Supporters of Iran's former Prime Minister Mousavi hold a picture of Mousavi during a rally in Tehran, capital of Iran, June 15, 2009. Tens of thousands of people were seen on Monday at Tehran's Enghelab Avenue marching all the way west to the prestigious Azadi (liberty) square, for a massive rally to support the defeated presidential candidate Mir- Hossein Mousavi. (Xinhua/Stringer) Photo Gallery>>>
By Mehdi Bagheri
TEHRAN, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Tens of thousands of people were seen on Monday at Tehran's Enghelab Avenue marching all the way west to the prestigious Azadi (liberty) square, for a massive, peaceful rally to support the defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi.
The participants, clad in green, or Mousavi's campaign signature, were carrying posters bearing the phrase of "New Greetings to the World", hand-written placards saying "where is my vote?", "we are not rioters", "this is not election, this is selection" and chanting "Allah-o-Akbar (God is the Greatest)."
Mousavi addressed his fervent supporters by a mobile loudspeaker saying that he was ready to take part in any new election.
Following the violent protests against the alleged "fraud" results of the country's presidential elections in the past two days, the backers of Mousavi were "staging a calm and peaceful demonstration," the local satellite Press TV reporter said.
Mehdi Karroubi, another defeated candidate, also defiant to the announcements released by both the Interior Ministry and the Police Chief, were seen along with Mousavi to join the mass rally that has been declared "illegal" by authorities, the report by Press TV said.
A supporter of Iran's former Prime Minister Mousavi makes a victory sign during a rally in Tehran, capital of Iran, June 15, 2009. (Xinhua Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
Iran's Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam warned on Monday that any illegal rally would be confronted in a legal way by the police.
However, the anti-riot police were seen at the early hours of the demonstration, calm but alert, standing on both sides of the street, observing the surge of the people who refrained from chanting provocative slogans.
On Sunday, Mousavi made an appeal to his supporters on his website to stage a rally on Monday to hear his words "since there is no means available for informing the people."
"The reason for such a participation is the blockage of all the canals for informing people to avoid any violation," the announcement said.
Mousavi's website, Ghalam News, was unblocked on Monday after a two-day ban and after his meeting with the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Sunday evening.
A supporter of Iran's former Prime Minister Mousavi holds a slogan during a rally in Tehran, capital of Iran, June 15, 2009. (Xinhua Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
During the meeting, Iran's Supreme Leader ensured Mousavi that he has ordered the Guardian Council to investigate the claims of fraud in the recent presidential election.
"The Guardian Council has been emphasized to carry out investigation carefully," Khamenei was quoted as saying by the State TV.
He also told the former prime minister to pursue his appeal against the election result in a legal way.
"You are different from those people (rioter protestors on the streets) and you are advised to keep manners and calmness," Khamenei said.
Iran's Supreme Leader has urged supporters of both the winner and the defeated candidates to avoid provocative behavior.
Mousavi has already appealed for Iran's Guardians Council to cancel the country's June 12 presidential election result, a statement posted on his website said on Sunday.
"Today, I wrote a letter to the Guardian Council asking them to cancel the result of the recent (presidential) election," Mousavi said in the statement.
On Saturday afternoon, Iran's Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli said that the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won 62.63 percent of the total ballots during Friday's vote, while Mousavi got 33.75 percent.
After the official declaration, Mousavi protested "strongly" in a statement the "obvious" violations in Iran's presidential election.
TEHRAN, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered the Guardian Council to investigate the claims of fraud in the recent presidential election, state television reported on Monday. Full story
WASHINGTON, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The United States is "deeply troubled" by the growing rioting which has flared in Iran because of the disputed presidential elections, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said here on Monday.
"Along with the rest of the international community ... we are deeply troubled by the reports of violent arrests and possible voting irregularities," Kelly told reporters.
UNITED NATIONS, June 15 (Xinhua) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said here Monday that the genuine will of Iranian people should be fully respected.
Ban said he has been closely following the situation in Iran after the election and has also taken note of the instructions by the religious leaders in Iran that there should be an investigation into the election.