Tehran Calmer After a Week of Protests

By Arjang Hemmati
Arjang Hemmati
Arjang Hemmati
June 21, 2009 Updated: June 22, 2009
People flee to nearby houses after being chased by the security forces on Saturday June 20, 2009. (Photo provided by a witness to The Epoch Times)
People flee to nearby houses after being chased by the security forces on Saturday June 20, 2009. (Photo provided by a witness to The Epoch Times)

People gathered around Azadi Street in Tehran are confronted by the security forces on Saturday June 20, 2009. (Photo provided by a witness to The Epoch Times)
People gathered around Azadi Street in Tehran are confronted by the security forces on Saturday June 20, 2009. (Photo provided by a witness to The Epoch Times)
People gathered in front of Sharif University in Tehran are confronted by the security forces on Saturday June 20, 2009. (Photo provided by a witness to The Epoch Times)
People gathered in front of Sharif University in Tehran are confronted by the security forces on Saturday June 20, 2009. (Photo provided by a witness to The Epoch Times)
With a sizable security force patrolling Tehran on June 21, the streets of the Iranian capital city were calmer than the previous day of bloody confrontations. Some scattered protests around the country were still reported.

The graphic video of a young girl, said to be named Neda, dying after being shot during Saturday’s protests have been widely circulated in Iran.

Khalil, a native of Tehran, says the video has had a considerable effect on the mood of Iranians. People in his office could not bring themselves to go to work on Sunday because of it, he said. 

He says people are talking about changing the name of Amirabad Street, the street the young girl died on, to 'Neda Street' by putting her name on the walls in graffiti.

Amateur video footage said to have been taken on Saturday circulated on Internet show other cases of people shot with gunfire around Iran.

Iran’s state media have confirmed 10 deaths during yesterday’s protests, saying those who died were “terrorists.” They also said the gunshots fired were from anti-government forces.  The English news organization Press TV funded by Iran reports the death toll as 13.

Unconfirmed reports put the death toll between around 20 and over 100.

Chants of  "God is great" could be heard louder than previous nights on Sunday night, according to witness accounts.

Pro-Mousavi supporters have been shouting, “God is great” on their rooftops amid the recent protests to show their objection to the alleged election fraud.

The act was one of the non-violent means of protest against Iran’s monarchy regime used during the 1979 revolution.

The government has also escalated the arrest of reformist figures and journalists after the recent protests.  Faeze Rafsanjani, the daughter of prominent cleric Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, was among those arrested after taking part in Saturday's protests, but was later released on Sunday.

Despite warnings of confrontation by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei and by the head of the security forces, many people took to the streets around the planned parade route on Saturday.

The protesters were confronted by great numbers of security forces armed with batons blocking access to Enghelab and Azadi streets, the route of the parade. The security forces also used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd. Gun shots could also be heard during the protests.

The protests in Iran began soon after the announcement of the results of the presidential elections on June 12th, giving the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a landslide victory.

Reformist candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have called for the annulment of the election, alleging large scale election irregularities and fraud.