September 19, 2017

New protests in Tehran stopped by security forces

Where would a good street protest be without rubbish bins to set on fire?

In Iran, several thousand demonstrators have marched in downtown Tehran but were quickly dispersed by security forces.

The wave of people marched along Revolution Avenue towards Azadi Square. The Iranian government had tried to prevent the march from happening and even went as far as blockading opposition leaders in their homes.

The protesters were met by thousands of security personnel who diveted many marchers into side streets where some were beaten. Tear gas cannisters were thrown into the crowd and at least 15 arrests were made.

Along with the uniformed security forces the marchers were also opposed by large numbers of plain clothed, pro-government Basij militia.

Clashes also erupted in front of Tehran University, where security forces dispersed crowds by firing tear gas and paint-ball guns. Maybe it is easier to identify who to arrest if paintball gunsare used?

It is alledged that the Iranian goverment was behind internet speeds in Iran being virtually dial-up standard on Monday. It is alledged that some key words were blocked on internet serch engines and mobile phone coverage was cut off in the area of the protest.

Iranian authorities had warned against holding the rally, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. Commander Hossein Hamedani of te Revolutionary Guard said “We definitely see them as enemies of the revolution and spies, and we will confront them with force.”

My how times change in Iran. When the street protests were going on that lead to the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 the current regime were all for free expression of the will of the people. The Iranian government was even getting excited about the protests in Egypt and hailing the way the people stood up there. It seems that Tehran is a bit close to home though.