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14 June 2009

Riots Erupt in Iran after Ahmadinejad Declares Victory

from Los Angeles Times by Borzou Daragahi

Huge swaths of the Iranian capital erupted in fiery riots that stretched into the early hours today as hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared victory in his quest for a second term amid allegations of widespread fraud and reports that his main challenger had been placed under house arrest.

At the moment that the president was promising a "bright and glorious future" for Iran in a late-night televised address, supporters of reformist rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi were battling with police and militiamen in riot gear throughout Tehran in the most serious clashes in the capital since a student uprising 10 years ago.

In the streets and squares where young people had danced and waved green banners in support of Mousavi just days ago, baton-wielding officers chased and beat mobs of hundreds of demonstrators chanting, "Down with dictatorship!" and "Give me my vote back!"

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