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Iran Police To 'Strongly Confront' November 4 Rallies

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iranian police said any illegal rallies on November 4 would be "strongly confronted" and only anti-U.S. protests were considered legal, the official IRNA news agency quoted a police statement as saying.

November 4 marks the 30th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

"We are announcing that only anti-American rallies in front of the former American embassy in Tehran are legal. Other gatherings or rallies on Wednesday are illegal and will be strongly confronted by the police," Tehran police said in a statement, IRNA reported.

Anti-U.S. rallies in the capital will take place outside the former embassy, now called the "den of espionage" in Iran, to mark seizure of the embassy after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution when radical students took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Reformist websites have called on people to gather outside the Russian Embassy instead, in apparent protest at Moscow's recognition of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's reelection on June 12, which sparked Iran's worst unrest for three decades.

The opposition says the vote was rigged to secure Ahmadinejad's win. The authorities deny the charge.

Defeated moderate presidential candidates Mir Hossein Musavi and Mehdi Karrubi have urged their supporters to take to the streets on November 4.

A reformist website said Karrubi will attend the rally outside the former U.S. Embassy.