London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Sources close to reformist candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi and former Iranian President Mohamed Khatami have stated to Asharq Al-Awsat that Moussavi’s team do not accept the election results or the statement issued on Monday by the Guardian Council and will therefore continue to address the election results and the “theft of the Iranian vote.”
The sources added that the leadership of the Reformist movement, Moussavi, [Mohamed] Khatami, and [Mehdi] Karrubi, along with Chairman of the Assembly of Experts, Hashemi Rafsanjani, are moving closer to the option of “open civil protests and the continuation of demonstrations” until “the removal of the illegitimate government.”
Live news reports from Iran have decreased in light of the media blackout and media agencies have therefore become dependant upon eye-witness accounts. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards also warned that it would respond in a “firm and revolutionary manner” to the rioters; this is the first warning issued since the beginning of the protests.
For his part, presidential candidate Mehdi Karrubi called for protests to take place on Thursday to mourn the deaths of those protestors killed last Saturday. This includes Nada Sultani, who has become a symbol for the “green revolution” after she was shot in the chest by Iranian security forces.
The Guardian Council that is in charge of monitoring presidential elections admitted that there were irregularities in the recent elections; this has only strengthened the determination of the demonstrators to continue protesting. Karrubi called upon the Guardian Council to annul the election results rather than “waste time” by recounting a percentage of the votes.
Iranian protestors on Monday carried pictures of Nada Sultani, who was killed by Iranian security forces on Saturday whilst protesting with her father. Sultani has become known as “the angel of Iran” and has become a symbol of the opposition movement after a video depicting her death was posted on the internet. Eyewitnesses claim that a member of the Basij militia fired the fatal shot.
According to eye-witnesses, one thousand protestors demonstrated in Tehran on Monday and were violently dispersed by the security forces. There was a heavy security presence throughout the Iranian capital that prevented any public gatherings, even of a small number of people.
Meanwhile, the tension between London and Tehran has further increased, and the British Foreign Office announced on Monday that it would be pulling out the families of its employees working for the British Embassy in Tehran as a result of the violence that is taking place throughout the country. In contrast, Italy has announced its readiness – in coordination with other European countries – to open up its embassy in Tehran to wounded protestors.