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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More