Mousavi To Attend Friday Prayers In Tehran

07.17.09 | FL News Team

Defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi will be at Friday prayers at Tehran University this morning. It marks his first official public appearance since he lost last month's disputed election to hardline incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [[ ahmah-DIN-ee-zhahd ]]. Mousavi released a statement saying, quote, "Since I regard as obligatory responding to the invitation of the sympathizers and supporters in the path of safeguarding legitimate rights of a free and honorable life, I will maintain a presence alongside you on Friday." Mousavi and his supporters claim the June 12th voting was rigged. A week after the election, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used the Friday prayer service to uphold Ahmadinejad's re-election.


The Friday prayers will be led by former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a powerful cleric and Mousavi backer whose family members were among those briefly jailed last month for protesting the election results. Speaking to the semi-official Fars News Agency, Iran's intelligence minister urged Iranians not to let the sermon, quote, "turn to an arena for undesirable scenes." A hardline Iranian newspaper has suggested Mousavi supporters may use the Friday prayers to start a new round of protests and chant slogans, quote, "dictated from abroad." At least 20 people were killed in the days following the election as a result of violent clashes between pro-Mousavi protestors and riot police.