Iran: Qods Day Protest Revives Opposition Movement, Ahmadinejad’s 1st Western Interview, Not Welcome at Posh Hotel, Protest Footage, & more

Protesting Ahmadinejad on Qods Day: “Iran’s opposition Green movement put on a powerful show of strength today against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the hardline president repeated his notorious claim that the Nazi Holocaust was a “lie” designed to justify the existence of Israel. Tens of thousands of people gathered in central Tehran to shout “death to the dictator” despite a heavy security presence and official warnings to the opposition not to hijack the Quds (Jerusalem) Day rally, the regime’s annual display of solidarity with the Palestinians… Strikingly, one of the strongest calls for opposition participation in the Quds Day protests came from Hojatolleslam Sayyed Hassan Khomeini, grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution. In a thinly disguised rebuke to the hardliners, Khomeini called Quds Day ‘a day for the oppressed to resist against the oppressors’, implying that it is also a day of protest against repression and oppression in Iran. People in the crowd were more explicit, chanting: ‘Not Gaza, Not Lebanon. We are ready to die for Iran.'”

Demonstrations Spark Clashes: “Supporters of the opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi fought running battles with riot police and hardliners on the streets of Tehran today as tens of thousands joined the first protests against President Ahmadinejad for two months. The demonstrators defied warnings of a “decisive” crackdown from the elite Revolutionary Guard to mount the protest during the annual al-Quds rally, a mass display of solidarity with the Palestinians that is one of the set pieces of the Islamic regime. Mr Mousavi himself was forced to abandon his own plans to join in the rally after an angry mob shouting ‘Death to the hypocrite Mousavi’ attacked his car. Another leading reformist, the former president Mohammad Khatami, was also roughed up on the streets of Tehran and had to leave after his robe was ripped and his turban fell to the ground.”

Two Irans, one protests Ahmadinejad, the other protests in support of him and Palestine: Press TV alleges: “Millions of Iranians have taken to the streets across the country to mark the annual Quds Day march in solidarity with Palestinians. The late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in August 1979 declared the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as al-Quds Day, calling for international rallies in support of Palestinians and against Israel. Iranians marched nationwide, namely in Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Mashhad, in opposition to the continued occupation of the holy lands by the Zionist regime.”
Protest Footage: Protesters give their last warning to Ahmadinejad.

More Protest Footage: This video includes English captions for the chants in Persian.
Ahmadinejad’s First Interview with a Western Reporter Since the Elections: See the video here. He pretty much refused to answer anything.

Ahmadinejad Not Welcome: “A luxury Manhattan hotel is calling off a banquet for next week after it learned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was planning to attend and give a speech, according to a published report.”

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