Standoff in Iran Deepens with New Show of Force
NY Times / Micheal Slackman

CAIRO — Iranian authorities filled the streets of Tehran with hundreds of police officers and armed militia members to deter protests on New Year’s Day as Mir Hussein Moussavi, the leader of the opposition, said in a statement that he did not fear giving his life as “a martyr.”

The overwhelming show of force in the capital and Mr. Moussavi’s declaration, which said that even killing him would not end the unrest, were part of a day of charges, counter-charges and warnings from both sides, illustrating the deep divisions that have emerged in Iran since the outbreak of its political crisis six months ago.

The government and its hard-line supporters continued to rely on force, and the threat of force, to quell protests and demand loyalty, while the opposition refuses to back down. There was no indication that compromise was on the agenda.

During Friday prayer services in the capital city, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, a fundamentalist cleric who heads the powerful Guardian Council, called protesters “flagrant examples of corrupt on Ea... >>>

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