Iran Focus: Unrest in Iran

Iran Focus has three stories up today, reporting unrest in the Kurdish parts of Iran and in Tehran. A traditional Persian holliday, declared un-islamic by the mullahs and hence forbidden is turning into massive anti-government demonstrations by Iranian youths.

In Kurdistan authorities have declared martial law:
Iranian authorities have imposed a de facto martial law in several volatile cities in the north-western province of Kurdistan as restive youths used the occasion of Iran’s traditional “fire festival” to hold anti-government protests, residents told Iran Focus by telephone on Tuesday.

Agents of the paramilitary police, the Revolutionary Guards, and plainclothes agents of the secret police, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, moved in to take control of the cities to limit unrest as people took to the streets.

There is a heavy police presence at every major junction, square, and highway in and around the cities of Sanandaj, Piranshahr, and Mahabad and security forces are attempting to arrest any individual seeking to take part in protests.


In Piranshahr, banks, police cars, and government buildings were set on fire as violent clashes erupted on Saturday between security forces and angry residents.

Protests began after agents of the State Security Forces (SSF) shot and killed a young man in his car at a stop-and-search point.

At least five police vehicles were set on fire during the clashes between young protesters and security agents.

Reports from the Kurdish city of Mahabad in north-western Iran said that widespread clashes had broken out on Friday between residents and security forces after a detained man was shot at point blank by security agents.
In Tehran and around the country mobile phone networks are shut down and motorcycle riding has been banned:
The Tehran Public Prosecution Office has issued a statement, announcing that individuals caught creating “disruption in public order” will receive jail sentences of between three months to one year and up to 74 lashes on their backs in accordance with Iran’s Islamic laws.

Individuals caught distributing fireworks will receive between three and ten years in prison, the statement said.
Despite these rather draconian measures youths have come out in Tehran and elsewhere openly burning pictures of current 'Supreme Leader' Ayatollah Khamenei and Ayatollah Khomeini.
Iran’s main opposition group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK), has issued an appeal to people across the country to take part in the celebrations on the night and turn it into an anti-government protest.


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