Britain urges restraint from Tehran over demo

14th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain called on the Iranian authorities to exercise restraint and allow people to express their views freely as riot police moved in on demonstrations in Tehran on Monday.

"I have seen reports today of peaceful demonstrators being assaulted by Iranian security forces," Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a brief statement.

"President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad last Friday told the Egyptian people that they had the right to express their own views about their country.

"I call on the Iranian authorities to allow their own people the same right and to ensure that the security authorities exercise restraint."

Riot police on Monday fired tear gas and paintballs at protesters staging anti-government demonstrations in Tehran under the pretext of rallies supporting Arab uprisings, websites and witnesses said.

The demonstrations, staged despite a ban on rallies, marked the first anti-government protests in Tehran since February 11, 2010, when activists took to the streets to mark the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

© 2011 AFP

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