Iran reformists warn regime of suppressing protests

Tehran bans marches in support of Egypt, Tunisia


Iranian opposition figures warned the government of suppressing protests planned Monday in support of the revolutions that ousted the dictatorships of Egypt and Tunisia.

The coordination council of The Green Path of Hope, the opposition party headed by reformist and presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, issued a statement defying the government’s ban on demonstrations celebrating the freedom of both Egypt and Tunisia from the despotic regimes of Mubarak and Ben Ali, respectively.

The party warned security forces of suppressing protests and stressed that using violence with protestors is bound to drag the country to a tragedy on both the national and international levels.

the statement added that if the Iranian authorities insist on banning the protests they will lose their credibility in front of the whole world after officially announcing support for the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions.

The opposition’s statement came after a top Iranian official reiterated that the Interior Ministry will never allow rallies on Monday under the pretext that the demonstrations in support of Arab revolutions could turn into a rebellion against the Iranian government.

The semi-official Fars News Agency quoted Mehdi Alikhani, deputy chairman of Political Bureau at the Iranian interior ministry, as saying that protestors were not allowed to take to the streets.

“Those people know very well their request is not legitimate and they know they will never get a permit to stage riots,” he said.

Iranian top opposition figures and presidential candidates Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi had earlier submitted a request to the Interior Ministry to organize a rally in support of the Arab revolutions.

(Translated from the Arabic by Sonia Farid)