Arab world unrest reaches Iran; widespread protests
'Mubarak, Ben Ali, now its Seyyed Ali's turn,' protesters chant
The past few months have seen the dictatorships of Tunisia and Egypt collapse following popular uprisings on the part of the populace. Iran, generally perceived as among the most oppressive in the Middle East, is now rocked with protests with clashes between demonstrators and security forces being reported in the nation's capital, Tehran.
As it was in Tunisia and Egypt, social networking sites on the Internet are being used to coordinate protest marches.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The past few months have seen the dictatorships of Tunisia and Egypt collapse following popular uprisings on the part of the populace. Iran, generally perceived as among the most oppressive in the Middle East, is now rocked with protests with clashes between demonstrators and security forces being reported in the nation's capital, Tehran.
According to eyewitness reports at least three protesters injured by bullets were taken to a hospital in central Tehran while dozens of others were hospitalized because of severe wounds as a result of being beaten.
Video Webs sites depict Iranian protesters burning a picture of the late Ayatollah Khomeini and Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hoseyni Khamenei. They're chanting "Mubarak, Ben Ali, now it's Seyyed Ali's turn"
A reporter for Al Jazeera in Tehran has confirmed reports that security forces have 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 were expected to converge.
As it was in Tunisia and Egypt, social networking sites on the Internet are being used to coordinate protest marches. On the Facebook page used to organize Monday's marches, there were also reports of shooting in or around Enghelab Square as well as demonstrations in the cities of Mashhad, Shiraz and Kermanshah.
The BBC reported that city lights were being turned off as night fell in Tehran and that security forces were attacking protesters in the dark.
Internet postings on Twitter and Facebook, YouTube videos show that at least hundreds were still on the streets after dark, setting fire to dumpsters and barricades, chanting anti-government slogans.
The current security clampdown is reminiscent of the one that crushed a wave of protests after the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian president, in June 2009.
At the White House, Hillary Clinton, U.S. secretary of state, hailed the "courage" of the protesters, and pressed Tehran to follow Egypt's example and "open up" its political system.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
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