During its Sunday meeting, the city council members made the decision to promote peaceful protest gatherings in Tehran.
According to a Farsi report by the Khabar Online news website, the proponents of the plan underlined the necessity of implementing the Article 27 of Iran’s Constitution which says public gatherings and demonstrations are allowed as long as the participants do not carry arms and do not violate the fundamental principles of Islam.
On the other side, the opponents of the plan maintained that the plan is politically motivated and the city council should not get involved in security issues.
Over a week ago, a number of peaceful protests over economic problems broke out in several Iranian cities, but the gatherings turned violent when groups of participants, some of them armed, vandalized public property and launched attacks on police stations and government buildings. At least 21 people including security forces lost their lives during the riots.
Following the violent protests, Iranian officials unanimously recognized the people’s right to express their protest over economic woes but stressed the protests need to be voiced within law.
Now, with the new approval of Tehran’s City Council, the proponents say, the council provides people with an opportunity to retain their freedom for public gatherings within the constitution. Meanwhile, they argue that the new plan will prevent foreigners and rioters to mislead peaceful public protests.