Islamic Republic security measures are tightening all across Tehran while reports of groups chanting “Death to the Dictator!” have been reported in Takht Tavoos Street in Central Tehran.
In Azadi and Vanak Squares, people can be heard chanting slogans. Since last night, citizens have been receiving random text messages saying: “Dear citizen, if you access anti-Revolutionary networks or attend any illegal gathering you will be prosecuted according to the Articles 489. 500 and 508 of the Islamic penal code.”
Plainclothes forces as well as security and police officers are reported along all the major streets as well as the route of the proposed silent March as indicated in the opposition’s rally call.
Anti-riot police and equipment have been deployed, and all businesses along Azadi Street have been warned to close their stores in case of any disturbance.
A report in today’s Montreal Gazette describes the deployment of police and security forces in Tehran to head off demonstrations.
The Gazette confirms that authorities have prohibited foreign media, including AFP reporters, from covering the situation.
At 5PM local time, groups of people were reported chanting slogans in Azadi and Vali Asr Squares.
Last year’s demonstration on February 14 led to two deaths and widespread arrests, and the authorities have indicated they are completely prepared to quash any attempt at a public assembly.
This year’s rally call was issued as Iran’s opposition leaders approached one year under house arrest, the anniversary being today. The protest movement that was triggered by the opposition leaders’ allegations of election fraud in the 2009 presidential election, has, in effect, been severed from its head in the past year.