(RadioZamaneh) | February 20, 2010
Head of Iran’s national police forces announced that the February 11 ceremonies were conducted under the supervision of a “single command unit” which resulted in the “exuberant fifty-million people demonstration.” Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam expressed satisfaction with the “coordinated efforts” of the unit.
On February 11, the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Revolution which supplanted the monarchy and established the Islamic Republic, Iranians observed their annual custom of street demonstrations. This year election protesters, who have been protesting for the past eight months against the alleged fraud in the presidential election, had announced that they would stage their own protests on this day. However, they were impeded from gathering as they met with the fierce confrontation of police and security forces.
Satellite images of the day’s events revealed that hundreds of buses were parked along the streets around Azadi Square where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a speech on that day. The opposition claim the vehicles were used to bus in government supporters from provincial cities and towns.
Commander Ahmadi Moghaddam lashed out against opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi who had announced to protesters the time and location that he planned to join the demonstrations on February 11. Without directly naming him, the police chief ridiculed the disputing candidates announcement adding: “He thought we are going to just stand aside!”
Mehdi Karroubi’s convoy was attacked by security and plain clothes forces. They were subjected to tear gas bombs and even Karroubi’s son, Ali Karroubi was briefly detained and assaulted by an unidentified group. The opposition leader was forced to leave the scene.
The police commander claimed that on February 11 “protesters did not come onto the streets because those who are critical of the policies, do not want to mix it with protests against the actual system.”
Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam also warned against collaboration with “foreign” media. He claimed all these “collaborators” are under surveillance and their actions are being recorded. “In time we will deal with them. Of course we hope that they will reform their ways and dispense with any need for police involvement.”
He claimed BBC and VOA are intelligence media of Britain and the US and collaboration with them is akin to collaboration with the “enemy.”