Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Iran Votes to Boost President’s Power





Iranian voters have bolstered President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's power by continuing to support the dominance of Islamic conservatives in parliament.

Related article:
">'Death to Ahmadinejad,' Iranian crowds cry (link to article)

TEHRAN, March 19 (UPI) -- Many Iranian youths rallied in streets across the country, shouting "Death to Ahmadinejad," in celebrations marking the end of the Persian calendar year.

The last Wednesday of the Persian calendar is celebrated as the Fire Festival in Iran, with bonfires and firecrackers marking the occasion.

In the western city of Ahvaz, angry mobs declared "Freedom is our legitimate right" while demonstrators in the western city of Sanandaj shouted "Death to (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad," Ynetnews reported Wednesday.

The police in Tehran were out in force and, though they were met with a barrage of firecrackers, the situation didn't escalate beyond what is typical for the Fire Festival, local reports cited in the news report said.

Ahmed Raza-Radan, the police chief in Tehran, warned demonstrators against violating the rule of law in a news conference.

"The police force has resolved to detain any party-goers who break the law. The secret police will have full control, and will not hesitate to photograph citizens for evidence," he said.

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