The latest from Iran:
Iranian security forces clashed with supporters of dead dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri in the northwestern city of Zanjan on Thursday, a reformist website said. The authorities have banned memorial gatherings for Montazeri in most parts of Iran, reformist websites said, days ahead of an emotive Shi'ite ritual that may draw more opposition protests.
The Jaras website said some people were injured and arrests made when the security services intervened to enforce the ban in Zanjan. There was no immediate comment from the authorities. On Wednesday, an Iranian official denied reports by opposition websites of clashes between mourners and police in the central city of Isfahan, one of Iran's biggest cities. There were also reports of scuffles in his nearby hometown, Najafabad...
On Thursday Jaras quoted an eyewitness as saying mourners held a memorial service in the street because the mosque was locked. It said a number of people were "severely wounded" and a "large number" were arrested among the crowd who chanted anti-government slogans such as "Oh Hossein, Mirhossein" in reference to opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi, "Montazeri congratulations on your freedom," and "Down with the dictator."
Najafabad was Montazeri's home town. To give you a brief glimpse into the extent of the fraud in last June's rigged elections, the coup regime argued that 70 percent of Najafabad's voters backed Ahmadinejad. And yet the entire town is convulsed in anti-Khamenei demonstrations.
(Photo: Iranians hold portraits of Iranian cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri during his funeral procession in the holy city of Qom on December 21, 2009. Hundreds of thousands of mourners turned out in Iran's holy city of Qom for the funeral of the top dissident cleric, opposition websites reported. Montazeri, 87, a fierce critic of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who was once tapped to become Iran's undisputed number one, died of an illness on December 19, his office said. AFP/Getty Images)
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