NewsSpecial WireClashes erupt at major anti-government protests in Iran

Clashes erupt at major anti-government protests in Iran

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ImageIran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 11 – Clashes erupted between anti-government protestors and state security forces in Tehran on Thursday which marked the 31 anniversary of the Islamic revolution. Iran Focus
 
ImageTehran, Feb. 11 – Clashes erupted between anti-government protestors and state security forces in Tehran on Thursday which marked the 31 anniversary of the Islamic revolution.
 
Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed a state-sponsored rally in Azadi Square in central Tehran. There is a heavy police presence throughout the city.
 
Close by large crowds of opposition supporters chanted "death to the dictator", leading to major scuffles with security forces.
 
Some 4,000 opponents of the regime chanted "death to dictator" in Ferdowsi Square. At Imam Hossein Square, there were chants of "Khamenei is a murderer, his rule is illegitimate". The protestors were referring to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
 
In other parts of Tehran, opposition supporters clashed with paramilitary forces. At Mossaddeq Square people set ablaze a police motorcycle. In Sattar Khan Street two people were injured after the paramilitary Bassij force attacked anti-government protestors with blades.
 
In Aryashahr Square a large crowd chanted "death to dictator" and "political prisoners must be freed". Also a bus in the vicinity transporting Bassijis was emptied and set ablaze. Members of the Revolutionary Guard fired at a protesting crowd in Aryashahr from the back of their trucks, leading to at least 10 injuries.
 
At least several dozen people were arrested in central Tehran alone in the course of the clashes.
 
Anti-government protests erupted in other parts of Iran throughout the day, and in Isfahan, central Iran, security forces opened fire on a crowd of opposition supporters.
 
In Shiraz, southern Iran, eye-witnesses said that up to 20,000 people rallied in Paramount Street chanting "death to Khamenei" and "death to the principle of velayat-e faqih", or absolute clerical rule.
 
Protests against the regime were also reported in the south-western towns of Ahwaz and Gachsaran.
 
Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi said in a statement that the "nationwide uprising" by the Iranian people sends a "clear and blatant message to the international community, and especially the European Union and the United States, that the regime is condemned to fall and any economic or political investments on it would be doomed to fail". She urged the West to sever economic and diplomatic ties with the regime.
 
Ahmadinejad announced on Thursday that Iran had produced its first batch of 20% enriched uranium and was now a "nuclear state".

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