The death of Iran cleric Montazeri “is also a blessing – it brought people out again,” said an engineering student, one of hundreds of thousands who turned out. Eyewitnesses report pro-regime basiji and mourners in verbal clash inside Qom shrine.
In Iran, Hossein Ali Montazeri had the theological gravitas and political moxie to challenge Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. His death now creates a rallying point for the opposition during this week's religious rituals.
Even after the passing of this most respected Islamic scholar, the idea of Montazeri that the legitimacy of leaders comes the people will continue to fuel protests in Iran.
Pro-government supporters are calling for the arrest and execution of Mousavi as Iran heads into a 10-day religious holiday. But the opposition is optimistic that they have ample opportunities to promote a cause they say is growing.
Iran claims that opposition supporters defaced pictures of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to increase the pressure on the opposition Green Movement. But protesters charge it's a set up.
Iran accuses students of tearing photos of Ayatollah Khomeini during protests last week. They deny the charge and say they were set up.
In post-election crackdown, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps has taken a new leading role by tightening its control over levers of state power and stifling dissent.
As students in Iran launched fresh protests, authorities vowed an end to 'leniency' – a point underscored by the arrest of activist Parastou Forouhar, whose dissident parents were killed by government agents in 1998.
Readers write in about women in the Olympics and in Iran, Christians in Iraq, children coping with failure, and right-wing rhetoric.
Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told Obama Monday that diplomacy is the only way to solve the issues of the Iran nuclear program. But Obama and others are beginning to lose patience with Tehran.