News / Middle East

    Iran Protesters Clash With Security Forces

    Iranian opposition demonstrators clashed with security forces and paramilitary militiamen across the county Thursday during celebrations to mark the anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    Iranian opposition protesters chanted anti-government slogans in a Tehran neighborhood as government supporters held a massive rally to celebrate the 31st anniversary of Iran's Revolution. Eyewitnesses say demonstrations took place in dozens of Tehran neighborhoods, with security forces firing teargas at large crowds in major city squares.

    Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi had asked supporters both verbally and on their Web sites to turn out for a "peaceful demonstration" to mark the anniversary of the revolution. Karroubi's son reported that his father was attacked and injured by pro-government agents, forcing him to turn back. He added that his brother was arrested.

    Iranian state TV showed what appeared to be a vast crowd gathered for the official ceremony at Tehran's Azadi or "Freedom" Square to hear President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other speakers hail the revolution and denounce Iran's enemies, including the United States and Britain.

    At another Tehran square a group of angry opposition protesters began chanting anti-government slogans during an official rally, drowning out the cleric who was speaking and forcing him to stop.

    Eyewitnesses say that protests in many parts of Tehran turned violent after security forces began firing teargas at crowds and chasing down protesters with motorcycles.  One young man described the scene as security forces unleashed the barrage of teargas.

    He says that thick smoke filled the air all around him as he went through Ashraf Esfahani and Sadeqieh and that security forces fired at him and his friends, forcing them to hide. He recalls running through alleys, searching for cover, when a man let him and his friends inside his home. His eyes, he complains, are red from heavy tear gas…Outside, he says, there is a huge crowd and cars cannot pass because the area is been sealed off.

    One crowd of protesters cheered, and cars honked their horns as young men tore down the photo of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and stomped on it in a video sent to VOA. A young man describes the atmosphere, as the crowd of mostly students finally met up with security forces.

    He says that he has just come from the area of Shrak Gharb in Tehran, where the situation was chaotic. Demonstrators, he notes, set fire to a motorcycle and protesters tore down Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's picture. The clashes, he stresses, were intense.

    Clashes between security forces and opposition demonstrators also took place in a number of provincial cities. In Shiraz, a young man told Radio Farda that violent clashes with security forces took place as students turned out in the main square to demonstrate.

    He says that he went with others to Namazi square at 10AM, and shortly afterwards plain clothes security forces and revolutionary guards worked their way into the crowd, telling people to disperse. He describes how the (government agents) then began taking people in small groups to nearby alleys to attack and then arrest them. After that, he says that his group went to Setad Square, where there were Basijis, plain clothes police and (revolutionary) guards, most of whom were young boys on bikes with batons…..and they were attacking people.

    Opposition Web sites are reporting that hundreds of thousands of opposition protesters turned out in cities across the country, describing scores of violent clashes with security forces.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.