TEHRAN, Iran — Hundreds of thousands of protesters dressed in black and green flooded the streets of Tehran on Thursday in a show of defiance and mourning for those killed in clashes after Iran's disputed presidential election.
The massive march — the fourth this week — sent a message that opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has the popular backing to sustain his unprecedented challenge to Iran's ruling clerics.
Even President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, named the landslide winner in the June 12 election, appeared to take the growing opposition more seriously and backtracked on his dismissal of the protesters as "dust" and sore losers.
Iran's Guardian Council on Thursday invited the four presidential candidates to a special meeting Saturday to review their concerns. The council confirms election results. It is investigating allegations of fraud and has agreed to a limited recount in places where irregularities are found.
Abbas Ali Kadkhodai, a spokesman for the council, said it has received 646 complaints from Mousavi and two other opposition candidates.
For the fifth straight night, Ahmadinejad opponents went to their rooftops in Tehran and cried out "Allahu akbar!" — "God is great!" The rooftop shouting is a deeply symbolic tactic that Mousavi borrowed from the Islamic Revolution and the idea that people power can challenge any system.