Iranian security forces fired tear gas and clashed with antigovernment
protesters demonstrating against the treatment of opposition leaders, proreform
websites reported on Tuesday.
Thousands of demonstrators poured into the
streets of Tehran and other cities, chanting slogans against the government,
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“Security forces and plainclothes agents fired tear
gas and clashed with demonstrators in Tehran to disperse them,” another
opposition website, Kaleme, reported. “Protesters have formed groups in hundreds
and are marching toward Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Square... Riot police attacked
protesters with batons and electric shocks...”
Protesters demanded the
release of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, who have been under house
arrest in Tehran since February 14. In the meantime, thousands of their
supporters have taken to the streets, defying a heavy security presence to back
uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, Sahamnews said.
Seeking to avoid a
revival of mass anti-government rallies that erupted after a disputed 2009
presidential election, the authorities warned against “illegal” gatherings after
some opposition websites posted calls for a rally on Tuesday.Yemen's "Day of Rage"
tens of thousands of protesters flooded streets on Tuesday in a “Day of Rage,”
demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s threedecade rule.
the capital Sanaa, demonstrators chanted “With blood and soul we support you,
Aden,” referring to the southern port city where most of the 24 people killed in
the past two weeks of protests have died. Some flashed V-for-victory
signs, while others wore white headbands with “Leave” written in red – a message
addressed to Saleh.
In a speech to the faculty of Sanaa University, the Yemeni president accused Washington and Israel of
orchestrating the wave of unrest sweeping through the region.
an operations room in Tel Aviv with the aim of destabilizing the Arab world,”
Salah said, according to JTA. “The wave of political unrest sweeping across the
Arab world is a conspiracy that serves Israel and the Zionists.”
US ally against Islamist militants, added that it is “all run by the White
The president has failed to quell two months of protests in a
country of 23 million, where 40 percent live on less than $2 a day and a third
are undernourished.Protests enter fourth day in Oman
In neighboring Oman, troops fired into the air near a
port on Tuesday to clear a fourth day of protests by people demanding jobs and
political reforms, wounding one person in the town of Sohar, witnesses
“We were about 200 to 300 people on the road. The army started
shooting in the air,” one protester in Sohar said, declining to be named. “Many
people ran. The man who was shot (had) come to calm the army down.”
crowd dispersed before regrouping again near the port, the witnesses said, and
the troops pulled back.
The unrest in Sohar, Oman’s main industrial
center, was a rare outbreak of discontent in the normally tranquil Gulf state,
ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said for four decades.
Arabia began distributing $37 billion in social benefits on Tuesday to ease the
pain of inflation and unemployment in the world’s top oil exporter, and to avert
the popular unrest that has engulfed the region.
The OPEC producer has so
far escaped the mass protests that have toppled entrenched leaders in Egypt and
Tunisia, but its national stock index posted its steepest drop in more than two
years amid fears the turmoil could yet reach the kingdom.
“There will be
immediate execution [of the king’s measures],” Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim
Alassaf told reporters. “The Ministry of Finance transferred the relevant
amounts today.”Three more ministers resign in Tunisia
In Tunisia, which was the inspiration for much of the
subsequent Arab revolts, three more cabinet ministers resigned Tuesday, leaving
the caretaker government that took power after the president was overthrown
teetering on the brink of collapse.
The new resignations mean that in the
space of 72 hours, the prime minister and five ministers quit, indicating the
worst political crisis in Tunisia since Zine al Abidine Ben Ali was ousted a
month and a half ago.
The resignations follow intensifying street
protests over the slow pace of reforms since Ben Ali’s departure, with five
people killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces over the
A source close to the government told Reuters that the new prime
minister, Beji Caid Sebsi, will this week announce the creation of a
representative council whose job will be to rewrite the constitution. The
members of the council will need to be elected.
That move – a step toward
preparing legislative and presidential polls – could relieve pressure on the
government from its opponents, but it was not clear if it would be enough for it
to survive.Military sets vote for constitutional change in Egypt
And in Egypt, the only other Arab state thus far to have
ousted its longtime ruler, the military provisionally set a vote on
constitutional change for March 19 as the prelude to a parliamentary election in
June, followed by a presidential poll to usher in full democracy.
Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, running the Arab world’s most populous
nation since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak on February 11, is sticking to a
short timetable to open a new chapter in modern Egyptian history.
time frame the young people announced is a preliminary timetable for the key
events within the coming months,” an army source said Tuesday when asked about
comments from youth leaders who met the council last week and disclosed the
March 19 date.
The youth leaders said a parliamentary election would be
held in June, with a presidential vote six weeks later.