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Iran State Media Paint Different Picture of Protests

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Hardliner media have made every effort to discredit election protesters who had announced they would take to the streets on Ashura Day to voice their dissent.

Opposition protesters in Tehran

Protesters were last on the march on the occasion of the death of Ayatollah Montazeri, the reformist grand cleric who was spurned by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Last Sunday, hundreds of thousands of protesters attended the grand Ayatollah's funeral in Qom which resulted in a State ban on all memorial services planned in all other cities.

Protesters held back, with an eye on Ashura, today, which is a customary day of mourning for the death of the third Imam of Shiites.

Despite repeated warnings and threats by State forces and political heads, protesters defiantly took to the streets today and facing extreme violence brought home the message that people's protests against the government and their demands for justice will not fade away.

Photos: War In Tehran Streets on Ashura Day

State media however was hard at work portraying the protests to the government's advantage. Fars news agency, reported that Mousavi and Khatami supporters have "burned copies of the Holy Quran."

Protesters were also accused of attacking Ashura mourning committees. Fars also claimed Mousavi supporters have attacked worshipers in the process of praying. It added that protesters have offended Ashura mourners by "honking horns and shouting in jubilation as if it were a wedding."

Fars also reported that "rioters shouted slogans against the Islamic Republic and were consequently chased away and dispersed by people."

State news agency IRNA reported that "the remains of Mousavi supporters started riots in a few of the capital's streets, destroying public property and hassling Ashura mourners and citizens." IRNA adds that "rioters were systematically attacking Ashura mourners and were not carrying any symbols connected with Ashura processions."

According to IRNA "thousands of mourners at Tehran University chased away the disturbers at the end of the mourning ceremony."

Iran network, IRNA's television network, reported that "a car at Azadi Street ran over and killed three people," adding the car belonged to one of the "rioters" and that it has been "identified."

... Payvand News - 12/28/09 ... --

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