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July 9th, 2009
07:14 AM ET

Iranian authorities vow to quell protests on key anniversary

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Protests by Iranians, such as this one on June 15, have been defended by the reformist figures."]

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) - The commander of Iran's security forces warned that police would "strongly confront" anyone planning to protest Thursday, a day that marks the anniversary of a pivotal point in Iran's reformist movement.

In an interview with the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Maj. Gen. Esmaeel Ahmadi Moghadam said authorities would confront protesters and that no demonstration permit had been issued for Thursday, the 10th anniversary of a 1999 student uprising that, at the time, posed the biggest threat to the Islamic regime since its inception in 1979.

Tehran's governor Morteza Tamaddon issued a similar warning as the police chief Maj. Seyed Hadi Hashemi told IRNA that authorities are trying to encourage people to leave the capital before Thursday because of severe haze.

Hashemi "urged the citizens to consider Tehran's heavy pollution and travel outside of the Capital for the weekend in order to help reduce traffic," IRNA reported.

Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian said Iranians were scared after a brutal crackdown on those who protested what they called the fraudulent outcome of the June 12 presidential elections. Hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner over his chief rival Mir Hossein Moussavi, a reformist candidate.

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Filed under: Controversy • Iran
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