After Monday’s funeral services for Grand Ayatollah Montazeri turned into a massive opposition protest in Qom complete with speeches from Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, riot police in Esfahan turned out in numbers, aiming to block a memorial march today.
Needless to say, the mourners didn’t take too kindly to police attempting to foil a memorial service, and in short order a series of clashes broke out between the thousands of mourners heading to the mosque and riot police, leaving dozens arrested.
Tens of thousands of protesters wound up outside the mosque, with hundreds of riot police trying to keep them out with tear gas and clubs. In the end, witnesses say no one was allowed into the mosque.
Which has irked Ayatollah Taheri, the religious leader who organized the Esfahan service, leading him to condemn the security forces’ reaction as “deplorable.” Deplorable, but given the recent spate of clashes between Reformists and police, not unpredictable.
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