It’s way past midnight in Tehran, but this city is not sleeping. Outside on the streets, people are honking their horns in protest and stretching their hands out of cars making peace signs — a sign of support for Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the opposition candidate apparently defeated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran’s presidential election on Friday.
In neighborhoods across north and central Tehran, shouts of “Death to dictator!” fill the air, mostly in female voices, coming from house windows. There are also shouts of “Allah-o Akbar!” — reminiscent of the revolution — on the urging of a communique from Mousavi’s office.
Some of Tehran’s main streets have been turned into urban battlegrounds. Groups of mostly young men have set large garbage bins on fire in the middle of streets, torn out street signs and fences, broken the windows and ATM machines of state banks, and burnt at least five large buses in the middle of streets.
“They have totally fooled us,” said one sad man, a 32-year-old state employee, standing by the roadside. “This time they went too far. They just want to eliminate ‘republic’ and turn this into an Islamic dictatorship,” he said with a sigh.