News / Middle East

Iran Rallies Set for Weekend

People take part in the funeral of Sanee Zhaleh, a student who was shot dead during an opposition rally in Tehran, February 16, 2011
People take part in the funeral of Sanee Zhaleh, a student who was shot dead during an opposition rally in Tehran, February 16, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Iran's chief of judiciary said Thursday the government will block opposition leaders from making statements to their supporters. But websites linked to the opposition called for nationwide demonstrations on Sunday.

The head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, said Thursday that Iran will block the ability of opposition leaders to make statements to their supporters.

And he said Iran’s judiciary system will pursue the seditionists, referring to Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

But websites linked to the opposition made a call Thursday for nationwide rallies on Sunday to show support for both men and mourn the death of two people who died in a political demonstration on Monday.

Both politicians are leaders of Iran’s Green Movement, which grew up out of opposition to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after the disputed presidential election in 2009.  

Anthony Skinner, a Middle East expert with the Britain-based risk analyst group Maplecroft, says Mousavi and Karroubi wield great influence.

"They have clearly been key figures in the movement but the risk for the regime is that if they do arrest them and they put them on trial with the threat of execution, that this could be a tinder box, that people could be so angered by this, this as a clear strategy to try to stifle the movement, that it could explode," said Skinner.

Mousavi and Karroubi made calls for their supporters to rally in support of revolts in Egypt and Tunisia earlier this week. Both men were put under effective house arrest and the rally was banned.

But nonetheless tens of thousands of people marched in Tehran and elsewhere in Iran on Monday. Security forces made at least 150 arrests and two people were killed. Nine members of the security forces were also injured.

A rally organized by the state is set to take place in Tehran on Friday to demonstrate “hatred” against the country’s opposition movement.

Skinner says many people in Iran are fed up with political repression and a dire economic situation.

"The economic dynamic at the moment is one which has not really fully been voiced on the streets as yet -- I'm talking about potential here. And I think that if the population, or a large segment of the population, who are suffering as a result and who take to the streets because of their economic dissatisfaction, then this could create quite a bit of difficulty," he said.

Rodney Wilson is an Iran specialist at Britain’s Durham University. He says demonstrations in Iran are unlikely to have the same outcome as in Egypt and Tunisia, where longtime rulers have been overthrown in recent months.

He says Iran’s leadership does have much support in the country and the security forces are loyal to it.  He believes there will be a heavy crackdown if the opposition does continue demonstrations.

"The regime will react in quite a repressive way,' said Wilson.  "We would expect basically the security forces to deal with the demonstrators quite harshly. And obviously unfortunately people being arrested and taking off to prison and nothing much more heard of them."

The Islamic Propagation Coordination Council, which organizes rallies in Iran that are backed by the government, says during Friday’s rally people will “scream out their hatred” against what it calls Iran’s “sedition leaders.”

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs