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Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 16:03 UK

Iran opposition unveils new group

Mir-Hossein Mousavi displays the paint on his fingers after he voted on 12 June
Mousavi says the group will not be a substitute for popular protest

The main opposition leader in Iran, Mir Hossein Mousavi, has confirmed plans to form a new broad-based political front.

Writing on his website, he said the front would have a charter and would give the opposition a legal framework.

Mr Mousavi was the leading reformist candidate in the disputed presidential elections in Iran on 12 June.

Meanwhile, his wife has confirmed that her brother was among those detained during protests against the presidential election.

Mr Mousavi has made it clear that the new front will not be a substitute for popular protest, but a way of giving the Green movement - as it has become known - a legal political framework.

Challenge

Our Middle East analyst, Roger Hardy, says the front is likely to attract the support not just of reformists but of disaffected centrists and conservatives.

Mr Mousavi stressed the need to stay within the law.

This, says our correspondent, shows that his challenge is to the legitimacy of the presidential elections, rather than the legitimacy of the system.

The opposition movement claims that the elections, which the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmedinejad won by a landslide, were rigged.

Mr Ahmedinejad denies fraud, and the results of the vote were confirmed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Mr Mousavi has demanded a re-run of the disputed vote, and has described the new government as illegitimate.

After the results were announced, thousands of people poured onto the streets in protest. At least 20 were killed in clashes, and hundreds detained.

Mr Mousavi's wife, Zahra Rahnavard, has confirmed that her brother Shahpour Kazemi, 62, was among those arrested.

In an interview with the Iranian ILNA news agency, Ms Rahnavard said neither she nor other Iranians would believe any "forced confessions" extracted from her brother who, she said, had been held for a month.

The authorities say that most of those detained have already been released.



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