Iran Readies for Anniversary Protests

Iranian authorities are conducting last-minute security sweeps, deploying forces across Tehran, and warning residents to refrain from participating in antigovernment protests planned for tomorrow. The government typically organizes large, festive-like rallies and demonstrations to celebrate the anniversary of the Islamic Republic. However, this year, opposition leaders have called for protestors to demonstrate against the regime on Feb. 11, the last day of the annual festivities. Government officials have responded by vowing to confront demonstrators on the streets and calling for government supporters to turn out in large numbers, in addition to busing in supporters from farther-out regions. There have already been disruptions in Iran’s telecommunications, particularly Internet and text messaging. Google’s email service will also be permanently suspended, and a national email service will soon be rolled out, according to Iran’s telecommunications agency.