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'It is a revolution in progress in Iran'

June 23, 2009 11:58 IST

A general strike of private businesses is being planned across Iran and supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi unlikely to back down, could be portents of a revolution in the making, after new amateur videos surfaced showing clashes between police and protesters.

A video posted on YouTube on Tuesday appears to show riot police flooding the streets of Teheran in an attempt to disrupt large-scale protests in the wake of Iran's disputed presidential election, FOX News reports.

Freelance journalist Kayvon Biouki, quoting his sources, said a general strike was planned across the country. He said he did not know if any government entities were planning on participating.

"The genie is out of the bottle. I don't think that there is a stop to all of this. I anticipate protests continuing until conservative forces give in, either by holding new elections or otherwise surrendering," Biouki said.

"By the look of things, it doesn't seem that the conservatives are going to back down. And at the same time it doesn't seem that people, Mousavi supporters, and all those who oppose the Iranian system in one way or another, those are not going to back down from this either.

"In a way, it's a revolution in progress," Biouki said.

Just before the clashes on Monday, an Iranian woman who lives in Tehran said there was a heavy police and security presence in another square in central Tehran. She asked not to be identified because she was worried about government reprisals.

"There is a massive, massive, massive police presence," she told a foreign news agency. "Their presence was really intimidating."

In another amateur video that was apparently shot at night, shouts of "God is Great" and "Death to the Dictator," are reportedly heard in the darkness.

Iran says at least 17 protesters have been killed in a week of unrest so far after the electoral council declared hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winner of the June 12 election.

His main challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, charged the election was a fraud and insists he is the true winner. His followers have been staging near-daily rallies, at least one of them drawing a massive crowd of hundreds of thousands.

Image: Demonstrators protest against the Iranian election
Photograph: Molly Riley/Reuters

Source: ANI