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Breaking News: GLOBAL Rallies Breaking Out In Support of Iran Protestors, 90,000 in Paris Alone!

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Breaking News: GLOBAL Rallies Breaking Out In Support of Iran Protestors, 90,000 in Paris Alone!
Global Rallies Support Iran Protestors

[link to www.cbsnews.com]

Over 90,000 Protest In Paris; 4,000 March In Hamburg, Germany

(CBS/ AP) Thousands of people gathered north of Paris on Saturday to support Iranian opposition protesters and an Iranian exile group pushing to be rid of a terrorist label.

Crowds spilled out of buses and filled the fairground in Villepinte under drizzly skies. Organizers said 1,000 buses were hired to bring protesters from around France and Europe, including legislators from several countries.

The rally was organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Organizers said 90,000 people turned out. Police estimates were not immediately available.

The France-based umbrella group includes the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, which was recently removed from the European Union's list of banned terrorist groups. The group, also known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq is trying to persuade the U.S. to stop classifying it as a terrorist group, as well.

The leader of the National Council, Maryam Rajavi, spoke Saturday to huge cheers, hailing the importance of resisting Iran's leadership.

The people in the crowd "want an end to the clerical dictatorship in Iran and they want a secular democracy which is represented by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi," said Alireza Jafarzadeh, one of the organizers of the French rally.

The group organizes rallies in France every year. This year, the standoff over Iran's presidential election results has drawn new attention to groups opposed to the cleric-led Iranian government.

The demonstrators in France are not supporters of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi but are expressing solidarity with Iranian opposition protesters, who have rallied in Tehran for several days to demand a new presidential election. Iran's rulers are facing their greatest internal challenge since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran participated in Iran's Islamic Revolution. But it soon fell out with the clerics in charge of the country, and launched a campaign of assassinations and bombings in an attempt to topple the government.

The group's supporters argue it no longer engages in armed struggle in its quest for a new leadership in Iran, and they have won several court cases in Europe in recent years.

The group is also seeking international support for some of its members confined in a camp north of Baghdad called Ashraf City. Iraq's government has called for the members of the group - which was allied with Saddam Hussein before his ouster from power in 2003 to be deported.

At Saturday's rally, many protesters wore yellow vests reading "Viva Ashraf" or "Our Choice: Maryam Rajavi."

In Hamburg, Germany, some 4,000 people marched through the city to protest Iran's election result. Police said most were of Iranian origin and the event passed peacefully.

In the United States, responding to reports of continued violence in Tehran and following a warning by Iran's Supreme Leader that further election protests may lead to "bloodshed and chaos," President Barack Obama said Saturday, "The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching."
[link to www.cbsnews.com]

Last Edited by Phennommennonn on 08/28/2012 08:23 AM
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