Iran Protests Turn Violent: Video
Iran Police Attack Anti-Govenrment Demonstrators
Iranians took to the streets in protest against their government. Iran's government immediately banned the protests, warning activists to stay home. Emboldened by the results of the Egyptian protests, Iranians turned out to protest in defiance of the ban.
Police attacked the protestors as phone lines were cut. Iran's message to its people is, "Go home". So far, though, the people are not listening, and have been hitting the streets by the thousands.
State-run media is refusing to cover the protests, but other outlets are filling in the gaps. Firsthand video footage is beginning to emerge, which we'll be displaying here.
The protests were organized by opposition leaders, using the wave of anti-government sentiment sweeping the Middle East to revive their dispute of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's 2009 election, which opposition candidates agreed were rigged.
Al Jazeera's Dorsa Jabbari, in Tehran, confirmed reports that security forces used tear gas, pepper spray and batons against the protesters.
She said up to 10,000 security forces had been deployed to prevent protesters from gathering at Azadi Square, where the marches, originating from various points in Tehran, were expected to converge.
Monday’s protests were initiated by Iranian opposition figures in ostensible solidarity with the popular protests in Egypt and elsewhere, but were plainly intended, after months of relative quiet, to revive the anti-regime demonstrations of 2009, and the Iranian authorities did their best in recent days to discourage them.
The protests coincided with a visit by Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Monday. At a press conference with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Gul briefly addressed the unrest sweeping the Mideast, saying that regional leaders must listen to the demands of their public. He didn't specifically mention Iran.