Iranian police use force to break up protest
CAIRO – Riot police attacked hundreds of demonstrators with tear gas and fired live bullets in the air to disperse a rally in central Tehran Monday, carrying out a threat by the country’s most powerful security force to crush any further opposition protests over the disputed presidential election.
Britain, accused by Iran of fomenting post-election unrest, said it was evacuating the families of diplomats and other officials based in Iran — the first country to do so as Iran’s worst internal conflict since the 1979 Islamic Revolution escalated.
Witnesses said helicopters hovered overhead as about 200 protesters gathered at Haft-e-Tir Square. But hundreds of anti-riot police quickly put an end to the demonstration and prevented any gathering, even small groups, at the scene.
At the subway station at Haft-e-Tir, the witnesses said police did not allow anyone to stand still, asking them to keep on walking and separating people who were walked together. The witnesses asked not to be identified for fear of government reprisals.
Just before the clashes, an Iranian woman who lives in Tehran said there was a heavy police and security presence in another square in central Tehran. She asked not to be identified because she was worried about government reprisals.
“There is a massive, massive, massive police presence,” she told The Associated Press in Cairo by telephone. “Their presence was really intimidating.”
Iran says at least 17 protesters have been killed in a week of unrest so far after the electoral council declared hard-linewinner of the June 12 election. His main challenger, Mir Hossein , charged the election was a fraud and insists he is the true winner. His followers have been staging near-daily rallies, at least one of them drawing a massive crowds of hundreds of thousands.
Severe restrictions on reporters have made it almost impossible to independently verify any reports on demonstrations, clashes and casualties. Iran has ordered reporters for foreign news agencies to stay in their offices, barring them from any reporting on the streets.
The country’s highest electoral authority, the electoral districts, the most serious official admission so far of problems in the election. But the council insisted the problems do not affect the outcome of the vote., acknowledged on Monday that there were voting irregularities in 50
Earlier Monday, the elite Revolutionary Guard issued its sternest warning so far in the post-election crisis. It warned protesters to “be prepared for a resolution and revolutionary confrontation with the Guards, Basij and other security forces and disciplinary forces” if they continue their near-daily rallies
COULD YOU IMAGINE IF THIS PSEUDO HERO WAS IN CHARGE! I SHUDDER AT THE THOUGHT!
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