WORLD -- February 14, 2011 at 4:09 PM ET
Iranian Protesters Clash With Police
Protesters in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 14 (Source photo via AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands of Iranian protesters clashed with police in central Tehran's Enghelab, or Revolution, square Monday in the largest opposition show of force in more than a year.
The protesters, emboldened by recent protests in Egypt and Tunisia which unseated presidents, marched down a central street and shouted "death to the dictator" and "down with Taliban, in Cairo and Tehran."
They were met by security forces, who fired tear gas on the crowds. Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's website reported that "Tehran security forces arrested dozens of protesters," though the number could not be confirmed.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the courage of the anti-government protesters and urged the Iranian government to follow Egypt's lead and "open up."
"We are against violence and we would call to account the Iranian government that is once again using its security forces and resorting to violence to prevent the free expression of ideas from their own people," she said.
The Tehran Bureau, a joint project with Frontline, is blogging about events on the ground:
"It was amazing today. About 350,000 people showed up. The crowds came from the sidewalks. There was no chanting on the main avenue. The security forces would try to disperse the crowd once in a while by firing tear gas. People would move to the side streets and start bonfires," wrote one correspondent.