strength of Iran’s opposition

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.

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