Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Despite a general ban on the festival by the regime and repeated demands by the Iranian authorities that people avoid leaving their houses on the day, the main Iranian opposition group, the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) issued a call for the nation to take part in the event and call for the overthrow of the clerical regime. Thousands of people gathered in Vali-Asr Square in the city of Tabriz to celebrate the fire festival. Young people set off smoke bombs and sonic booms. Clashes were reported at Abressan Junction, where a huge crowd assembled.