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Archive for Monday, December 7, 2009

Access to Internet blocked before rallies

December 7, 2009

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— Government opponents shouted “Allahu Akbar” and “Death to the Dictator” from Tehran’s rooftops in the pouring rain on the eve of student demonstrations planned for today. Authorities choked off Internet access and warned journalists working for foreign media to stick to their offices for the next three days.

The measures were aimed at depriving the opposition of its key means of mobilizing the masses as Iran’s clerical rulers keep a tight lid on dissent. Government opponents are seeking, nonetheless, to get large numbers of demonstrators to turn out today and show their movement still has momentum.

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi threw his support behind the student demonstrations and declared that his movement was still alive. A statement posted on his Web site said the clerical establishment cannot silence students and was losing legitimacy in the Iranian people’s minds.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, accused the opposition Sunday of exposing divisions in the country and creating opportunities for Iran’s enemies.

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