December 29, 2009
The shooting death of Ali Habibi-Mousavi in Tehran has all the earmarks of a political assassination. The nephew of opposition leader and recent presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi reportedly had received death threats before he was shot in the heart by men believed to be security forces or pro-government militia. On Monday, Habibi-Mousavi's family said his body was seized from the hospital, apparently to prevent them from holding a funeral that could ignite more protests -- a cycle that served Islamic revolutionaries when they toppled the shah 30 years ago. The Iranian government denies killing demonstrators and claims that "foreign terrorists" murdered Habibi-Mousavi.
December 28, 2009 |
The months-long confrontation between Iran's budding opposition movement and a hard-line government determined to stamp it out escalated sharply over the weekend, as parts of the capital became engulfed in fiery political protest and demonstrations broke out across the country on the occasion of an important Shiite religious holiday. Opposition websites reported as many as nine people killed in Tehran and the western city of Tabriz on Sunday during Ashura, a commemoration of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the prophet Muhammad.
December 14, 2009 |
Political turmoil built Sunday over the burning of an image of Iran's revolutionary founder, which was aired, in a controversial move, on state television. Accusations that the incident was carried out by anti-government demonstrators sparked protests as well as threats against reformist leaders. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday said reformist politicians and anti-government demonstrators had defiled the image of his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, during National Students Day protests last week.
November 23, 2009 |
Iran on Sunday launched what it described as its biggest air-defense drill ever with the aim of preparing to protect its nuclear sites from possible airstrikes as international talks to resolve the long stalemate over the nation's atomic research program falter. Meanwhile, opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi continued to put pressure on the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, praising protesters for turning an annual march against the U.S. into an anti-government rally that was met by violence by security forces.
November 15, 2009 |
Iran has deployed a special police unit to monitor websites for political material and prosecute those deemed to be spreading lies, Iranian media reported. Many opposition websites are already banned. But the new 12-member unit, which will report to the prosecutor's office, seems to signal an effort to crack down harder on those who refuse to accept President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection, tainted by allegations of fraud, in June. The protest movement initially saw thousands pouring into the streets in June and July to press claims that opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi was the rightful winner.
November 3, 2009 |
Students in the western Iranian city of Ahvaz in recent days launched an impromptu protest in a campus auditorium. In Kashan on Monday, a group took over the campus cafeteria, singing anti-government songs. A couple of weeks ago in Tehran, others cheered wildly as someone threw a shoe at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's former culture minister. Then on Monday, students shouted down the ex-minister, Mohammad-Hossein Saffar-Harandi, once again. Largely absent from international media reports and discounted by Western policymakers more focused on Iran's nuclear program, the protest movement that erupted after Ahmadinejad's disputed June 12 reelection has continued to smolder, mostly on college campuses.