Iran: The Protesters Re-Emerge

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on November 4, 2009

It’s the 30th anniversary of the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The regime would like to have the day to itself to celebrate, but the reformists have different ideas:

Security forces have used batons and tear gas to disperse opposition supporters in the Iranian capital, Tehran, witnesses and state media say.

Unconfirmed reports said the authorities had also opened fire.

Video posted on a reformist website showed hundreds of opposition supporters marching in central Tehran chanting “death to dictators”.

It came as an officially backed demonstration was held to mark 30 years since the seizure of the US embassy.

Thousands turned out for the anti-American rally, about 1.5km (1 mile) from where opposition supporters gathered in Haft-e Tir square.

Many of the opposition demonstrators wore green scarves or bands, which have been used in repeated protests since Iran’s disputed presidential elections in June.

Opposition supporters say the elections were rigged to ensure the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

On Wednesday, riot police and pro-government militiamen had packed the streets in the centre of the capital, and security forces made a number of arrests, reports said.

Iran’s Irna news agency said protesters had set fire to rubbish bins and attacked a bus, and that two policemen had been injured.

It also reported that security forces had used tear gas in some parts of the city to disperse protesters.

Authorities have placed severe restrictions on foreign news organisations, making it difficult to verify reports.

This struggle isn’t over yet. Far from it.

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