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Police Give Stern Warning Against Unsanctioned Rallies

Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam

Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam

With the end of official campaigning just hours away, Iranian police commander Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam has told reporters that law enforcement officers will prevent any unsanctioned public assemblies -- or even conspicuous expressions of joy -- beginning at 8 a.m. local time on June 11.

In an indication of how seriously authorities are approaching this election, Moghadam warned that Iranian police face a particularly difficult challenge in maintaining such order in the current pre-election environment.

A police official identified only as General Sajednia said some 200,000 police officers will be on duty across Iran to guarantee security on election day, June 12.

The warning appears to signal that the Ahmadinejad campaign will indeed get the last word ahead of the 48-hour quiet period that precedes voting.

-- Mazyar Mokfi