JIM LEHRER: In other news today, Wall Street climbed higher after positive reports on manufacturing and housing. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 57 points to close at 8,504. The Nasdaq rose more than 10 points to close above 1,845.
Sales by U.S. automakers sagged again in June, but it was worse for some than for others. Ford reported sales were down less than 11 percent, its best showing in months. On the other hand, Chrysler’s business fell 42 percent, and General Motors was off 33 percent as the company entered federal bankruptcy protection.
In Iran, the opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, issued a new broadside against the government, and he said it’s not too late for those protesting the presidential election.
We have a report narrated by Jonathan Miller of Independent Television News.
JONATHAN MILLER: The man who continues to insist he won the election is proving persistently brazen in his defiance. Mir Hossein Mousavi, who we’ve heard is now being moved around for his protection, unleashed a vehement denunciation of the result, again challenging the authority of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
It’s a brave move, given that Iran’s Basij militia today called for an investigation of Mousavi, accusing him of “disturbing national security,” punishable by 10 years in jail.
On his Web site, he said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s future government would be “illegitimate.” And in this headline article, Mousavi wryly observes the deafening silence from senior Shia clerics who have not condemned his challenge to Khamenei. “It’s because they can’t lie before God,” he suggests.
Here, Mousavi recommends a form of silent protest: keep your headlights on all day, he says.
Mass demonstrations have died down, but new, undated pictures are still being posted on the Web. It’s believed that, across the country, thousands may have been arrested now by police, Revolutionary Guards, and Basij paramilitaries.
Mr. Mousavi today demanded the release of detainees. He called them “the children of the revolution,” language pointedly suggesting a betrayal of the ideals of the Islamic revolution.
In New York, international human rights groups claimed political prisoners in Iran were being forced to make false confessions.
HADI GHAEMI, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran: We need the secretary general at this moment and the U.N. high commissioner for human rights to be sending a special envoy to Iran and asking for accountability, to visit these detainees, to get them access to lawyers, to get a transparent judicial process.
JONATHAN MILLER: Iran accuses foreign powers, particularly Britain and the United States, of attempting to orchestrate another “color revolution.”
The row over the detention of locally employed British embassy staff rumbles on, although tonight it’s reported that all but one of the nine originally arrested has now been freed.
JIM LEHRER: A former president of Iran also spoke out today. Mohammad Khatami accused the country’s leaders of what he called “a velvet coup against the people and democracy.”
A bombing in Afghanistan has killed two NATO troops and wounded six more. There was no immediate word on their nationalities. The soldiers were deployed in the south, where the fight against Taliban militants has intensified.