Iran is bracing for continued unrest tonight after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei upheld last week’s vote and called for an end to the massive protests in the nation, warning that change would have to come at the ballot box, and not in the streets.
The protests are expected to continue, and rights groups say the speech is a sign that the week-long series of pro-Mousavi rallies are wearing a bit thin and that the government may be poised to crack down more harshly on the demonstrations they have largely not interfered with so far.
Mousavi’s camp is publicly saying he will not be calling his supporters to stage any protests on Saturday, but it seems unlikely at this point that his hundreds of thousands of supporters will end their protests against last week’s contested election.
In addition to being a test for Khamenei’s call for calm, Saturday is also the day the Guardian Council is scheduled to hold a meeting regarding the election, and has extended an invitation to Mousavi and the two other opposition candidates. The Guardian Council has been ordered to investigate hundreds of complaints of fraud in the election.