Iran Blocks Foreign Press as Thousands Protest
Government cracks down on communications, arrests reformists
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2009 4:41 AM CDT
Thousands of people waving Iranian flags and pictures of the supreme leader massed yesterday at a rally organized by Iran's clerical regime.   (AP Photo/ISNA, Saman Aghvami)
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(Newser) – Supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are planning more rallies today, despite an appeal for calm by the country's supreme religious leader. Iran has banned international journalists from the protests after Monday's violence at a Mousavi demonstration, where seven people died. But state television, which showed rallies in Ahmadinejad's favor, is being allowed to operate. Reporters in the country working for international news outlets are not being allowed to leave their offices or hotel rooms, reports CNN.

While the Guardian Council has promised Mousavi a recount, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appeared to rule out any change in the final outcome by referring to Ahmadinejad as Iran's "elected president." In addition to press restrictions, the government is clamping down on text messaging and online video sites, although savvy young Iranians are finding ways around the censorship. Several reformist politicians, including a former vice president, were arrested yesterday for allegedly orchestrating violence.