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Iran Police Surround University To Head Off Protest

Source: RFE/RL

Iranian riot police have reportedly surrounded and cordoned off Iran's largest university in an effort to thwart opposition plans to disrupt a state-organized rally, eyewitnesses report.

Critics of the country's fiercely disputed presidential election have vowed to use the annual commemoration of Shah-era student killings to show that Iran's reform movement is still strong, according to RFE/RL's Radio Farda.

But hundreds of security officers "are everywhere around Tehran University and nearby streets," according to one of several anonymous eyewitness accounts provided to international news agencies.


Authorities on December 5 banned foreign media from reporting on the Student Day rally in the latest official attempt to avert fallout from the divisive June election.

The opposition led by former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Musavi has rejected that vote as fraudulent.

Musavi insisted in the run-up to today's demonstration that reformers are still active despite the clerically led establishment's clampdown, which has included mass arrests, reports of torture, and disappearances.

More reports surfaced ahead of Students Day suggesting that authorities were making more arrests to preempt any disruptions.

"After all these pressures, the movement has not ended," the website quoted Musavi as saying on December 6.

Police and the country's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps have warned that any "illegal" rally will be fiercely confronted.

BBC reports that Internet speeds in Iran slowed dramatically over the past day in an apparent effort to hamper opposition communication.

compiled in Prague from wire and Radio Farda reports

... Payvand News - 12/07/09 ... --

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