Rift in Iranian Leadership Spreads to the Streets of Tehran
According to reports from Iran, serious clashes between the rank and file supporters of the Ayatollah Khamenei and the supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad erupted on Saturday, with many protesters severely injured with clubs and machetes.
May 8, 2011 - 11:45 am
In the increasing tension between Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, supporters of each faction, who have been drawing lines in the sand for the past few days claiming that there will be blood, took their disputes to the streets of Tehran.
According to reports from Iran, serious clashes between the rank and file supporters of Khamenei and the supporters of Ahmadinejad erupted on Saturday. Many were severely injured with clubs and machetes. The clashes are said to have been so fierce that the security guards did not intervene and stood aside, watching the brawl.
The routes leading into the Imam Hossein Square and Enghelab Avenue were blocked by the special forces. Civilians were not permitted to enter or exit those city blocks with their cars. The entire area was filled with anti-riot police, plain clothes agents and members of the Basij militia, and although one could not tell the difference between the supporters of Khamenei and the supporters of Ahmadinejad, they themselves could tell each other apart!
Most of the combatants wore black and traveled as a mob on motorcycles. They went from one section to another, hollering and yelling.
In various parts of the area, blood was visible on the street and sidewalks.
The streets of Tehran, especially the western and central parts, are also said to be chaotic. Members of the Basij militia continue to patrol throughout the city and Revolutionary Guards elements are firmly ensconced in many major squares.
Reportedly, a large number of the Vali’eh Amr (supreme leader’s) revolutionary forces are situated on Pasteur Avenue and have surrounded the Shaheed Mottahari Complex where both the supreme leader’s and Ahmadinejad’s offices are located.
Clerical assemblies located in the Naarmak area of Tehran, which serve as funeral homes, have been turned into a military barracks and members of both gangs are said to be intently occupying the neighborhood.
There is no accurate information on the number of injured and killed during the clashes by the two regime factions and so far none of the governmental sites have reported or acknowledged this incident.
The amount of security in Ahmadinejad’s residential area, Naarmak, has quite noticeably increased.
Also earlier today during Tehran’s book fair, the two factions, pro-Ahmadinejad and pro-supreme leader, brawled while security guards stood aside and did nothing. Many were injured.