Iran opposition leaders cancel mass protests

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Opposition leaders in Iran have canceled large protests planned for June 12, the one-year anniversary of controversial elections that helped spawn the dissident movement in the first place. The leaders were not given the requisite permits by the government, they say, and they fear that the government would harshly crack down on them if they proceed, according to The New York Times.

In a joint statement Thursday, opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi said they called off rallies planned for Saturday in part “to protect the lives and properties of the people.”

In Washington, the news was received with considerable disappointment.

“It is not only regrettable that the opposition canceled demonstrations… but it demonstrates very clearly why the Iranian regime has caused so much concern throughout the world,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, according to Agence France-Presse.

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