One protester dies in Iran clashes, opposition leader detained (Second Lead)

February 15th, 2011 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Feb 15 (IANS) One person was killed and many were wounded in fierce protests in Iran, police said. Lawmakers Tuesday condemned the anti-government demonstrations, while opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi was placed under house arrest.The dead man was a bystander and was shot by “Monafeghin”, or the Paris-based People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (PMOI), Mehr news agency quoted deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan as saying.

Nine security personnel were wounded, Radan said, blaming the US, Britain and Israel for provoking unrest in the country. Police have arrested some PMOI members.

Press TV reported that MPs Tuesday denounced the call for rallies by defeated presidential candidates, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

According to AKI news agency, Mousavi has been placed under house arrest.

His official website said the move was made to keep him from taking part in a demonstration in solidarity with the pro-democracy protests that toppled Eyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

Police have taken similar precaution against fellow leader Karroubi.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani condemned the protests and blamed the US and Israel for the move.

Prosecutor General and judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said the judiciary will “firmly and swiftly” deal with those behind the riots.

He also said the anti-government protests were sponsored by the US.

Anti-government groups, including the Mujahedin Khalq Organisation (MKO), staged demonstrations in Tehran Monday.

Supporters of Mousavi and Karroubi gathered in parts of the Iranian capital and asked for permission to hold a rally “in support of the people in Tunisia and Egypt”. But officials refused to give permission and declared all such rallies illegal.

The government has said no more demonstrations were needed as the Iranian people have already expressed their solidarity with the Egyptians and Tunisians on the sidelines of rallies marking the 32nd anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution Feb 11.

According to Xinhua, Iranian security forces fired teargas shells to disperse protesters who had gathered at a Tehran square in support of demonstrations in Egypt and Tunisia.

Clashes were reported to have taken place at the Enghelab Square in Tehran between security forces and protesters.

People in separate groups, silently and without chanting slogans, moved towards the Azadi Square, but security forces chased them away.

Gatherings were also reported from Imam Khomeini Square, Haft-e-Tir Square and on Karim Khan and Vali-e-Asr streets.

Authorities have also blocked websites and satellite news channels in an effort to disrupt communications that could help organise protests.

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