Jaras: Severe clashes between protesters and security and plainclothes forces have been reported on Motahari Street in the city of Rasht.
Some eyewitnesses in Rasht have estimated today’s protesters to be more than last Monday’s demonstrations. The eyewitnesses also spoke of the high number of Basiji, security, and police forces in the city who have attempted to disperse the crowds with threats and intimidation.
Radio France Internationale (RFI)- While receiving accurate news from Iranian cities has become very difficult, various reports indicate sporadic rallies have been held in Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Mahabad, and several other cities. The heavy presence of anti-riot forces has been reported from downtown Tehran. It is reported that some clashes occurred until 4:00pm Tehran time.
RFI has reminded its readers that foreign media representatives are not allowed to be present at demonstrations.
Around 4:00pm Tehran time, eyewitnesses in Vali-Asr Square and Keshavar Blvd reported crowds have gathered and tear gas was fired.
The Saham News website, which has ties to Mehdi Karroubi, reported on the growing number of protesters in Isfahan. It wrote, “Many of the protesters have gathered in groups of a few dozens and sporadically chanted slogans”. Saham News also reported that “around Vanak Square and Mellat Park in Tehran, a large crowd of protesters have gathered. Plainclothes forces on motorcycles are maneuvering around Vanak Square and chanting slogans like “Hezbollah Mashallah”.
Reports of sporadic protests in the cities of Mahabad and Shiraz
Based on various reports, it seems Vali-Asr square is the busiest location in Tehran. Some of the opposition websites claim “anti-riot forces have pulled back to side streets from Vali-Asr Square”, and that the square “has fallen into the hands of the people”.
It must be emphasized that none of these reports are 100% reliable and they cannot be verified with certainty.
Iran Press News – Many people are trapped inside the passages as security forces shut the doors.
Security forces have raided the passages around Vali-e Asr Square (#15 on the map) including Iranian, Vali-e Asr and Reza. The passages have been shut down. People are imprisoned as a result.
Shiraz- People have held protests on Mullah Sadra Street. At the moment, large crowd has gathered. Clashes have erupted between people and plainclothes officers.Shiraz protesters running away form security forces | February 20, 2011
Esfahan- Large crowd has gathered in Enghelab Square. Basidj forces, which appear to have been caught by surprise by the size of the crowd have a relatively smaller presence. Some students are chanting slogans.
Tabriz- People have gathered in Abresan, but the police does not allow protesters to stop and form a rally. Most of those present at Abresan are students.
There has also been [unconfirmed] reports of explosions in Arbesan.
People have also gathered at Saat Square of Tabriz.
According to Iran Press News, large crowds have taken over Esteghlal Square and the surrounding areas in the city of Mahabad. Armed forces are unable to control the crowds.
People are chanting slogans, throwing rocks at the security forces, and charging toward them. The flames of fire can be seen from far.
Saham News- Based on eyewitness news reports, gatherings have started in some parts of Tehran. There is a strong presence of anti-riot guards in the main squares.
Between Enghelab and Vali-e Asr Square (#4 to 9 on the map), Haft-e Tir Square(#7 on the map), and on Sohrevardi Street(#20 on the map), crowds have gathered and they are chanting slogans like “Allah-o Akbar” (God is Great).
Armed forces and anti-riot guards on dozens of motorbikes have shut down Vali-e Asr Square (#15 on the map). There are also reports of a gathering near Jam-e Jam and people are chanting Allah-o Akbar.
7:30pm- [RZ] Kaleme news reports on an increase in dispersed gatherings in Tehran as night falls. Gatherings are increasing in certain areas of Tehran, including Vali-Asr Street, Chahar Rah Parkway, Mirdamad and Hafte-Tir squares. Government forces are clashing with pro-democracy demonstrators at Mirdamad Street and Hafte-Tir Square.
6:31pm– [RZ] RAHANA reports that protesters have been beaten up in the city of Mashhad:”In Rahnamyei Street and Parastar Street in Mashhad, security forces beat up and assaulted the people who had come to the street to honour the memory of those who were killed on February 14 protests”.
6:05pm- [RZ] In Shiraz, it has been reported that on Mullah Sadra and Chamran streets people are moving in large numbers but in smaller groups, and no big gathering has been formed…the presence of plainclothes militia and the police is strong. Shops are closed in routes where people have shown up in large numbers.
5:44pm- [RZ] An eyewitness told Radio Zamaneh that “There are people present at Enghelab Square but not as much as some reports indicated, and nobody is chanting slogans. People are just moving in smaller groups and marching”.
5:39pm- [RZ] Leyli Pourzand wrote on her facebook page some 40 minutes ago: “I just had a call from Vali-e Asr Square in Tehran. The caller was saying that people are trying to get to Vali-e Asr street from the side streets. There is a very large crowd. People are walking and silently marching on both sidewalks. The security forces are also present in large numbers. The clashes are sporadic for now. The caller said that it was an interesting scene and continued that (s)he had never seen a crowd of this size walk so wisely and quietly on the sidewalk.”
5:20pm- [DW] There are reports from Tehran that protesters are chanting harsh slogans against Iran’s Leader [Khamenei] such as “We did not get killed so that we compromise, and praise the murderer leader ” adn “Seyyed Ali, hope you die/and see Ben Ali[deposed Tunisian dictator]”.
5:15pm- [RZ] An eyewitness has told RAHANA, “Near state radio and TV complex, severe clashes have taken place between people and security forces. Security forces have fired tear gas on the protesters”. The eyewitness also heard gunshots being fired. According to RAHANA, 2000-3000 people have gathered in Vali-e Asr Square (#15 on the map) and are chanting “Death to Dictator”.
4:10pm- [RZ] An eyewitness told Radio Koocheh, “The clashes between anti-riot forces and people in Enghelab Square (#9 on the map) has left 15 wounded. There has also been several arrests. ”
4:00pm- [RZ] An eyewitness has told Radio Zamaneh that the city of Mahabad (in Iran Kurdistan) has become the scene of unrest. Anti-government protesters have gathered in several main streets of the city. They have set tires and garbage bins on fire and shut down the streets. There are also reports of the “People’s movement” in the city of Sanandaj (the capital of Kurdistan province)
3:25pm- [RZ] An eyewitness told Radio Zamaneh, “There are so many security forces in Vali-e Asr Square (#15 in the map), that one cannot move. There are people as well, but nobody is chanting slogans yet.”