Nightly News   |  November 04, 2009

Iran protest turns violent

Nov 4: Thirty years after U.S. Embassy workers were taken hostage in Iran, Iranians took to the street Wednesday, this time to protest their own government. NBC's Ali Arouzi reports.

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>> nbc news, new york.

>>> overseas tonight, in iran fresh violence in the streets there today as security forces used tear gas and batons to break up anti-government protests on the 30th anniversary of the u.s. embassy takeover. we get more from nbc news tehran bureau chief ali aruzi, the only journalist working for an american broadcaster who is currently in iran.

>> reporter: despite severe warnings by the authorities the opposition used today's ceremony to protest against the government. it didn't take long before the scene turned ugly. thousands of iranian security forces were assembled on the streets to crush opposition rallies and rein in political dissent . shots were fired in the air. tear gas was fired. and demonstrators were beaten with clubs, batons, and fists. authorities wanted to carefully stage manage the events, which was meant to commemorate the storm's of the u.s. embassy in 1979 . the press were constricted to an area outside the u.s. embassy . but this did not reflect what was going on elsewhere in the city as cries of "death to the dictator" eck owed dictator" echoed around tehran . thousands of pro government supporters have shown up here at the site of the former u.s. embassy to celebrate 30 years of the seizure and to vent their hatred toward the united states and israel. but in an ironic twist, the opposition movement are also planning anti-government rallies across the city. defeated presidential candidate karubi joined the crowd, but according to reports he fell to the ground after being overcome by tear gas . witnesses say his supporters carried him to his car, which plainclothes militia attacked as it drove away. the opposition has so far refused to back down. on a day when anti-american sentiment runs high, the opposition was looking for support from president obama .

>> obama ! obama !

>> reporter: chanting " obama , obama , either you're with them or you're with us." opposition has also vowed to convert all future holidays into opportunities for political protests. ali aruzi, nbc news, tehran .