Unrest in Iran after election; Mousavi lodges legal appeal against Ahmadinejad victory

Opposition candidate goes to country’s guardian council after supporters claim result was manipulated

Smoke billows from a burning bus behind a supporter of Mousavi. Photograph: Olivier Laban-mattei/AFP/Getty Images

The defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi today launched a formal appeal against the election result as his supporters took to the streets of the capital again, raising the prospect of more violent clashes.

Mousavi, who claimed his defeat by the hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was manipulated, said in a statement on his website that he had appealed to the ruling guardian council to overturn the result, and urged his supporters to continue protests “in a peaceful and legal way”.

Related articles:
US rejects victory claim by Iran’s Ahmadinejad (AP)
Iran reformists held after street clashes (BBC News)
Iran arrests 170 over vote protests (AFP)
Iran: “Government banks and buildings were torched” (The Media Line)
Global Insight: The result in Iran defies belief (Financial Times)
Biden: ‘Real Doubts’ About Fairness of Iran’s Election (FOX News)
Riots erupt in Tehran over ‘stolen’ election (Guardian)

With temperatures at 35C, the situation in the Iranian capital threatened to run out of control as special forces in riot gear chased protesters through side streets near Fatemi Square. In a sign of the anger among Mousavi’s supporters, they chanted “the president is committing a crime and the supreme leader is supporting him”, highly inflammatory language in a regime where the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, is considered irreproachable. Shops, government offices and businesses closed early as tension mounted.

Crowds also gathered outside Mousavi’s headquarters but there was no sign of Ahmadinejad’s chief political rival. Supporters waved their fists and chanted anti-Ahmadinejad slogans. Mousavi’s wife denied rumours that her husband had been placed under house arrest.

“People are tired of dictatorship,” she told Reuters. “People are tired of not having freedom of expression, of high inflation, and adventurism in foreign relations. That is why they wanted to change Ahmadinejad.”

Read moreUnrest in Iran after election; Mousavi lodges legal appeal against Ahmadinejad victory