Tehran: Iran witnessed
a new wave of anti-government protests in different parts of the
country Sunday as demonstrators took to streets in various cities,
media reports said.
There have also been clashes between protesters and security
forces, Al Jazeera quoted posts on social networking sites such as
Facebook and Twitter.
There were also reports of one protester being shot dead in
Tehran, a story denied by government official in state media, the
State broadcaster IRNA reported that Faezeh Rafsanjani, the
daughter of ex-president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has been among
those arrested for participating in the protest.
However, she was released shortly thereafter, Al Jazeera quoted
Fars news agency as reporting.
Protesters have apparently thronged Tehran's Vali-Asr and Enghelab
squares. Similar demonstrations are being reported in Shiraz and
Isfahan, the capital of Isfahan province.
Shiraz is the sixth most populous city in Iran and the capital of
Fars province whereas Isfahan, the capital of Isfahan province.
Reformist news sites said security forces were responding to the
Rahesabz.net reported that a number of plainclothes Basij security
forces, some on motorcycles, had arrived at the protest in Shiraz,
carrying the flag of the Islamic republic. They also blocked the
entrance to some streets.
A page on Facebook used to organise the protests also carried a
post saying that security forces were beating protesters with
batons and chains in the northern city of Rasht.
Citing witnesses inside the country, sources told Al Jazeera that
plainclothes security forces were rounding up and taking away
groups of protesters near Sharif University in Tehran, near Azadi
The page also quoted witnesses as saying that tear gas had been
used against protesters in Tehran, and the BBC Persian website
said gunshots had been heard in the Abbas Abad area, west of
State news agency Fars, however, said that Tehran is in a state of
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said that
eyewitnesses it has spoken to confirm the use of live ammunition
and teargas by security forces. An article posted on the group's
site also said that "large scale" protests have been taking place
in various cities and that they are continuing to grow in size.
The Iranian government has tried to dissuade protesters from
taking to the streets via state media, first by saying that
members of the banned group People's Mujahedeen of Iran (MKO) were
planning on killing people at the protests, and then by saying
that live ammunition would be used against protesters who defied
The Fars news agency also published an interview with lawmaker
Seyyed Mohammad Javad Aabtehi, in which he said that not only
should people refrain from participating in any kind of gathering,
but that they should even avoid observing the protests.
The Human Rights House of Iran (RAHANA) reported that prior to the
start of the protests Sunday, there were also numerous reports of
uniformed and plainclothes security forces in several key
gathering points in the capital and that there were "several cars
in Azadi street which are believed to be for detaining the
The rights group also reports that at least 50 people had been
detained in Shiraz.