Iranian forces fire teargas, clash with protesters

Security forces in Tehran try to disperse demonstrators demanding the release of 2 opposition leaders; Iranian FM on whereabouts of the leaders: "Judicial authorities will handle the issue."

March 1, 2011 17:22
1 minute read.
Opposition gathering in Tehran, Feb. 16.

Iranian opposition gathering_311 Reuters. (photo credit: Stringer Iran / Reuters)

TEHRAN - Iran's security forces fired teargas and clashed with opposition supporters in Tehran on Tuesday, where demonstrators were rallying to demand the release of two opposition leaders, according to an opposition website.

"Security forces and people in civilian clothes clashed with demonstrators in Tehran to disperse them," opposition website Kaleme reported.

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Sahamnews, another opposition website, reported large numbers of security personnel stationed at main streets and squares in Tehran "to prevent gathering of opposition supporters."

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Former presidential candidates Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi have not been seen in public since they called for a rally on Feb. 14, during which thousands of their supporters took to the streets to support uprisings in the Arab world.

Iranian officials have remained mum on the arrest of the two leaders, but the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that judicial authorities will handle the issue and it cannot be "a pretext for America and some western countries to interfere" in Iranian domestic affairs, according to a BBC Persian report.

Opposition websites had called for Tuesday's rally to demand their release.

Opposition website Sahamnews reported on Monday that Mousavi and Karoubi had been jailed along with their wives. Judiciary officials deny they have been jailed but say they have been kept at home and barred from contact with the outside world.

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