Witnesses in the Iranian capital say hundreds of demonstrators have
defied a government warning against protests Thursday, the anniversary
of a student uprising.
The witnesses say baton-wielding police used tear gas to disperse
protesters who tried to rally near Tehran University, the site of an
uprising 10 years ago.
The witnesses say at least 700 demonstrators gathered near the site, some chanting "Death to the dictator."
Supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi had called for
demonstrations to mark Thursday's 10th anniversary of a deadly
crackdown against students in Tehran.
Authorities had warned that security forces would "smash" any protests.
The state-run IRNA news agency quoted Tehran's governor, Morteza Tamadon, as
saying no government permits had been issued for rallies and there
would be a "crushing response" on anyone who defied the protest ban.
Security is high at many locations in Tehran, including the area near Tehran University.
Opposition demonstrations broke out following Iran's June 12
presidential vote, which defeated reformist candidate Mir Hossein
Mousavi and his supporters say was fraudulent. They have refused to
accept official results that show incumbent President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad winning by a landslide.
Iranian police have detained more than 1,000 political activists,
journalists, and others who authorities say were linked to
post-election demonstrations. Officials say most of them have been
On July 9, 1999, security forces raided a dormitory in Tehran,
following a peaceful protest. Many students were beaten and arrested.
Officials said one student died in the crackdown. Opposition groups say
eight people were killed.
Meanwhile, six United Nations experts are seeking permission from the
Iranian government to visit the country and independently assess
The human rights experts issued a joint statementexpressing
grave concern about reports of mass arrests and the use of excessive
force by police since last month's disputed presidential election.