Ahmadinejad Boxes Out Rival Rally

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2009 1:20 PM CDT
In this image issued by the government run Iranian Students News Agency, demonstrators attend a state-organized rally in Tehran, Iran, June 16, 2009.   (AP Photo/ISNA, Mona Hoobehfekr)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Tens of thousands of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad supporters rallied in Tehran today, shouting slogans like, “Death to America!” and “Khamenei is our leader!” while Mir Hossein Mousavi’s supporters held a low-key march elsewhere in the city, the LA Times reports. The opposition had called for a rally at 5pm, but government loyalists outflanked them by calling for their own 4pm rally, and heavily advertising it on state-run TV and radio.

The turnout was impressive, but nowhere near as impressive as the crowd Mousavi drew yesterday. The government reportedly barred foreign media from the event. Mousavi, meanwhile, told supporters to stay away from the square. Instead, a small crowd marched in near silence as anti-riot police watched. “What can we do?” said one woman on the sidelines. “We have no leader. Mousavi is a temporary leader.”