Os iranianos querem livrar-se da teocracia que os oprime. Já em 2009 se manifestaram sem poder contar com os apoios que agora se congregaram à volta dos protestos no Egipto.
Veremos qual será agora a posição dos EUA, praticamente omissos na altura, e dos media e movimentos progressistas, tão entusiastas com os insurgentes egípcios:
Report: Iran police fire teargas at protest marchers
Police, security forces disperse demonstrators supporting popular uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia; protestors chant 'Mubarak, Ben-Ali - now it's your turn Khamenei.' Opposition leader Mousavi's house blockaded
Dudi Cohen, Reuters
Iranian security forces fired tear gas to scatter thousands of people marching on a Tehran square in a banned rally on Monday inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, a witness said.
"There are thousands of people marching ... not chanting slogans ... Security forces fired tear gas to disperse them near Imam Hossein square," said the witness.
The march was a test of strength for the reformist opposition, which has not taken to the streets since Dec. 2009, when eight people were killed. But Iranian security forces are still unlikely to hesitate to use all means to stop any protest.
Large numbers of police and security forces wearing riot gear were stationed around the main squares of the capital and travelling in pairs on motorbikes around the city.
There were minor clashes at some points across the sprawling capital city of some 12 million people, witnesses said. Mobile telephone connections were down in the area of the protests.
"There were thousands of people walking towards Azadi Square. There were some scuffles. I saw smoke, but I am not sure if it was tear gas or not," said another witness.
Protestors chanted "Mubarak, Ben-Ali – now it is your turn Sayyed Ali (Khamenei)" and "Death to the dictator."
Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi took advantage of official Iranian backing for the huge Arab street protests to call their own demonstrations in solidarity, but authorities refused their request.
The opposition nevertheless renewed the call for the rally. Iranian authorities have warned the opposition to avoid creating a "security crisis" by reviving protests that erupted after the vote, the biggest unrest in Iran since the 1979 revolution.
Hundreds of demonstrators marched down Azadi (Freedom) and Enghelab streets, both forming a wide boulevard leading to Azadi Square, a traditional rallying point for protests dominated by a huge white marble arch, in central Tehran.
Hundreds of marchers also gathered in the central city of Isfahan, witnesses said. Police and state security men were prepared in Tehran.
"There are dozens of police and security forces in Vali-ye Asr Avenue ... They have blocked entrances of metro stations in the area," a witness told Reuters earlier, referring to a large thoroughfare that cuts through the Iranian capital.
Iranians take to the streets (Photo from Twitter)
Mousavi's website, Kalame, said the opposition leader and his wife Zahra Rahnavard were unable to join the march.
"Mirhossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard are still trying to leave their house and join the protests... but security forces are preventing them. Security forces have even threatened Mousavi's guards to not allow them to leave the house by any means," the website said.
So far there have been no reports of injuries, but some 10 protestors were arrested.
Iranians reported that the internet service has been slowed down, apparently as part of the regime's efforts to prevent the distribution of anti-government content online.
Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are blocked, as are the major news sites. The cell phone network in central Tehran has been shut down as well.
'The nation's demands'
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia an "Islamic awakening", akin to the 1979 revolution that overthrew the US-backed shah.
But the opposition see the unrest as being more similar to their own protests following the June 2009 election which they say was rigged in favor of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Revolutionary Guards, fiercely loyal to Khamenei, put down the 2009 protests. Two people were hanged and scores of opposition supporters jailed.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul, on a visit to Tehran, called on Middle Eastern governments to listen to the demands of their people, although he did not refer to Iran directly.
"We see that sometimes when the leaders and heads of countries do not pay attention to the nations' demands, the people themselves take action to achieve their demands," Gul told a news conference alongside Ahmadinejad.
Any use of heavy force to stop the marches in Iran during Gul's visit could be an embarrassment for Turkey.
However, Ankara, officially an ally of the West, was one of the first governments to congratulate Ahmadinejad on his 2009 re-election and is seeking to triple the volume of trade with its neighbor despite UN, US and EU sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic over its disputed nuclear activity.
Iranian authorities deny doctoring the 2009 election results and accuse opposition leaders of being part of a Western plot to overthrow the Islamic system.
"They are incapable of doing a damn thing," the hardline Kayhan newspaper quoted Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi as saying, echoing words used by the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to refer to the United States. The opposition is "guided by Iran's enemies abroad", Moslehi said.Read more at www.ynetnews.com