Iran's riot police stand guard as demonstrators gather on the streets to protest the results of the Iranian presidential election in Tehran, Iran on June 20, 2009. (UPI Photo) | License Photo
TEHRAN, June 25 (UPI) -- Organizers delayed a ceremony honoring victims of Iran's post-election violence after witnesses said police quelled rallies the day before with force.
The postponement was announced on the party Web site of presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi, CNN reported.
Thursday's ceremony was meant to commemorate the "the martyrs of the republic and freedom," the statement on the Etemad-e-Melli (National Trust) party site said. The event was delayed for a week but no date was given.
Official figures indicate 17 people died in clashes between protesters and government forces since the demonstrations began protesting the June 12 election in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the landslide winner over his nearest challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi
Mousavi's Web site reported after the opposition leader met with university teachers Wednesday, police arrested 70 attendees and took them to an undisclosed location. CNN said it could not independently confirm the information.
Witnesses reported security forces used overwhelming force to turn back protesters who went to Baharestan Square near the parliament building in Tehran. The witnesses said police charged at the gathering, clubbing demonstrators, beating women and old men and firing weapons into the air to disperse the crowd.
Iran's ambassador to Mexico defended his country's actions, saying taking to the streets and attacking buses and banks were not acceptable ways of addressing electoral fraud, if any occurred.
"The minority can't impose their opinion on the majority," Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri told CNN en Espanol. "They can't impose a dictatorship, saying that the majority is not going to govern."