Iran Protests Swell as Government Escalates Crackdown

Iran Protests Swell as Government Escalates Crackdown

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian authorities have ratcheted up their campaign against anti-government demonstrators by calling in the hard-line militia, the Basij, to enforce order with brute force.

Tehran has been the site of massive street protests on a scale unseen since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Tens, and sometimes, hundreds of thousands have defied government bans, live gunfire, tear gas and mass arrests. Thursday saw hundreds of thousands choking Enkeleb Street, a main thoroughfare -- clad in black to mark the killing of eight protesters by the Basij, with many carrying white flowers or photos of their dead comrades.

But with numbers swelling, the demonstrations are quickly changing from a protest against the elections to an anti-government movement questioning the Islamic Republic itself.

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