Iran Police Disperse Tens Of Thousands Of Tehran Protesters With Teargas As Rioting Spreads: Follow Events In Real Time

Blink and you will miss the latest revolution. Algeria riots yesterday, Bahrain earlier today, and Iran now. Per AP: "Clashes between Iranian police and tens of thousands of protesters wrecked central Tehran on Monday as security forces beat and fired tear gas at opposition supporters hoping to evoke Egypt's recent popular uprising. The opposition called for a demonstration Monday in solidarity with Egypt's  popular revolt that a few days earlier forced the president there to resign after nearly 30 years in office. The rally is the first major show of strength for Iran's cowed opposition in more than a year. Police used tear gas against the protesters in central Tehran's Enghelab, or Revolution, square and in Imam Hossein square, as well as in other nearby main streets. Demonstrators responded by setting garbage cans on fire to protect themselves from the stinging white clouds." And a quick refresher in Geopolitics 101: Iran has lots of oil...and, supposedly,  nukes (assuming Norton anti-virus has a Stuxnet patch).

A quick clip of the rapidly deteriorating situation in Tehran, where protesters are chanting 'Death to Khamenei.'

More from AP:

Security forces on motorcycles could also be seen chasing protesters through the streets, according to eyewitnesses.

The semiofficial Fars news agency called protesters "hypocrites, monarchists, ruffians and seditionists," and ridiculed them for not chanting any slogans about Egypt has they had originally promised.

Fars, which is linked to the Revolutionary Guard, Iran's most powerful military force, said an unspecified number of protesters were arrested and handed over to police and security officials. It didn't elaborate.

Opposition website reported that similar rallies took place in the central city of Isfahan and Shiraz in the south. Security forces used force to disperse them as well.

And with Al Jazeera not following the Iran events (yet), readers can track developments in Iran at the following blog: Dissected News. Some of the more recent updates:

17:51 GMT – 9:21 PM Tehran Time

Dissected News has just received an exclusive audio message from a source in Iran that has been reliable in the past. We have no way of verifying the following eyewitness account, reportedly recorded today. (English transcript of audio provided):

While breathless: I was in the street I went into an alley find an open door and jumped in.They shot a lot in the air and shot tear gas canisters but they also shot some by live ammunition I saw that myself.

All of sudden about 40 suppressive forces beat one person. An old man, 80 years old was badly beaten. I received about 10 to 12 baton strokes in my leg too so I could not run any more.

Many of our sisters and brothers were arrested. My eyes are still burning.

These next 3 quick updates come from Enduring America:

1719 GMT: Kurdish, civil rights activist Susan Mohammadkhani Ghiasvand has been arrested.

1715 GMT: Kalemeh reports that the residences of former President Mohammad Khatami and former Vice President Abdollah Nouri are “under siege”.

1705 GMT: BBC Persian is reporting clashes in Vanak Square in north Tehran.

16:54 GMT – 8:24 PM Tehran

Our servers have been up and down since this morning. This is highly unusual, as they are professionally hosted. First of all, we apologize for the inconvenience. Secondly, our hosting company is launching an investigation – stay tuned.

CNN’s Reza Sayah is reporting that tens of thousands of peaceful protesters are marching towards Azadi Square. All reports indicate that these are the biggest protests in over a year, and the situation is very chaotic and dangerous on the ground in Tehran.

Tehran Bureau (Josh Shahryar) has this report:

7:55 p.m. Imam Hossein Square in Tehran is currently the scene of clashes between protesters and security forces. And we can confirm that a protest took place today in the city of Rasht, on the Caspian Sea coast. To this point, that makes five cities where we can confirm protests have happened: Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Kermanshah, and Rasht.

IGV is reporting that security forces have attacked crowds near Enghelab Square.

Kaleme is carrying a picture of Mousavi’s house, with a police van blocking off the street.

Enduring America is also reporting confirmation of clashes in Shiraz.

15:28 GMT: 7:32 PM Tehran

Most of the last hour has been spent pouring through misinformation. A video reportedly showing a massive protest today was circulated. Protesters could be heard mentioning Ben Ali. The video, however, was taken on June 15, 2009. It is difficult to sort through all the noise to get a good read on the size and scope of the protests. Information is pouring in fast, but we’re doing our best to filter it for accuracy.

Luckily, we have our first confirmed video of the day. Mehdi Saharkhiz has uploaded this video showing protesters march towards Enghelab Square. At the end of the video, they turn and run as tear gas is fired into the crowd.

HRANA is reporting that 1 person was killed, 2 injured, and at least 250 were detained in today’s protests so far. This has yet to be confirmed.

The BBC, who has a reporter on the ground, is reporting that tear gas has been fired as protesters attempted to rally. They also stated that Mousavi is still under house arrest. The situation on the ground was described as “total chaos.”

1416 GMT:

According to Mardomak (trusted in the past) security forces are using tear gas to disperse crowds in Enghelab Square Enghelab Avenue. Rahana is also reporting that security has blocked Taleqani Ave and other cross sections and people in cars are honking in protest.

Also, reports are coming in from other cities, including a report from Radio Farda that thousands have gathered to protest in Isfahan and Kermanshah.

There are many reports of clashes and protests. All over Tehran, but we will wait to report them until we have confirmation of details.

1343 GMT:

According to Reza Sayah, there have been violent clashes in fron of Tehran University, where some protesters have been taken away on motorcycle. There are also many protesters clashing with security forces at Iman Hossein Square, where people are chanting “Death to the Dictator, Death to Khamenei.”

From all accounts, the protesters have been peacefully marching, but security forces are trying to disperse them.


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