11 February 2010

Protests In Iran

WSJ: Tensions Flare in Tehran as Government Supporters, Protesters Gather

Tens of thousands of government supporters and smaller groups of antiregime demonstrators gathered in Tehran and other cities Thursday on the 31st anniversary of the founding of the Islamic Republic.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, in a speech marking the date, said Iran had successfully produced its first batch of higher-enriched uranium for a medical-research reactor. Iran vowed to start the enrichment earlier this week, angering Western leaders who worry Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons.

Residents of Tehran, reached by phone, said much of the city had the feel of martial law, with heavy security deployed throughout the city and many shops closed. Government forces fanned out across the capital in force on Wednesday, with Revolutionary Guard Corps troops lining streets where demonstrators had signaled they would gather. Tehran residents also reported severe disruption to their Internet and cell-phone texting services late Wednesday.

Still, many opposition supporters appeared unbowed.

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