Saturday, January 9, 2010

Angry Anti-Karroubi Demonstration at Qazvin

by Mark Pyruz

A noisy round-the-clock protest against anti-establishment cleric Mehdi Karroubi took place upon his arrival at Qazvin (in Qazvīn Province), resulting in bricks thrown and shots allegedly fired into the bullet-resistant glass of his armored SUV.

Opposition press sources and Karroubi's web site blamed FARS New Agency for publishing a story related to his travel to the city. Karroubi's son alleges that he saw several commanders of the IRGC and members of the Basij volunteer force in the crowd that numbered ~500. He went on to state that it was his belief the intent of the shots being fired was to intimidate his father, rather than a serious assassination attempt, and that his father's armed bodyguards did not return fire.

Photo Interpretations:
click photos to enlarge
Karroubi's armored SUV under assault by angry pro-government demonstrators, while IRIPF/SF police ride atop its running boards. Visible is the vehicle's heavy duty wrap around push bumper. It's likely this armored SUV is provided to Karroubi by the state. Note the rock debris and kicked-in side panels. Under a hail of thrown eggs, tomatoes and stones, and shots allegedly fired into the windshields of his armored SUVs (presumably handgun ammunition fired into bullet-resistant glass), after repeated attempts, Karroubi did finally manage to flee the demonstration.

IRIPF/SF (Islamic Republic of Iran Police Force, persian acronym: NAJA) anti-riot police line, many wearing army field jackets. The three in the center may be carrying gas mask bags. Helmets and batons are standard issue. In this instance, police do not appear to be employing anti-riot shields.

The spectrum of the IRIPF (NAJA) is evident in this police line. Visible are two IRIPF cadre officers (center), and a lineup of attached conscript soldiers and regional (or border protection) police in DCU equivalent uniforms. Police interlock arms, while protesters don't appear to confront them in the manner now shown by Green, anti-government demonstrators. There were reports of unsuccessful crowd dispersal operations in effect, but to date none are evident in available open sourced photographs. Note the lack of firearms issued to the police.

Police form up to allow passage of a IRIPF Mercedes C200 police vehicle.

An elevated protester directs all-night chanting towards the residence Karroubi is occupying. At left are IRIPF/SF police in their woodland BDUs. While non-confrontational towards the police and the police on the sidelines, the protesters appear heated and very noisy, no doubt making things very unpleasant for Karroubi and the occupants of the residence.

Photo captures the multi-force composition of the IRIPF presence. Seen are IRIPF/SF, IRIPF conscript-soldiers, IRIPF regional (or border protection) and IRIPF cadre. A demonstrator's megaphone can also be seen near the center.

Chanting demonstrators with homemade "anti-hypocrite" signs. Slogans include "Our city is no place for a traitor", "Death to hypocrites", "Death to Karroubi", "Death to Mousavi" and "Death to Khatami". The majority of protesters appear to be young men, and could be members of the local Basij as well as their supporters. Women protesters do not appear in evidence.

Photos by Rajanews.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These photos where senior IRGC/Basij officers are identified as ringleaders of the orchestrated attack against Karroubi are identified: