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Monday, February 21, 2011

Iran looking more and more like Libya (with video)

Looking more and more like Gadhafi's goons, Iran's plainclothes mercenaries, the Basij, fired directly into crowds of demonstrators on Sunday.
For a second time in a week, Iran's opposition drew tens of thousands of supporters to the streets across the nation on Sunday calling for the end to the Islamic Republic's rule.

In response, the government unleashed what witnesses said was an extraordinary number of security forces to violently battle the crowds. Witnesses said mobs of anti-riot police and plainclothes Basij militia lined the streets and on several occasions fired directly into the crowd and beat protesters with steel batons. In one neighborhood, the Basij took over a commercial building and dropped tear gas canisters from the roof onto the protesters, witnesses said.

Basij militia dressed in black shot and killed two young men in Tehran's Vanak and Vali Asr squares, according to witness accounts posted on opposition websites. The victims haven't been identified. Dozens have been injured and arrested, according to witnesses.

"This was the most violent protest we've had by far, and people were also really angry and fearless," said one witness from Tehran, adding that the public seemed resolved to stay on the street.


Similar protests erupted in nearly every major Iranian city on Sunday with reports of dozens violently injured and arrested, according to witnesses.

Journalists were banned from covering the event and the Ministry of Information sent a letter to foreign media offices in Tehran warning that their bureaus would be shut down and their reporters deported if they wrote "negative articles" surrounding the opposition protests.

As battles raged and gunshots were heard around the city, the official news agency IRNA reported the situation in Tehran was "completely quiet and normal."

Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was in Tehran on Sunday meeting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to obtain the release of two German journalists detained for four months. The journalists were released and arrived in Berlin with the minister, but some Iranian opposition groups criticized Germany for sending an envoy to strike a deal with Iran's government while a pro-democracy movement rocked the region.

A spokesperson for the foreign ministry said, "The minister's trip only served a humanitarian purpose," according to media reports.

The government had warned it would crackdown on any illegal gatherings. Fars News Agency, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, warned the public that Sunday's protests would be bloody because the "opposition plans to shoot people."
This video is from Sunday in Tehran. Let's go to the videotape.

And here's a video from Sunday night in Tehran. According to my Iranian source, they're yelling "death to the dictator."

Let's go to the videotape.

At least this time, I'm sure the Iranians have no delusions that Barack Obama is going to back them.

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At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would the Magnificent O back the demonstrators? As far as we can tell the Iranian regime has not built any illegitimate settlements in Jerusalem and not one person has died by inhaling tear gas one mile away from protests. Case closed. But maybe the indefatigable Ms. Clinton and her Foggy Bottom brahmins will tweet a few lines of encouragement.


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