Iranian women take key role in protests

By Emily Bazar, USA TODAY Negar Mortazavi, who lives in Washington, D.C., stays in touch with Iranian friends who have been protesting in Tehran. On Saturday, a male student described on the phone violent clashes between protesters, police and plainclothes militia. One scene stood out, and "he couldnt believe his eyes," said Mortazavi, 27, who came to the USA from Iran in 2002 and is helping to coordinate protests in the United States. "He decided it was time to start running when the police were coming. He turned back and saw some women still standing," she says. "These women are not afraid." Iranian women have been on the front lines of anti-government protests challenging the official results of the June 12 election, in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the victor.