Iran protesters defy warnings at annual rally

TEHRAN — Tens of thousands of Iranians chanted slogans in favour of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi on Friday defying regime warnings and a heavy police presence at an annual solidarity rally with the Palestinians.

The opposition supporters carried accessories in green, the signature colour of Mousavi's election campaign, for what was the first demonstration in two months against hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hotly contested June re-election, witnesses said.

Crowds of young men and women shouted "Ya Hossein! Mir Hossein!" and demanded the release of political prisoners detained since the aftermath of the presidential election, one witness told AFP.

They also chanted "Don't be afraid, we are all together" and "Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, I will sacrifice myself for Iran," the witness said.

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