Street battles between Iranian security forces and anti-government demonstrators erupted Wednesday after opposition supporters tried to disturb state-sanctioned rallies marking the 30th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy, witnesses and state media reported.
Security forces posted on nearly every street corner in the city center heavily outnumbered protesters and broke up crowds using batons, tear gas and warning shots, state media reported. Foreign media representatives were allowed to cover only the government-sanctioned rally, in front of the building that formerly housed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
In Washington, President Obama called on the Iranian government to decide whether it wants to focus on the past or the future. “Iran must choose,” he said in a statement marking the 30th anniversary of what he described as the unjust hostage-taking.
Clashes were reported in several places in the city center and in Shiraz, a city 420 miles south of the capital. Most demonstrators were unable to convene for long periods, as motorcycle units of the Revolutionary Guard Corps arrived to disperse them. [continued…]