Wednesday, Feb. 09, 2011

Azadi Square, Tehran

It has been the site of two of Iran's most epochal protest movements. In 1979, thousands of Iranians gathered in Azadi — which means Freedom — Square for numerous protests that eventually led to the overthrow of the Shah. Almost 30 years later, another generation of Iranians flooded the square, this time trying to start a revolution to throw out the once revolutionary regime, which has now become an entrenched theocratic autocracy. The Iranian government, whose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was widely seen to have benefited from a rigged 2009 election, violently snuffed out the demonstrations. Since then, Azadi Square has played host to smaller antigovernment actions as well as gatherings of pro-government Iranians to commemorate the Iranian revolution.