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IRAN: Video footage shows tight security in Tehran on election anniversary [Updated]

June 12, 2010 |  4:58 am

[Updated: 12:17 p.m., PDT: Tehran residents took to their rooftops Saturday and chanted anti-government slogans in what has become an occasional ritual of protest, as shown in the amateur video below.

Protesters didn't take to the streets in huge numbers throughout the day marking the first anniversary of Iran's disputed reelection of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But many activists said they felt they made their point.

"We took to the streets to vent the one-year frustration and agony of the so-called victory of Ahmadinejad, or one year of suffering over the rigged election," Sogol, a 26-year-old clerk at a private company told Babylon & Beyond. "It was a reminder that one year of dictatorship has passed. It was the anniversary of oppression."]

[Updated: 11:10 a.,m., PDT: A recently uploaded piece of amateur video shows protesters walking along a sidewalk in downtown Tehran chanting, "Death to the dictator."

[Updated 8:22 a.m., PDT: Another piece of amateur footage from what looks like a hot protest at Tehran's Sharif University on Saturday.

The demonstrators chant, "Liar! Liar! This 63% that they say, where is it?" in reference to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election victory total.]

[Updated 7:55 a.m., PDT: Fresh clashes erupt on the streets of Tehran, the Los Angeles Times is reporting.] 

[Updated 7:45 a.m., PDT: More video footage, also said to be taken at the protest at Sharif University.

The protesters are singing a patriotic hymn treasured by the opposition.]

[Updated, 6:10 a.m., PDT: New video footage, below, purports to show students on the campus of Tehran's Sharif University. 

They are chanting in support of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.]

No protests or major scuffles have been reported out of Iran as the Islamic Republic marks the one-year anniversary of last year's disputed presidential election. 

But the streets of Tehran are tense with a heavy security presence, according to witnesses and video footage.

Opposition leaders had called off a planned demonstration, disappointing some of their supporters who've vowed to try to take to the streets anyway.

Anti-riot police in full armor gear and Basiji militia men on motorcycles are said to be patrolling several areas of central Tehran, and police helicopters have been circling since early morning along the route intended by the opposition for possible demonstrations on the poll anniversary.

A video uploaded to YouTube  (above) appears to show security forces on alert in a central Tehran area.

Some opposition supporters say they're hopeful that a demonstration will take place later in the day as dusk settles.  

Picture 3Reports are now also trickling in on social networking sites such as the micro-blog Twitter at a steady pace.

A person writing in Persian on Twitter under the name of UNITY4IRAN said that Basiji militias are visible on  Tehran's subway metro while squads of the morality police are apprehending people in allegedly immodest clothing in north Tehran.

Another Twitter user, Onlymehdi, said there were "unconfirmed reports" of chants and minor scuffles at Sharif University.

--Alexandra Sandels in Beirut

Photo and video: Security is said to be tight in Tehran today as the Islamic Republic marks the one-year anniversary of last year's disputed presidential poll. Credit: You Tube.