IRANIAN protesters took to the streets of capital Tehran for a major rally overnight in support of Arab revolts, while fresh anti-government protests were reported in Yemen and Bahrain.Some video of the lead-up to protests can be found here.
By midday local time, more than 4000 people gathered in central Tehran's Azadi Square, with many more streaming in, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Anti-riot police on motorbikes armed with riot shotguns, tear gas, batons, paintball guns and fire extinguishers were deployed in parts of the capital as authorities feared the rally could turn into an anti-government demonstration, AFP reported.
The Iranian regime also barred opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi from attending the rally by blocking his house with police vans and vehicles, his website reported.
Iran previously backed the Arab uprisings, but the interior ministry refused to permit the opposition rally because officials believed it was a ploy to stage fresh anti-government demonstrations as seen in 2009 after the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Update: Police are using tear gas on the protesters. What a surprise.
Eyewitnesses report that sporadic clashes have erupted in central Tehran's Enghelab or Revolution square between security forces and opposition protesters.The scene is described as total chaos.
The demonstrators were chanting "death to the dictator," referring to the country's hardline president that the opposition beleives was reelected through fraud in 2009.
Instapundit links. Thanks!