Iranian demonstrators gathered in Tehran Saturday at an Occupy Wall Street inspired protest where they showed support for the demonstrators downtown by holding signs that said “We are the 99%” and chanting for the death of America.
Reuters reports “some 300” protesters gathered in front of the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which represents American interests in that country.
“We have gathered here to day to support those that have gathered for the Wall Street movement,” a protester said.
Under the watchful eyes of riot police, the protesters waved signs that said “The End of Wall Street” and “We Are The 99%.” Some protesters marked the occasion by burning American and Israeli flags. One sign showed Wall Street renamed with a “Khomeini Street” sign featuring the Iranian ayatollah.
According to Tehran Times, the protesters came from “a number of students from universities across Tehran.”
The Iranian government has also officially spoken out in support of the protesters. Semi-official Iranian news agency Fars reported Saturday that Zohreh Elahian, chairperson of the Iranian Parliament’s Human Rights Committee, criticized America’s handling of the protests.
“The American nation has rattled the foundations of the Black (White) House through its uprising and as it is seen in the massive suppression and arrest of Occupy Wall Street protesters, it displayed how the US leaders trample upon their citizens’ rights despite their long chanted slogans,” Ms. Elahian said.
Ms. Elahian also called on “the world community and international bodies to defend the American nation’s basic rights against the Black House’s hostile policies and massive arrest and suppression of Wall Street protestors.”
Iran knows a thing or two about human rights and protests. According to Human Rights Watch, the country currently has a “human rights crisis” with mass arrests, “torture and ill-treatment” and crackdowns on protests as the government seeks “to consolidate its power” following a disputed presidential election in 2009.