Iranian authorities are warning families to keep their children from mixing Chaharshanbeh Souri celebrations with political protests.
Iranians celebrate the last Tuesday night before the New Year, which begins on the first day of spring, by jumping over bonfires set up in neighbourhood alleys.
The head of the Tehran Court, Alireza Avayi, told ISNA: “If young people allow anti-Revolutionaries to mix with them, they risk getting hurt, because it will be hard to make distinctions in such situations.”
Iran’s opposition has called on the public to join street protests every Tuesday leading up to the New Year, to show their objection to the house arrests of opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi and their wives. The authorities have condemned the protests as foreign-instigated and anti-Revolutionary conspiracies aimed at toppling the government.
Avayi maintained that “anti-Revolutionaries” may exploit the excitement generated by the Chaharshanbeh Souri celebrations.
Security forces commander Bahman Kargar hasalso warned the public that anyone arrested on the last Tuesday night of the year will not be released until the end of the two-week New Year’s celebrations.