More than 1,000 Hizbullah terrorist army fighters have joined a huge Iranian police deployment to crush wide-scale protests that have left at least two people dead and hundreds injured or arrested.
The Islamic Republic regime in Iran has apparently decided to deploy an overwhelming army of police, Revolutionary Guards and Hizbullah members to squash the rallies. The government seeks to prevent the kind of momentum that toppled rulers of Tunisia and Egypt, and threaten kings and dictators in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and other Muslim countries.
Foreign journalists have been barred from reporting on the Iranian demonstrations, and authorities have revoked work permits for 11 foreign journalists, photographers and cameramen for covering protests last week.
As in the protests nearly two years ago, after the disputed re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, protesters have circumvented authorities by using Twitter and other social messaging systems to communicate among themselves and report to the outside world.
Black-clad Basiz riot police shot and killed two protesters, according to opposition websites, and a CNN reporter tweeted that he saw security forces beat more than a dozen people with steel batons in Tehran’s Revolution Square. Police on motorcycles were seen plowing into crowds on sidewalks and clubbing them indiscriminately.
The protests drew at least tens of thousands of people according to foreign media, although the opposition Iran in Focus site reported that “hundreds of thousands” demonstrators challenged the Islamic Republic regime. It reported that chants of "Down with dictators in Cairo, in Tehran" and "Seyed Ali will be overthrown," referring to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, were heard in Tehran.
Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of Iran's ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, was freed on Sunday after having been arrested briefly for “provocative behavior.” Rafsanjani, an influential cleric, indirectly supported the opposition candidate running against Ahmadinejad in 2009, but has distanced himself from the opposition leaders and condemned the latest anti-government demonstrations. However, regime authorities do not consider his condemnation strong enough.
The semi-official Fars News Agency told Iranians that attempts at “sedition” were unsuccessful “despite the several-day-long ploy and intensive media provocations by the West.” It said calm has been maintained in Tehran.
Iran’s deputy police chief told Fars that authorities arrested a terrorist who supposedly was carrying explosives for a bomb intended to be detonated in the capital.
Police also claimed that anti-government “terrorists” who opened fire and killed two people, presumably the same two who, according to other reports, were gunned down by police.