Protesters in funereal black march silently in tense Iran

The tensely awaited opposition rally scheduled for Thursday, June 18, took place with hardly any incident. debkafile‘s Iranian sources suggest that the rival camps contesting the presidential election results – and in essence the future of the Iranian regime – appear to have agreed on a temporary truce on the sixth day of their violent confrontation.
Tens of thousands of protesters in funereal black, joined briefly by their leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, marched in a silent procession of mourning and solidarity with their dead fellows – eight according to official figures, but in reality between 32 and 45. They made no attempt to provoke the security forces, who stood by and watched.
So what was behind the apparent truce? debkafile offers three possibilities:
1. The heads of the two camps, the one headed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the other by Mousavi, are secretly negotiating an end to the crisis.
2. Both camps are frantically seeking a compromise figure to put forward as president. Ahmadinejad and Mousavi would both agree to withdraw their candidacies to save the Islamic Republic and in the name of national unity.
Neither theory is confirmed.
3. They two sides have called an interregnum in clashes to build up their strength and regroup for Friday, June 18. The regime will try and raise an audience of millions to attend the official sermons in the main cities, while the “reformists” will try and match their numbers for demonstrations against those sermons.
Once again, the potential for a bloodbath on a huge scale is acute.
Marking Khamenei’s diminishing authority, one of the losing presidential candidates, Mehdi Karroubi, has summoned his followers to demonstrate against the fraudulent election in the same place and at the same time as the supreme ruler’s sermon in Tehran. This is an unheard-of provocation against the supreme ruler.
While avoiding overt clashes, the authorities have ordered the daughter and son of former president Hashemi Rafsanjani not to leave the country. His daughter Faezeh is one of the heads of Mousavi’s staff and funnels family funding and organizational talent to the “reformist “cause.
This step is seen by Iranian sources as part of the bitter Ahmadinejad-Rafsanjani quarrel.
Thursday too, Iran’s prosecutor general reported that the intelligence service had exposed a foreign terrorist network, with alleged Israeli links, which had conspired to carry out large-scale massacres in the central mosques of Tehran and other towns on election-day.
This accusation appears to be preparing the ground for impugning opposition leaders as collaborators with foreign undercover agencies bent on sowing death and destruction in the Islamic Republic.

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