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Iran: Tehran's Non-Declared Curfew Amid NAM Summit

The 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement started amid heavy security presence in Tehran, August 26, 2012. The 120-nation strong Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), a holdover from the Cold War's pull between East and West, is also seen by Iran and others as an alternative forum for current world discussions.

Iran says it has planned talks on a peace plan to end Syria's civil war, but no rebel factions will attend because of Tehran's close bonds with Bashar Assad's regime.

Tehran's ‘non-declared curfew’

The Summit is being held from 26-31 August  in Tehran. The Iranian State has shut down Iran's capital for five days and has mobilized 110,000 policemen to “guarantee NAM security.”

Logo for the XVI Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. Source: IRNA. Public Domain.

Logo for the XVI Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. Source: IRNA. Public Domain.

Bonbast Akhtar writes:

according to several reports there are several security check points in Tehran and a heavy security presence in Tehran. It is like a non-declared curfew. Security forces also check inside a lot of cars on their way for holidays [Iranian State declared five days holidays during NAM summit]on Chalous Road…Protesters in 2009 [after controversial presidential election] humiliated security forces and now they want to prove their authority and their importance.

Blogger Sayeh Azadi published a couple of photos from security forces and writes if ‘EU and USA had listed Basijs [a paramilitary volunteer militia] on the terrorist list, this regime's beasts would not dare to intimidate people.’

Protesting against the regime?

Security is not the only topic Iranian bloggers talk about, some see the NAM summit as an opportunity to protest against the regime.

Sabzarman writes [fa] the presence of thousands of reporters and foreign guests is a rare opportunity for the Green Movement to make its voice heard in the world. Among other things the blogger invites Iranians to write slogans in English with green spray on posters and walls close to the place where the summit is being held.

A group of students and political activists launched a Facebook campaign inviting Ban-Ki Moon, the United Nations General Secretary who is attending the NAM Summit, to visit detained opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. They published this open latter on the page:

Mr. Secretary General,
I am an Iranian citizen, and as a concerned Iranian I would like to invite you to visit Mr.Mir Hussein Mousavi during your stay in Tehran for the 16th Non-aligned Movement (NAM) summit. Mr Mousavi, the opposition leader, was recently hospitalized due to heart complications after 15 months of house arrest…The democratic aspirations and the just demands of the Iranian people deserve the support of the international community, including the United Nations and the Secretary General. Your position as the international authority entrusted with the responsibility for the protection and promotion of universal human rights accords you a special role. We wish you success in discharging of this historical mission.

Azadi Esteghlal Edalat calls [fa] Iranians to become united with one voice and turn the NAM summit into a nightmare for the regime. The blogger says:

NAM Summit created a golden opportunity to protest against the regime's crimes and support the Green Movement. Hoping people flood the streets. We should try our best for any protest action.

Estade Mordan says [fa]:

I do not understand why noone does anything. This summit is a great opportunity to protest against the regime. How long should we wait for somebody to do something for us. Mousavi? Karrubi?Reza Pahlavi [Iran's last Shah's son]? or Morsi now…I as a member of the Green Movement call for a demonstration on Thursday, Agust 30,2012 from Imam Hossein to Azadi Square, as Mousavi called us to demonstrate three years ago. Let's inform people via social media and all other means.

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