Thursday, July 16, 2009

Karrubi to Attend Friday’s Prayer

Mehdi Karrubi will join Mir Hossein Mousavi at Friday’s Prayer service in Tehran tomorrow. Ayatollah Rafsanjani will be the Friday Imam and will deliver the sermons. The supporters of the opposition are expected to show up in large numbers. Meanwhile, Iran’s ministry of information (the country’s domestic intelligence agency) has warned against disturbances during and after the service.

The decision by Mousavi and Karrubi to attend, and their call on their supporters to do same, can potentially transform the routine Friday’s Prayer service into a show of force by the opposition.

Rafsanjani is not expected to criticize Ahmadinejad by name, but he might attack the government's heavy-handedness in suppressing post-election protests that has left more than 100 people dead. He might also demand the immediate release from prison of more than a thousand demonstrators detained during post-election demonstrations.

Normally, Friday’s Prayers, even the ones led by Ayatollah Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, attract crowds in low 5 figures. If more than 100,000 people turn up tomorrow in support of Mousavi and Karrubi, then the gathering would become a major victory for the opposition and a serious setback for the government.

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