Archive for the ‘Iranian protest’ Category

Iranians Defy Ban and Turn out to Celebrate the New Year

March 17, 2010

U.S. General David Petraeus announced Tuesday that he believed Iran has slid back in its nuclear work and would not develop a nuclear weapon in the year 2010, though he did say that Iran continued to be one of the greatest threats in the Middle East.

Responding to a question asked by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Petraeus—the head of United States Central Command oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—said, “It has, thankfully, slid to the right a bit, and it is not this calendar year, I don’t think.”
The General’s comments came on the Iranian celebration of Chaharshanbe Souri, which marks the beginning of Iranian celebrations of the New Year celebrated on the Spring Equinox.

The Persian New Year Now Ruz (meaning New Day), a more than 3,000-year-old Zoroastrian tradition, celebrates Persian culture and is seen by the Islamic regime in Iran as a test of their power, as there is a dichotomy between many Iranians between their ancient Persian culture and their newly adopted Islamic faith.

This year, the regime in Iran banned the Chaharshanbe Souri tradition of celebration and jumping over constructed fires to ward off evil spirits. Iranians, however, kept the ancient tradition alive and came out, as they do every year, to celebrate.
The New York Times reported there were unconfirmed reports on Iranian opposition websites of clashes between pro-government forces and celebrants in the streets. The semiofficial news agency ISNA reported that 50 people were arrested for “causing disturbances,” while the Fars news agency reported that 220 people were injured on Tuesday.

Opposition leader Mir-Hossein Moussavi on Sunday named the new Iranian year, which begins Sunday, the year of “perseverance and patience.”

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