Increasingly vocal opposition groups are now calling for an end to the Islamic Republic after a weekend of violent clashes during the Shiite holiday of Ashura.
Jacob Schneider of the Connecticut National Guard, 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment hugs his mother Lori Schneider (r.) at the William A. O'Neill Armory in Hartford, Conn. on Wednesday. Two units of the Connecticut National Guard are returning home for the holidays, thanks to a fundraising effort that will bus them back to the state from bases in Wisconsin and Indiana. They have been training for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan early in the new year.
Iran security forces stepped up clashes with protesters in Isfahan Wednesday, the birthplace of dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, whose death has energized the opposition.
German Bundeswehr army soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) wear Santa Claus hats as they attend a Christmas celebration at Camp Marmal in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, on Dec. 22.
The death of Iran cleric Montazeri “is also a blessing – it brought people out again,” said an engineering student, one of hundreds of thousands who turned out. Eyewitnesses report pro-regime basiji and mourners in verbal clash inside Qom shrine.
Even after the passing of this most respected Islamic scholar, the idea of Montazeri that the legitimacy of leaders comes the people will continue to fuel protests in Iran.
The eye of a goose is pictured at the Schwarzbauer geese farm in Hohenried near Ingolstadt, Germany on Friday. Geese are traditional food in Germany during the Christmas season.
A Human Rights Watch report released today contradicts claims by Guinea military leader Moussa Dadis Camara and his would-be assassin, Lt. Abubakar "Toumba" Diakite, that they were not responsible for the Sept. 28 massacre. At least 150 Guineans were killed in an afternoon.
A glass blower makes a New Years glass bauble at a factory in Klavdiyevo, Ukraine, on Dec. 16.
An environmental activist wearing a sign reading "Viva la Revolucion" talks to a lady during a demonstration in Copenhagen on Dec. 15 on the sidelines of the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference. Ministers at the UN's climate conference on Tuesday wrestled over key issues bedevilling an envisioned worldwide pact to roll back the threat of global warming.