Iran opposition leaders cancel plans for mass protest on anniversary of presidential election

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's opposition leaders say they are canceling plans for a mass rally on the anniversary of last June's disputed presidential election.

Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi issued a joint statement saying that hard-liners are preparing to crack down on the protesters.

They say they are canceling the rally "in order to protect people's lives and property."

The reformist Kaleme website carried their statement on Thursday — just two days before the planned gathering.

It's unclear whether opposition supporters would abide by the announcement.

The opposition says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won in 2009 through vote fraud and that Mousavi was the rightful winner. It says 80 demonstrators have died so far in the government crackdown on opposition protests.