Iran saw further protests today and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the regime murdered up to nine demonstrators including the nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the real winner of June’s elections.
Sunday was a major holy day in the Shia calendar, Ashura which honours Imam Hossein. Despite this security forces opened fire on protesters killing four, A fifth is believed to have died as a result of head injuries (doubtlessly meted out by British agents provocateur) after being beaten by police. Among the dead was Ali Mousavi, reported to have been shot through the heart.
Demonstrators – many chanting slogans against Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – retaliated by attacking members of the security forces, in some cases ripping off their uniforms and beating them with their own batons. Police cars were set on fire and photographs appeared to show riot officers retreating under a hail of stones.
A further four people were killed and many others injured in the northern city of Tabriz, according to reformist websites. Clashes were also reported in several other cities, including Isfahan, Shiraz, Arak, Mashhad, Babol and Najafabad.
Today's events differed from previous clashes in a way that seemed to herald further turmoil to come. By using lethal force on a day meant to honour one of Shia Islam's holiest figures, the regime may have undermined its claim to uphold Iran's religious traditions. The violent response of the protesters to the security forces was also unprecedented and suggested many are becoming fearless in the face of state repression.
A friend who lives in the centre of Tehran, right has confirmed that it was a grim day. It is a pointer as to what we will see in Iran over the coming months. Hopefully Ahmadinejad and Khamenei will be gone this time next year.