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After Iran's Guardian Council acquiesced to popular demands and conducted a recount of the contested June 12 vote which left incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power, announcing Tuesday that the election case was closed, opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has become the spearhead of the popular movement that disputed the vote, called the new government "illegitimate" in a posting on his Website Wednesday afternoon.

"It is our historical responsibility to continue our protests and not to abandon our efforts to preserve the nation's rights," the posting said, according to Reuters.

Mousavi also said he would join a planned association of leading figures which would follow up people's rights and "ignored votes" in the election.

The group's demands would include "halting security and military confrontation with the election, returning the country to a natural political atmosphere, reforming the election law to prevent vote rigging, securing freedom of holding rallies and freedom of press," the statement said. RELATED6 Mousavi supporters reportedly hangedIran shuts newspaper challenging AhmadinejadIran: Desperately seeking YeltsinOpinion: Why was the world coy about the violence in Iran?

Mousavi also called on the authorities to release detained "children of the revolution," in reference to scores of leading reformists arrested since the disputed poll, saying he could not compromise over people's rights.

He called for a lifting of a ban on some moderate newspapers and websites, after Iranian authorities shut down a paper identified with Mousavi's supporters earlier on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, sources in Iran told The Jerusalem Post in a telephone interview that six supporters of Mousavi were hanged in the holy city of Mashhad on Monday. There was no independent confirmation of the report.

Underlining the climate of fear among direct and even indirect supporters of Mousavi's campaign for the election to be annulled, the sources also reported that a prominent cleric gave a speech to opposition protesters in Teheran earlier this week in which he publicly acknowledged that the very act of speaking at the gathering would likely cost him his life.

"Ayatollah Hadi Gafouri said that the Imam never wanted Ali Khamenei to succeed him. He even went to say that the Islamic republic died the day the Imam did," one source said.



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