An update from Tehran

Tehran, Jun. 21 – From the Grapevine…

Opposition supporters on Sunday chanted ”Down with the principle of the velayat-e faqih” (absolute clerical rule) during a protest in the Tehran-Karaj train, and there were clashes with a number of Bassij militiamen and intelligence agents inside the station.

Pitch battles between police and opposition supporters continued throughout the capital. Eye-witnesses reported that in certain parts police and plain-clothes agents were too scared to act.

State Security Force units in Tehran had a heavy presence and were equipped with full riot gear, including batons, helmets and shields.

Many Tehran residents came out and crowded the streets in the capital to show their disdain towards the regime.

Hundreds of students staged a protest at the Tehran University campus, chanting ”Death to Khamenei”, Iran’s Supreme Leader.  Clashes erupted between the students and the paramilitary Bassij members.

The students’ chants could be heard from Mossadeq intersection to Kargar Street and Enqelab Square.

Security agents set up barricades at Mossadeq intersection to prevent the public from walking towards the university entrance. Some 250 intelligence agents were stationed outside the university’s main gate.

A bystander who was taking pictures of the scene was arrested by plain-clothes agents in front of the university.

Several hundred students gathered at the site of where Neda Agha Soltan was infamously shot and killed exactly a year ago, near Tehran University, chanting ”Death to Khamenei”, ”We are Sohrab, We are Neda, We are one voice” and ”Our Neda has not died, it is Khamenei who has died”.

Several hundred opposition supporters took part in a demonstration in Niloofar Street in Apadana district in western Tehran, chanting ”Death to the dictator” and ”Khamenei, shame on your conspiracies”.

Police and plain-clothes agents attacked the protesters with batons and truncheons.

In Ferdowsi Square, intelligence agents attacked and arrested three women who were taking pictures of a gathering.

In Sadeqiya district, south of the capital, about 100 activists chanted ”Death to the dictator”, eye-witnesses reported. The Bassij and plain-clothes agents attacked the protestors.

In the streets close to Vali Asr Square, a group of anti-government protestors chanted ”Death to the dictator”, leading to skirmishes with police.

At least five people were injured when some 250 people clashed with 150 members of the police at the entrance of Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery, south of the capital.

Heavy clashes erupted in Amir-Abad district with protesters chanting ”Death to Khamenei”, according to protestors at the scene.

Sporadic clashes were also reported between opposition supporters and security forces in and around Honar (Arts) University.

People chanted ”Death to the dictator” on Balavar, Nikooi and Saba streets, leading to pitch battles between security forces and protesters.

Several hundred people staged a protest near Navvab Street, chanting, ”Don’t be afraid, we are all together”. Police units stationed near Navvab Safavi underground station attacked the crowd and skirmishes followed.

Opposition supporters chanted ”Allah-o Akbar” (God is the greatest) and ”Death to the dictator” from rooftops in west Tehran, Khosh, Navvab, Azerbaijan and Dampezeshki districts late on Sunday. There were also chants of ”Allah-o Akbar” in Shahrak-e Gharb and Sa’adat-Abad.

In Sattar Khan Street, despite a heavy police presence, residents lit candles and placed them on the windows of their homes to pay homage to those killed in anti-government protests last summer.

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