TEHRAN — Iran’s opposition is gearing up for a potentially large demonstration against the government today to coincide with the climax of a major Shiite religious commemoration.
The Rah-e Sabz Web site, a mouthpiece of the grass-roots opposition movement, called for nationwide protests around noon in the capital, which on Saturday was the scene of several clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police.
“Today was only a test to show our readiness,” the Web site wrote in a statement that also denounced the government’s use of violence during the present period of mourning for a Shiite saint. “Tomorrow we will come out following the invitations of the social network Green Path Of Hope movement.”
The demonstrations started after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection in June and show no sign of winding down. Pro-government forces, however, appear determined to stamp out the protests, which they say are illegal and abetted by foreign enemies.
Security forces clad in black clashed with protesters in northern Tehran on Saturday after a speech by opposition leader and former President Mohammad Khatami. After the police intervened, thousands of protesters fanned out through the area.
The roads were clogged with cars, many honking their horns in support of the protesters. About 50 armed government supporters attacked a building used as an office by the household of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic republic, according to witnesses and the parlemannews Web site, which is critical of the government.
Khomeini’s children, who are known opposition supporters, were present as the windows were smashed.