Another Day, Another Round Of Protests In Iran

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on December 27, 2009

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Remember when people thought that the dissident community in Iran had been suppressed?

Security forces opened fire at crowds demonstrating against the government in the capital on Sunday, killing at least four people, including the nephew of opposition political leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, witnesses and Web sites linked to the opposition said.

“Ali Mousavi, 32, was shot in the heart at the Enghelab square. He became a martyr,” the Rah-e Sabz Website reported.

In the heaviest clashes in months, fierce battles erupted as tens of thousands of demonstrators tried to gather on a main Tehran avenue, with people setting up roadblocks and throwing stones at members of special forces under the command of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. They in turn threw dozens of teargas and stun grenades, but failed in pushing back crowds, who shouted slogans against the government, witnesses reported.

A witness reported seeing at least four people shot in the central Vali-e Asr Square. “I saw a riot cop opening fire, using a handgun,” the witness said. “A girl was hit in the shoulders, three other men in their stomachs and legs. It was total chaos.”

Fights were also reported in the cities of Isfahan and Najafabad in central Iran.

The protests coincided with Ashura, one of the most intense religious holidays for Shiite Muslims. The slogans were mainly aimed at the top leaders of the Islamic republic, a further sign that the opposition movement against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed June election victory is turning against the leadership of the country.

At the Yadegar overpass, protesters shouted slogans such as “Death to the dictator” and “long live Mousavi.” They fought running battles with security forces until a car filled with members of the paramilitary Basij brigade drove at high speed though the makeshift barriers of stones and sandbags that the protesters had erected.

[. . .]

“This is a month of blood. The dictator will fall,” people shouted, referring to the mourning month of Muharram. Young men erected a flag symbolizing the struggle of the Shiite’s third Imam Hussein, whose death was commemorated Sunday.

The regime stole the recent presidential elections, because it wanted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be President in the worst possible way.

And what do you know? He is.

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