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IRAN: More videos show crowd sizes at 22 Bahman rally and demonstrations

February 14, 2010 | 11:14 am

Iran-22bahman1

Newly uploaded videos of the Islamic Republic's 31st anniversary celebrations and protests Thursday gives a better idea of what happened.

The video above shows a fairly large crowd of demonstrators trying to gather on a major Tehran thoroughfare before they are frightened off by approaching security forces. 

Security forces around the world often dispatch plainclothes officers into such crowds to suddenly run away and create panic among those protesters who might be inclined to hold their ground. 

That looks like what happened above, and that's important. It means the Iranian authorities are still determined to use mostly nonlethal and even nonviolent crowd control tactics rather risk a headline-grabbing massacre.

Though heavily edited and blurry, the video below purports to show aerial views of the large crowds of government supporters gathered for a parade in Tehran. 

The YouTube user who uploaded the video, Zelzalosolh, claims to have access to helicopter footage from demonstrations in a number of cities, although all seem heavily edited and overlaid with loud Persian rap music decrying opposition supporters.

The new videos also include scenes from the central Iranian city of Esfahan, where a fairly large crowd of protesters can be seen gathering along the riverbank near the city's historic Thirty-Three Bridge.

-- Los Angeles Times

Videos: 22 Bahman celebrations and protests in Tehran and Esfahan. Credit: YouTube

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