Britain calls on Iranian authorities to protect Freedom of Expression and Association
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 15 /Trend, I.Huseynov/
British Foreign Secretary William Hague following protests in Iran on Monday called on Iranian authorities to protect Freedom of Expression and Association, the official website of the British Foreign Office reported.
"I have seen reports today of peaceful demonstrators being assaulted by Iranian security forces. President Ahmadinejad last Friday told the Egyptian people that they had the right to express their own views about their country. I call on the Iranian authorities to allow their own people the same right and to ensure that the security authorities exercise restraint", said in Foreign Secretary's statement.
Earlier U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed support for the thousands of protesters in Iran's capital, saying they "deserve to have the same rights that they saw being played out in Egypt and are part of their own birthright"
Clashes began between demonstrators and police in the Iranian capital and several cities of the country on Monday, the official website of opposition Kaleme.com reported.
According to the report, Iran's National Security Forces used tear gas against protesters gathered in the squares Azadi and Ingilab in Tehran.
The Iranian site RaheSabz.net reported that police fired at demonstrators in the "Azerbaijan" avenue and one person got injured.
Kaleme.com reported that more than thousands demonstrators went on the streets in the cities of Shiraz and Isfahan. The police tried to disperse the protesters.
Rallies have already spread to cities Kirmanshah, Reshd and Khomeneisheher. Access to mobile communications has been closed in many Iranian cities, particularly in Tehran.
Ex-Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, as well as former Interior Minister Abdullah Nuri, has been put under house arrest
A protest action has started on the squares of Azadi and Engelab in Tehran, Kaleme.com reported earlier.
On Monday Iranian police also surrounded the opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's house and blocked all phone lines to prevent him from participating in a rally in support of the Egyptian protesters, Kaleme.com opposition website reported.
According to the website, four representatives of law enforcement agencies in civil barred Mousavi's wife Zahra Rahnavard's way when she intended to leave the house.
Last week, one of the opposition leaders Mehdi Karroubi was put under house arrest.
According to his son, who tried to visit his father and was stopped by police outside Karroubi's house, he was told that all family members and friends, except spouse are not permitted to visit Karroubi. The ban will be valid until Feb.14.
According to the website, presumably Karroubi was arrested due to the fact that he and Mir Hossein Moussavi on Monday sent a letter to the Interior Ministry with a request to give them and their supporters a permission to hold a rally in support of the peoples of Egypt and Tunisia on the Imam Hussein and Liberty squares on Feb. 14. It was planned that the rally will be held at 15:00 local time on Monday.