Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jun. 28 – Iranians on Sunday took to the streets of the capital Tehran once again, protesting against their theocratic rulers.
Tehran, Iran, Jun. 28 – Iranians on Sunday took to the streets of the capital Tehran once again, protesting against their theocratic rulers.
Several thousand Tehranis rallied in Shariati Street in northern Tehran late in the day.
There were chants of "God is great".
State security forces attacked the protestors using batons and water cannons. There was also considerable use of tear gas by authorities hoping to break up the rally.
A separate protest was also held at Tehran's Laleh Park, eye-witnesses said, claiming that authorities there also used force to break up the protest.
Since the 12 June presidential election, up to a million people have taken part in anti-government rallies in Tehran and other major cities, protesting the re-appointment of Ahmadinejad following the election which they believe was rigged. Iran does not allow UN staff to monitor its elections.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) warned last week it would unleash its wrath on anyone breaking a government ban on demonstrations. It ordered demonstrators to "end the sabotage and rioting activities" and said their resistance is a "conspiracy" against Iran.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on 19 June rallied behind Ahmadinejad and demanded protestors stop their action.
Despite his stern warning, protests erupted in Tehran and other major cities throughout last week, leading to hit and run clashes between protestors and security forces. Since Khamenei’s announcement, demonstrators have markedly directed their protests at the entirety of the clerical establishment, with chants of “death to Khamenei”.
The opposition group People’s Mujahedin says that some 200 people have been killed by security forces in Iran during the violence. Official figures say 20 people have died in the unrest, and state television says the Mujahedin have had a hand in the street violence.
Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, a ranking cleric, on Friday said, "Anyone who takes up arms to fight with the people is worthy of execution."
Those who disturbed the peace and destroyed public property were "at war with God" and should be "mercilessly dealt with", Khatami said in a nationally televised sermon.