Protesters on streets as Iran marks Revolution Day

Official media said tens of millions of people attended rallies in support of the revolution across the country.

Protesters on streets as Iran marks Revolution Day

Iranian opposition websites said security forces "clashed" with protesters and arrested at least 30 as huge crowds flocked to central Tehran on Thursday to mark the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

Official media made no mention of clashes or arrests and state television said tens of millions of people attended rallies in support of the revolution across the country of 70 million.

Ahmadinejad told a vast, flag-waving crowd of government supporters that Iran has produced its first consignment of 20 percent enriched uranium.

"The Iranian nation is brave enough that if one day we wanted to build nuclear bombs we would announce it publicly without being afraid of you," Ahmadinejad said, addressing Iran's Western enemies.

But he told the crowd in Azadi (Freedom) Square: "When we say that we don't build nuclear bombs, it means that we won't do that because we don't believe in having it."

State television showed live footage of hundreds of thousands of people, some carrying Iranian flags and pictures of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, walking to the square.

An opposition website, Iran's Green Voice, said security forces "fired shots and teargas" at supporters of opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi staging a rally in central Tehran. Mousavi and his wife attended one of the rallies, it said.

Another opposition site, Norooz, said 30 people were arrested in one Tehran square.

A third, Jaras, said security forces attacked another opposition leader, Mehdi Karoubi, and former president Mohammad Khatami. It said the windows of Karoubi's car were smashed but he was not seriously hurt.

"By God's grace ... it was reported that the first consignment of 20 percent enriched uranium was produced and was put at the disposal of the scientists," Ahmadinejad said. "In the near future we will treble its production."

The president said Iran has "the capability to enrich uranium to much higher levels" at its Natanz enrichment plant.

The reports could not be verified independently.

There were no reports of the kind of violence that erupted in late December, when eight people were killed in clashes between security forces and opposition supporters.

Agencies

Last Mod: 11 Şubat 2010, 16:59
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