• 29 December 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

This moving video, also posted on Mir Hossein Moussavi and Zahra Rahnavard’s Facebook page shows hundreds of protesters in the streets on Tehran on Ashura. Amidst peace signs, chants of “Ya, Hossein! Mir Hossein!” “Death the the dictator!” and “Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid! We are all together!” security forces attack with batons and one can hear shots of what seem to be tear gas bullets, although security forces did shoot and kill several people captured on other videos during Sunday’s protesters.


Posted By NIAC

    15 Responses to “More Footage from Ashura: Peaceful Protesters Attacked”

  1. Iranian-American says:

    Looks like the security forces shown in this clip are “hard-pressed in their attempts at re-establishing law and order”.

  2. Pirouz says:

    The relevent segment of this clip is so brief, it’s hard to determine exactly what RC measures are in effect.

    There appears to be a platton or so of IRIPF-SG engaged in crowd dispersal, discharging some form of riot control agent in their move forward. The characteristics of the spray suggest something other than coventional tear gas (Russian PAM?).

    By the looks of it, the crowd dispersal op appears, in its initial phase, to be succeeding.

    Living in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past fifty years, I’ve seen my fair share of riot/crowd control. From the civil rights protests in Oakland, the anti-war protests throughout San Francisco (over a number of decades), to the gay rights protests, I’ve seen more than a few first hand and up close. So while these scenes may appear shocking to the uninitiated, I can tell you that the IRIPF is utilizing non-lethal and less-lethal force, where not too long ago, and still in some instances here in America, lethal force is used.

    This general condition of unrest is new to Iranian police and protesters alike. Expect a learning curve, particularly from law enforcement.

  3. Someone says:

    And what lessons are Tehran’s finest learning in this video, Pirouz?


    Seems the “learning curve” is steeper for this police force than for others.. or maybe they’re just following a different textbook.

  4. Alireza says:

    A question for Sargord Pirouz (aka Pirouz)–

    Having lived in the Bay Area “for the past fifty years” (when not posting on Iranian.com as Sargord Pirouz, of course), surely you could enlighten us to the following question: when was the most recent year in which the San Francisco Police killed scores of protestors?

  5. Rob 1 says:

    I recommend everyone to search videos of protests in the United states from the civil rights movement to the WTO protests. There’s plenty on youtube. And compare between what you see between those back then and what you’ve seen in Iran recently. And link the videos of US police running over people. And women being beaten with impunity.

    Never mind all the protests that are allowed to be taken place, even in front of the White House. Forget about Basij, ansar al Hezbollah, arrests, rape, torture, murder, suppression of freedom, speech, press. That would be just too easy. Take all that out, and focus on “police” brutality and we’ll have an even comparison that will help clear our conscience of recent events.

  6. Iranian-American says:

    Really Pirouz? You can’t be serious.

    just in case anyone still had any doubt that you would find the most bizarre and incoherent ways to defend the Iranian government’s use of violence against innocent people…

    If innocent people were not being arrested and killed by this government, your increasingly far-fetched excuses and defense of the government would be humorous. Since it is almost a certainty that the Iranian government’s actions will only increase in brutality and violence, and given that you’ve already condescended to what I would call pure absurdity and delusion, I, in all honestly, look forward to your future posts. I’m sure they will not disappoint.

  7. Survivor's Guilt says:

    Pirouz you are being disrespectful to those that have died fighting for their freedoms and basic human rights. As a human being you cannot be so naive and think that thier treatment is just.

    In my opinion the comparison to Americans handling rioters and protests are not comparable. The United States is a country that has numerous freedoms that Iran currently does not have. I am sure you enjoy these rights and have enjoyed them for at least the past 50 years. Don’t forget the blood of your ham-vatanha (your fellow countrymen and women) is on the streets of Iran. The same blood that runs in you.

  8. Read Your History says:

    Survivor’s Guilt – “The United States is a country that has numerous freedoms that Iran currently does not have. I am sure you enjoy these rights and have enjoyed them for at least the past 50 years.”

    It’s funny you say that, since the US and Britain were responsible for the overthrow of a legally elected Iranian government during the 1950s. So the US is one of the reasons Iran doesn’t have the same kind of freedoms we have here.

    The US government helped overthrow a pro-US Iranian leader to help Britain maintain control of oil in the region.

    This should give you a place to get started, note that there are plenty of references for the sources of the information in the article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Mosaddegh

  9. Rob 1 says:

    What does that have to do with the domestic use of violence? Since the US overthrow mossedegh, are you implying that it’s completely understandable and justified for this regime to commit these acts on its own people? You can argue against US foreign policy all you want, and i’d be happy to join you. But don’t try to tie this in somehow with comparisons of domestic policy of these countries.

    And there’s no need to link a wiki page to mosaddegh. Everyone that visits this page is completely aware of him.

  10. Survivor's Guilt says:

    First of all I think it is great you use wikipedia. What a credible source. (note the sarcasm)

    I am well aware of Mosaddegh and how the west overthrew any chances of democracy within Iran. I aprreciate your attempt to enlighten me. However this is not about me or you.

    My point was to show that the bravery of the people protesting in Iran is giving them a chance for freedom. They are doing it on their terms. This is their fight and to disrespect it wrong.

    You also have to admit even the some basic freedoms in the US is not enjoyed in Iran. Look at the bigger picture.

  11. Someone says:

    @ RYH

    SG’s reference to the US was in response to Pirouz’s comments comparing police in the U.S. with police in Iran and their respective responses to popular unrest. It was a comparison of domestic policies not a comparison of foreign policies. And his argument is valid.

    That said, I always appreciate when people bring up the case of Operation Ajax, which is only one example among many of foreign meddling in Iran, though one with particular significance. Iranians are in a difficult position of needing to fight to end their oppression at home while staying vigilant against Iran’s enemies abroad.

    It is interesting to note, however, that some of those who took part in the 1953 coup d’etat were from the religious establishment, who had turned against Mossadegh for his openness to all political parties (including the socialists and communists). The prime example is Ayatollah Kashani, who, ironically, is now celebrated by the Islamic establishment in Iran.

  12. Iranian-American says:


    Pretty please give us your excuse for the link Someone posted of police intentionally running over our fellow Iranian brothers and sisters with a truck:

    I’m sure your response will be a real treat as usual.

  13. Someone says:

    IA you crack me up. 🙂

  14. Here are a couple video’s as well. I like this blog, good work reporting!


  15. Iranian-American says:

    Thanks Someone. I must say, I do find myself quite amused by Pirouz’s increasingly ridiculous defense of security forces, and the Iranian government in general. At the same time, it is unfortunate that people try so hard to convince themselves of what they want to believe. It makes the jobs of dictators and oppressors that much easier, when people intentionally avoid the truth.

    “The relevant clip of the truck is so brief that it’s hard to determine who was actually at fault. It appears that there is a truck driven by a police or security officer. The characteristics of his driving suggest the driver is making every effort to avoid the civilians who seem to be trying to be run over. I can tell you from my personal experience in the Bay Area, that police in America have cars especially made to run over innocent children.”

    I’m still learning…

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Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
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Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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