Iran Braces for Showdown Today

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 20, 2009 7:33 AM CDT
Iran Braces for Showdown Today
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers his sermon Friday.   (AP Photo/Hayat News Agency, Meisam Hosseini)

Iran's government threatened harsh action today if opposition supporters take to the streets again to demand a new election in open defiance of the country's supreme leader. Web sites run by supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi called for street protests, but the candidate himself issued no public statement. It was not clear if Mousavi has the power to halt street demonstrations even if he orders his supporters to stay inside. The government appeared to be preparing for a confrontation.  

European Union leaders have expressed dismay over the threat of a crackdown, and both houses of the US Congress approved a resolution yesterday condemning "the ongoing violence" by the Iranian government. In an interview taped yesterday with CBS, President Obama said he is very concerned by the "tenor and tone" of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments. He also said that how Iran's leaders "approach and deal with people who are, through peaceful means, trying to be heard" will signal "what Iran is and is not." (Read more Iran stories.)

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