Understanding what happened on July 30th and its consequences

August 1, 2009

By looking at the videos and photos of the July 30 protests (40 day anniversary of Neda Aghasoltan and other martyr’s deaths) one sees a shift in the tactics of Iran’s security forces.  While there are two videos of police firing tear gas into the crowds, there seems to be no gunshots.  There has not been any new video of police violently ganging up on protester and violently and senselessly beating them.  The plain clothed thugs with big sticks have also been absent in the recent videos and photos. 

It appears that the outcry against the use of excessive force has had an effect and the government has tried hard not to give the green movement any new martyrs. While the security forces have been out in force, and have charged the crowds and used tear gas and batons to disperse the crowds, they appear to have been far more restrained in their response.  The government is pressing with instilling fear into the hearts of the protesters but has refined its tactics to make sure that fear does not turn into rage.



  1. There is a video of basij outside the cemetery, a young man fights them off, they shoot at him with what looks like live fire. Check youtube or twitter #iranelection.

    See Reuters July 31 for this: “Baton-wielding Iranian police fired tear gas yesterday and arrested protesters mourning the young woman killed in post-election violence who has become a symbol for the opposition to Tehran’s hardline leaders.” “Plainclothes security agents and riot police beat protesters with batons and police fired tear gas, witnesses said. At least three protesters were arrested and police smashed the car windows of drivers who honked their horns in support of the demonstrators, one of the witnesses said.”

  2. Is this the video you are refering to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrfQhjMBRiw

    This is one of the videos I mentioned as being tear gas. The size of the gun the police man in holding in his hand, the amount of fire that comes shooting out of it, and the slow speed of the projectile make it look far more like tear gas than bullets. Bullets move too fast to be visible to the human eye. That velocity gives them enough force to penetrate their targets. If not please provide a link to the video you are mentioning.


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