Iran bans foreign media from revolution day

10 02 2010

Source

Iran has for the first time banned foreign media from covering Thursday’s street marches marking the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution, amid opposition plans for anti-government protests.

An official coordinating the media told AFP that reporters and photographers were allowed to cover only the speech of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the historic Azadi (Freedom) Square in southwestern Tehran, and not the traditional street marches across the city.

Every year hundreds of thousands of Iranians participate in marches in Tehran and other cities to mark the toppling of the US-backed shah in 1979.

But since a dispute over Ahmadinejad’s re-election erupted last June, opposition supporters have hijacked regime-sponsored events to stage anti-government protests.

Iranian authorities are bracing for such protests on Thursday and have warned of a severe crackdown against protesters.

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