Iranians protesting in Valiasr Square in the capital Tehran
Protesters mobilising in Tehran before mass protests on 13 June
A bus burns on the streets of downtown Tehran as protesters cycle by on 13 June
Former vice-president Mohammad-Ali Abtahi was among those arrested on 16 June, according to Reuters.
Riot police blocking a street in Tehran
Silent demonstration from Hafte Tir Square to Enqelab Square, Tehran, 16 June 2009
Presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard in the protests of 15 June which recorded as the biggest unrest since the 1979 revolution

Protests against the results of the highly controversial 2009 Iranian presidential election, a disputed victory by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in support of opposition candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, occurred in major cities nationwide from 2009 into early 2010.

- 2009 Iranian presidential election protests

Following 2009–2010 Iranian election protests, Karroubi was put under house arrest in February 2011 – reportedly ordered by the Supreme Leader of Iran – without officially being charged, although he is accused of being a "seditionist" and "traitor".

- Mehdi Karroubi
Iranians protesting in Valiasr Square in the capital Tehran

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Protesters in Tehran, 16 June

Iranian Green Movement

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The Iranian Green Movement or Green Wave of Iran, also referred to as the Persian Awakening or Persian Spring by the western media, refers to a political movement that arose after the 2009 Iranian presidential election, in which protesters demanded the removal of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from office.

The Iranian Green Movement or Green Wave of Iran, also referred to as the Persian Awakening or Persian Spring by the western media, refers to a political movement that arose after the 2009 Iranian presidential election, in which protesters demanded the removal of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from office.

Protesters in Tehran, 16 June
Demonstration in Germany
Handala, coming and watching the Iranian Green Movement, has become a web mascot.

Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi are recognized as political leaders of the Green Movement.

The Green Movement protests were a major event in Iran's modern political history and observers claimed that these protests were the largest since the Iranian Revolution of 1978–79.

2009 Iranian presidential election

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Presidential elections were held in Iran on 12 June 2009, with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers.

Presidential elections were held in Iran on 12 June 2009, with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers.

Two screenshots from IRINN, Iranian state-run television illustrating the apparent decrease in votes for candidate Mohsen Rezaee over a four-hour period. The upper picture shows Rezaee with 633,048 votes at 09:47; the lower shows the same candidate with 587,913 votes at 13:53 later that day. Mohsen Rezaee's official website published the screenshots and stated that never during the vote-counting in Iran had the counted votes of candidates dropped.
Protesters in Tehran, 16 June
The Green Protest Rally in Tehran
A reformist protester holding a placard
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 16 June 2009, in Yekaterinburg, Russia
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Mohsen Rezaee
Mehdi Karoubi
Map of countries by reaction to the 2009 presidential election Iran
Countries that have welcomed the results
Arab League members that have not reacted publicly to the results (the Arab League has welcomed the results)
European Union members that have not reacted publicly to the results (the EU has expressed doubts over the results)
Countries that have expressed doubts over the results
No data

There were large irregularities in the results and people were surprised by them, which resulted in protests of millions of Iranians, across every Iranian city and around the world and the emergence of the opposition Iranian Green Movement.

Mehdi Karroubi, former Speaker of the Majlis

Mousavi in 2009

Mir-Hossein Mousavi

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Iranian reformist politician, artist and architect who served as the forty-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989.

Iranian reformist politician, artist and architect who served as the forty-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989.

Mousavi in 2009
Mousavi with Mostafa Chamran, 1970's
Mousavi (first from right, sitting) as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the cabinet of President Mohammad-Ali Rajai and Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar, 1981
Mousavi (right) with then-President Ali Khamenei (left)
Mousavi and Abbas Mirza Abutalebi during the Iran–Iraq War
Mousavi with Mohammad Khatami, then Culture Minister, and the next President in 1985
The Hafte Tir bombing victims' mausoleum, which is designed by Mousavi
Mousavi supporters in Tehran
Mousavi speaking in Zanjan during presidential campaign
Mousavi at the protests of 2009

He was a reformist candidate for the 2009 presidential election and eventually the leader of the opposition in the post-election unrest.

He is currently under house arrest along with his wife and Mehdi Karroubi.

Montazeri in 1978

Hussein-Ali Montazeri

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Iranian Shia Islamic theologian, Islamic democracy advocate, writer and human rights activist.

Iranian Shia Islamic theologian, Islamic democracy advocate, writer and human rights activist.

Montazeri in 1978
Hussein-Ali Montazeri in Evin prison
Montazeri and President Mohammad-Ali Rajai
Montazeri and later Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
Tomb of Montazeri in Fatima al-Masumeh Shrine
Salat Meyyet Funeral of Ayatollah Montazeri
The funeral of Grand Ayatollah Hosein-Ali Montazeri

Mehdi Karrubi claims that the tensions between Montazeri and Khomeini began in around October 1986 when Montazeri sent a letter to the latter, criticising and questioning the foundation of the state.

Montazeri again spoke out against Ahmadinejad on 16 June 2009 during the protests against his reelection.

Mohammad-Ali Abtahi

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Iranian theologian, scholar, pro-democracy activist and chairman of the Institute for Interreligious Dialogue.

Iranian theologian, scholar, pro-democracy activist and chairman of the Institute for Interreligious Dialogue.

Abtahi is a member of the central council of Association of Combatant Clerics (Majma'e Rowhaniyoon-e Mobarez), the political grouping to which both Khatami and the 2009 presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi (the previous Speaker of Majlis of Iran) belong.

Mohammad Ali Abtahi was arrested on June 16, 2009 during the aftermath of the 2009 presidential elections and subsequent protests.

Kahrizak Detention Center

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Detainment facility operated by the Judicial system of Iran in Kahrizak, Tehran Province, Iran.

Detainment facility operated by the Judicial system of Iran in Kahrizak, Tehran Province, Iran.

Several thousand civilians and activists were arrested after the disputed presidential election in 2009.

On August 9, 2009, in a letter to the Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran, Mehdi Karroubi demanded investigation of Iranian prisons for possible tortures and in particular sexual harassment of men and women.

Mojtaba Khamenei

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Son of Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran.

Son of Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran.

Mojtaba Khamenei and other members of Qom Seminary on 15 March 2016

He also reportedly took control of the Basij militia that was used to suppress the protests over the 2009 election.

In an open letter, Mehdi Karroubi, ex-chairman of the Majlis (parliament) and a reformist candidate in the 2009 presidential vote, explicitly accused Mojtaba Khamenei of participating in a conspiracy to rig the election, referring to illegal interference of "a network".