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Exclusive: Government taken aback by protest adverts


Iran Focus

Asharq al-Awsat cartoon, 10 June 2010 (Ahmadinejad and 'change')Tehran, Jun. 10 - Iranian officials are concerned by "unprecedented" levels of political graffiti appearing in streets in Tehran over the past month, Iran Focus has learnt.

A confidential report circulated within government agencies tasked with security matters described such levels of political graffiti as unseen in the past 31 years of the Islamic Republic.
 
Anti-government graffiti, including slogans such as "Death to [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei," and "Don't forget 10-20 June," were all over the walls in many districts of Tehran, on the back of seats in public buses and in telephone kiosks. The main opposition has called for 10 days of protests coinciding with the anniversary of protests last June.
 
The hard-line Revolutionary Guards and the paramilitary Bassij have been overwhelmed by the defiant attitude of activists who have braved arrest and detention to publicise the protests. The Bassij has been ordered to paint over the graffiti and write slogans in favour of the regime in their place.