The gathering in front of the Dutch embassy in Tehran that was supposed to convey protests to the Dutch film Fitnah turned up a mere 70 Basiji para-military personnel, while the pro and semi government media gave it its full coverage.
On Saturday prior to this, Salam Hamvatan daily appeared on newspaper kiosks in the morning with this headline: Students from Tehran University Will Gather at 3pm on Saturday in Front of the Dutch embassy in Tehran to Protest the Anti-Islamic Movie made by the Right-wing Dutch Parliamentarian. But on Saturday morning there was no sign of any Tehran University student presence across the Dutch embassy. There were merely a few more diplomatic security police in the area. Around 12 noon, anti-riot police and law-enforcement officers took up positions around the embassy and about 2 hours later, protester began to show up. They carried banners indicating that they were Basiji students, Daftar-e Tahkim Vahdat (Shiraz branch) students, the Association of Independent Islamic Societies (Etehadie Anjomanhaye Islami Mostaghele Daneshgaha), the Association of Islamic Society Students (Etehadie Jame Islami Daneshjuyan), and Jonbeshe Edalatkhah Daneshjuyi students. They were all Basiji students with their usual ways. The gathering finally began after a 30 minute delay at three thirty pm. The protestors carried written notes that were their slogans some of which read like this: “The Light of Islam Would Not Remain Behind Clouds, (while) the Western World Shall Remain Forever; The Love for Mohammad is Boiling, (while) the Heart of Europe is Stunned; This is Our Request: Expel the Dutch Ambassador; Islam Shall Conquer the Key Trenches of the World; The Zionist Ambassador Must be Expelled.”
Some of the protesters carried placards that had nothing to do with the movie and a reporter quipped that they must have brought the sing by mistake. “Death to the Hired Pen”. Among the protestors there were also some women fully covered in the official Islamic attire who carried a placard with ayatollah Khomeini’s words: If not observing the Islamic Hijab is a sign of modernity, then animals are the most modern.”
Towards the end of the gathering, the protestors requested that the Iranian president provide the means for the expulsion of the Dutch ambassador from Tehran. Shahbazi, a protestor from Tehran University Basij said, “To confront Holland, we shall first strike at the Dutch business companies in Iran. We wish to expel the Zionist Shell oil company from Iran, otherwise Iranian youth will have to experience what Nigerian youth went through. Phillips is another Dutch company in Iran. We request from the security and intelligence agencies to deal with these companies and request from the government to make its decision over the fate of Shell and Phillips, whose connections to Zionism are well known, while also deciding on the remaining business companies.”
Of significance is the explosion of sound bombs which interrupted the speakers at the rally. Some of the participants threw eggs at the building of the Dutch embassy, while chanting “Death to Israel”, and “Death to the US”. Law enforcement officers present at the scene intervened to protest this behavior.