Iran’s opposition called for nationwide rallies on Feb. 20 to mourn the deaths of those killed in anti-government protests a week earlier, according to a statement on the website of opposition leader and former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi.
“We invite the noble Iranian nation to attend gatherings in Tehran and other cities on Sunday at 3 p.m. to commemorate the day of martyrdom” of those who died, the opposition said on the website.
Mousavi’s daughters said they hadn’t heard from either of their parents in 48 hours, according to an interview posted on another opposition site, rahesabz.net. The Mousavi house had been surrounded by security forces and all communications cut, they said.
Authorities shut down a Feb. 14 demonstration in Tehran that was backed by opposition leaders including Mousavi and Mehdi Karrubi, who challenged President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2009 presidential election and said the result was rigged. Tens of thousands of protesters were dispersed by security forces using tear gas and baton charges, Al Jazeera television said. Press TV said two people were killed in the unrest, which was inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.
Iranian judiciary chief, Sadegh Larijani, said he would block efforts by opposition leaders to make statements to their supporters, calling them “leaders of the sedition,” according to a state-run Press TV report today.
Ahmadinejad announced a program today to “eradicate unemployment” by developing Iran’s downstream oil capacities to provide more jobs for young people, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency said. He was speaking at the opening of eight petrochemical projects in the city of Mahshahr, it said. Bloomberg