The son of the deposed shah of Iran urged nations worldwide on Thursday to withdraw their ambassadors from Tehran to protest against a relentless government crackdown on opposition demonstrators that resulted in at least eight deaths this week alone.
Reza Pahlavi, who has lived in exile since his father was toppled in the 1979 Islamic revolution, also appealed in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for an investigation into human rights violations during the unrest.
The confrontation between Iran’s clerical rulers and their opponents has returned to the streets in recent weeks, after a harsh crackdown immediately following the hotly disputed June election had all but put an end to demonstrations. Despite a continuing tough response from security forces, the opposition movement has regained some momentum.
In demonstrations Sunday, at least eight people were killed in clashes between security forces and opposition protesters on Ashoura, a sacred day for Shiite Muslims. It was the worst bloodshed since the height of the unrest in the summer.
That was followed by two days of pro-government protests Wednesday and Thursday in which crowds chanted calls for the execution of the opposition leaders. A group also posted an online threat that suicide squads were ready to assassinate those leaders if the judiciary did not punish them within a week.
Some government supporters at the two days of rallies wore white funeral shrouds to symbolize… >>>