18 June 2009

Iran: Fights in Parliament Over Attacks on Protesters

Etemaad.ir, a Farsi news site, recently posted an item describing an altercation that broke out in Iran's Parliament this week. The MP's had been discussing Basiji attacks on students. Nico Pitney has posted a translation of the story at The Huffington Post (see his update at 2:33 PM ET [6/19]). Excerpt:
After Ansari [MP], Abutorabi [Parliament Secretary] took the floor again and continued questioning the plainclothes security forces once again. At this point Hosseinian, Koochakzadeh, and resaee, the three biggest supporters of Ahmadinejad in the parliament, started a verbal argument which ended with a number of physical fights. As a result a number of pro and ant Ahmadinejad members of the parliament join the fight and start slapping and pushing each other.
Head to HuffPo for the rest.

Additionally, and significantly, MPs claim to know the identities of members of the Basij, and assert that "they will expose the identities of those behind the plainclothes security forces" (qtd. in Pitney). Whether because of these threats or because photographs of Basiji have been posted on the Internet, the forces have started covering their faces (see the 12:12 PM update here). Concerns over being identified suggests concerns about retaliation--either by protesters or, should there be a President, by imprisonment.

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