Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mousavi Supporters Set Fires, Vandalize Buildings in Central Tehran

By Andrea and Justin McMahan

TEHRAN – Just outside of our hotel, supporters of former PM Mousavi set fires and broke windows in protest of the results of yesterday’s election. Motorcycles race up and down the street as protesters play a game of cat and mouse with security officials. Smoke is everywhere. Protesters have broken windows of the Bank of Tehran across the street.

Hotel staff usher foreign and Iranian hotel guests away from the chaos in the street and into the hotel lobby. One protester, his face covered by a Mousavi-green scarf, raced up to a foreigner photographing the scene and demanded she put her camera away.

As reporters on deadline cram the Enghelab Hotel business center in a frantic effort to upload stories, photos and video, the city is locking down. Just within the past hour, when we try to access social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, a message in Farsi indicates that the sites are no longer accessible. Cell phone access seems to have been shut down throughout the entire city.

As the call to prayer rings in the distance, it is unclear if security officials will be able to regain control of the streets of this city.

See below a short clip of the fires burning in the street outside of our hotel.

Updated as of 10:30pm local time.


  1. OPinion:
    The gov't of Ahmadinejad wants to cut a deal with US eagerly, however, in light of the current election, the current gov't is hopeful that by winning this election (whether it is fixed or not remains to be seens) they hope to profit by staying in power. If Moussavi wins, a new gov't will profit from the new relationship that may be in the works with US.
    If Iran reestablishes her ties with the West it will suit the gov't in power to remain in power for a long time. Opening up the doors to a bit more freedom for the frustrated young Iranians is a sprout of hope and it will help Ahmadinejad and his Islamic guardians to get a more permanent seat in the history of Iran. Ahmadinejad tightens the door it will only be detrimental to his next 4 years in power.

  2. Stay safe. And take lots of pictures if you can.