Violent demonstrations erupted inside the city of Kermanshah in Western Iran on Monday, December 2, following the discovery of the body of Sunni Muslim cleric who was believed to have been assassinated by government agents.
The cleric, Mollah Mohammad Rabaie, was found dead in his home on Monday morning. Supporters gathering to hold a public funeral for him later that day in the streets of Kermanshah, the capital city of the predominantly Kurdish province by the same name, were attacked by security forces, including Revolutionary Guards troops. According to reports from the region, the funeral quickly escalated into a full-scale confrontation between mourners and security forces, who turned their machine-guns on the crowd. Demonstrators responded by burning government vehicles. Kurdish sources said that "several" persons were confirmed dead in Kermanshah.
By late Monday, clashes were also reported in the Kurdish towns of Rawanser, Paveh, and Jwanrow. The opposition Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran reported that demonstrators attacked banks and government offices in Jwanrow, and beat up the local governor general. In response, Revolutionary Guards troops in Jwanrow opened fire, killing twelve persons.
The opposition Iran Nation's Party reported from Tehran that "dozens" had been killed or wounded during the clashes, and that the local hospitals were filling up with victims of gunshot wounds.
By Wednesday morning, Dec. 4, the INP reported that "thousands of citizens" from the Kurdish city of Sarandaj were moving toward Kermanshah, 60 miles to the south, "in support of local demonstrators." The opposition party said the situation had gotten "out of control."
The Foundation for Democracy in Iran holds the authorities of the Islamic Republic responsible for the deaths of demonstrators in Kermanshah province, and calls on the Teheran regime to stop extrajudicial killings and death squads.
The Foundation is also concerned by an allegation by the INP that the Ministry of Information and Security is plotting to kill INP leader Darioush Forouhar, in an attack on his Teheran home staged as a common burglary.
The Foundation for Democracy in Iran is a private, non-profit corporation registered in the State of Maryland. Contact: Kenneth R. Timmerman, Executive Director (email@example.com). FDI materials, including the FDI Newswire, are available free-of-charge via the Internet at http://www.iran.org/.