Turmoil in Tehran

Hundreds of Thousands Back Iran Gov’t

While major anti-government protests were predicted for Thursday to coincide with Iran’s 31st anniversary celebration of the revolution, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad successfully overshadowed dissidents with scare tactics, a large pro-government rally, and a news-making announcement that Iran is now a “nuclear state.” Hundreds of thousands of Iranians attended the pro-government rally on Thursday in Tehran, where Ahmadinejad declared the country has produced its first stock of 20 percent-enriched uranium—which could be converted to weapons-grade material in six months. As the rally was under way, security forces violently turned on the protesters who went public. PBS writes of the opposition: “Everyone we have spoken to so far this morning has said about the same thing—in a word or two: ‘A big anticlimax,’ ‘defeat,’ ‘An overwhelming presence from the other side. People were terrified.’”