Protests in Iran are continuing, despite authorities’ warnings that resistance will be crushed.
Ten days after the Islamic Republic’s disputed presidential poll, riot police broke up the latest opposition rally in the capital. Eyewitnesses said batons and tear gas were used to disperse the crowd.
With images of bloodshed sending shockwaves across the world, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged an immediate halt to the use of force against civilians.
But, in a statement, Iran’s hardline Revolutionary Guards signalled a crackdown on any fresh unrest.
And amid heightened tension with Tehran, which has accused Western powers of supporting the protests, Britain said it was withdrawing the families of embassy staff in Iran.
The exiled Iranian opposition evoked the case of a young woman shown dying, in a video posted on the Internet.
“The world witnessed the final moments of a young girl, Neda, who was shot by the guards in North Tehran,” said Maryam Rajavi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, speaking in Paris. “Her father was telling her in those final moments ‘have no fear Neda.’ Today the people have named the street as Neda.”
Reporting restrictions in Iran make the exact circumstances surrounding Neda’s death on Saturday difficult to verify.
But, with her story picked up by the international press, she has become a symbol of the unknown number of people killed in Iran’s post-election unrest.
In a separate development, Iranian state television reported today that the country’s top legislative body had rejected any annulment of the election.