Iran: The Revolts Continue

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on June 14, 2009

protests-in-iran-2The passage of another day has done nothing to stop the demonstrations in Iran against the stolen presidential election and its fraudulent results:

Iranian police again clashed on Sunday with people protesting in Tehran against the re-election of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said the vote had been clean.

The unrest that has rocked Tehran and several other cities since official results were declared on Saturday is the sharpest expression of discontent against Iran’s leadership for years.

Tens of thousands of flag-waving Ahmadinejad partisans converged on the capital’s Vali-e Asr square ahead of a victory speech by the man who won Friday’s vote by a surprising margin.

Supporters of defeated moderate Mirhossein Mousavi, who has dismissed Ahmadinejad’s triumph as a “dangerous charade,” earlier gathered in central Tehran, chanted his name and threw stones at police, a Reuters witness said.

Police on motorcycles drove through the crowd to disperse the protesters. At least one person, a woman, was injured. Police briefly detained journalists filming the violence.

Pro-government demonstrations usually consist of people being bused into a certain place to participate in the demonstrations. Pro-Mousavi demonstrations are, by contrast, privately planned. As many an Iranian demonstrator has pointed out, if Ahmadinejad had won by the large margin he claims, the country would not be undergoing the massive upheavals it is experiencing.

It would, of course, be easier to get more reports of the demonstrations that are going on in Iran. But the Islamic regime is working to prevent transparency:

The BBC said Sunday that the satellites it uses to broadcast in Persian were being jammed from Iran, disrupting its reports on the hotly-disputed presidential election.

The corporation said television and radio services had been affected from 1245 GMT Friday onwards by “heavy electronic jamming” which had become “progressively worse”.

Satellite technicians had traced the interference to Iran, it said.

[. . .]

BBC Arabic television and other language services had also experienced transmission problems, the corporation said.

“Any attempt to block BBC Persian television is wrong and against international treaties on satellite communication. Whoever is attempting the blocking should stop it now,” said BBC World Service director Peter Horrocks.

“It seems to be part of a pattern of behaviour by the Iranian authorities to limit the reporting of the aftermath of the disputed election.

What does the regime have to hide? Well, a great deal, actually.

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