9:00 PM Tehran time - 5:30 PM GMT
Eyewitness account, BBC Persian: I went to Namazi Square and the place was full of plainclothesmen, motorcyclists, Basijis, anti-riot police, and every other kind of security force. There were so many of them. I saw so many knives being shaken in the air by the plainclothesmen. No one dared say a thing. I just want to ask, if we are so insignificant, why so many security forces? This is an admission on the part of the government.
8:30 PM Tehran time - 5:00 PM GMT
Tear gas is fired at a group of protesters as they begin to congregate near buses used to transport 'regime supporters' to Tehran...
Lines of troops among the people...
7:50 PM Tehran time - 4:20 PM GMT
BBC Persian's call-in program, 'Your Turn', provided some eyewitness accounts of today's events.
Amir, Tehran, SMS message to BBC Persian: 'I walked from Enghelab Square to Azadi Square, and then back all the way to Ferdowsi Square. I've never seen such a security presence. Basijis and plainclothesmen were also among the crowd. I was stopped and checked three times.'
Caller to BBC Persian, Hamid, Tehran: 'I attended today's march. There were three types of people. First, around Azadi square, there were the usual 200,000 regime supporters. Second, going north towards Sadeghiyeh Square, there were provincials who had been bused in. I spoke to a few of them and was amazed. There were people from Khorramabad, Zanjan, Hamedan... They had been brought to Tehran from very far away. Usually the regime transports people from the close environs of Tehran for these events. The third group was the greens, who for the most part had unwillingly been mixed up with the official demonstrators. I am a green. But we couldn't do anything. I've never seen so much security, and I've been to every protest except Ashura.'
Caller to BBC Persian, Parsa, Tehran: 'The presence of police and Basijis was overbearing. When we joined the march, we cautiously exchanged looks to see which side we were on. I was just there as a green with grievances and had no desire to engage in violence. But we couldn't express anything. An old man near me showed a V-sign to a helicopter flying over us. A second later, three young people jumped on the old man and took him away. I don't know where they took him. We stayed true to ourselves and were not violent, unlike the regime. Look at what they did to Karroubi. Obviously these people don't think we belong to this nation. This movement was not created in one day, and it will not be destroyed in one day!'
7:10 PM Tehran time - 3:40 PM GMT
More footage of the stifling security presence today...
6:50 PM Tehran time - 3:20 PM GMT
Security forces continue to clash with opposition demonstrators in various parts of Tehran, including Arya Shahr and Ferdows Boulevard. Basijis and police who have been stationed in the city since last night are reportedly exhausted and have been compelled to retreat on several occasions.
This video shows protesters chasing away security forces...
6:45 PM Tehran time - 3:15 PM GMT
Protesters continue to demonstrate in Chamran and Namazi streets.
Footage of a Basij motorcycle burning in Sadeghiyeh, north of Azadi Square:
Brutality of security forces...
6:40 PM Tehran time - 3:10 PM GMT
Kalemeh, opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's news site, reports that Mousavi's wife, Dr. Zahra Rahnavard was kicked and beaten with batons by a group of regime goons in Sadeghiyeh Square, north of Azadi square. She was saved by bystanders. Kalemeh also reported that Mir Hossein Mousavi had been prevented by club-wielding plainclothesmen and police officers from joining the demonstrators on Azadi Street.
Raja News, close to Ahmadinejad, had previously reported that Mousavi and Rahnavard had never showed up at the rally. Fars news, close to the Revolutionary Guards, employed a tired tactic and reported that Mousavi had escaped the people by donning a woman's chador. The regime already used this method when it arrested student leader Majid Tavakoli and announced that he had tried to escape by wearing women's clothes. (For more on this, click here)
A photo posted by Nedayeh Sabzeh Azadi shows anti-riot forces arriving at the celebrations earlier today:
6:10 PM Tehran time - 2:40 PM GMT
Pageantry and good fun at the regime's 'celebration':
In response to regime reports that Karroubi and Khatami only had about 100 supporters on the streets today, ePersian Radio asks: 'How is it that Karroubi and Khatami who supposedly only have 100 supporters came to the streets today, but Khamenei with his 50 million supporters didn't dare show his face?'
Mohammad Taghi Karroubi, son of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, spoke to BBC Persian about the attack on his father near Second Sadeghiyeh Square: 'A rock was thrown at him and it hit him on his head and the police directly shot tear gas at him. Someone offered to drive him away and the security forces savagely attacked the car. He is now at home and he is ailing. His head has been injured and he has a hard time breathing. His eyes are completely swollen shut. One of our brothers was arrested today. I don't know how this matter will be resolved with this kind of behavior on the part of the government.'
Eyewitness to BBC Persian: (This also confirms previous account by a woman from Isfahan) We were in northern Charbagh Street. Near Si-o-Seh Pol (Thirty Three Bridge), there's a police station and there were plainclothesmen, Basijis, police officers all around the park near the river. They attacked the people whenever they tried to gather in groups, sometimes driving their motorcycles into the crowd. Twice, I saw the security forces charge people near Azar Bridge.'
5:50 PM Tehran time - 2:20 PM GMT
Bizim Tabriz News, a local Azerbaijani news site, reports an embarrassingly low and languid turnout for the regime's celebrations in Tabriz (population about 1.5 million). (for full article and photo gallery click here):
Bizim Tabriz writes: 'Reports and photos indicate the feeble presence of some schoolchildren and government employees in the 22 Bahman ceremonies. We have received reports that gifts and food were offered to the participants on a level unseen in 31 years. By editing footage of the events, state television tried to show that large numbers of people attended the ceremony.'
Amateur footage of the Tabriz 'celebrations' can be seen below. The cameraman giggles as an old man waves a flag and tries to get someone to repeat his call of 'Death to America!' The rest is equally comical.
5:20 PM Tehran time - 1:50 PM GMT
Aryashahr district, north of Azadi Square... The protest anthem 'Yareh Dabestani Man' (my old schoolfriend) overwhelms listless calls of 'Death to America!'
5:15 PM Tehran time - 1:45 PM GMT
Protesters hurl rocks at Basijis who are attacking greens... 'Basijis have become savage!'
Reports of clashes on Enghelab Street and Enghelab Square.
Telephone number for Intelligence Ministry: +982188889704 or 05
Blogs and FaceBook pages are announcing gathering points for further protests today:
Tehran - Aryashahr, Vali Asr crossroad, Ferdowsi Square, Laleh Park, Evin prison, in front of state radio-television.
Tabriz - Abresanan Street, College Square
Isfahan - Charbagh.
5:00 PM Tehran time - 1:30 PM GMT
Footage purportedly from today:
Tehran's Ferdowsi Street:
Photo of Khamenei gets torn down as cars honk in support...
4:50 PM Tehran time - 1:20 PM GMT
The sound of drumbeats on garbage cans and smoke in the distance...
Caller to Radio Farda: From early morning, when we came out of our house, we saw buses bringing people into the city. The regime supporters getting off the buses were given Iranian flags and, something strange, green flags. It was impossible to get to Enghelab Square. The regime supporters were in Charbagh Street and the protesters were in North Charbagh, all the way to Kowsar Hotel. Some young people who were with us decided to advance quicker than us. They went to Azar Bridge, where plainclothesmen were beating protesters with chains and brandishing knives. The young people told us they would stay until nightfall. It was terrifying, but I wanted to tell you that us Isfahanis are active.
4:40 PM Tehran time - 1:10 PM GMT
A caller's account to Radio Farda seems to confirm the piece written by a blogger below: 'I was in Sadeghiyeh and though people were not holding up any symbols, I think most of them were against the regime because they wouldn't respond to the official chants from the loudspeakers. The security forces attacked the crowd violently, with cables, batons, and gas. Where I was, I can say that the 22 Bahman celebrations did not take place. I saw a small gathering of regime supporters and even they were dispersed by the police. The people were beaten and I even saw some seriously injured individuals. That's what happens when you're attacked with chains. But no shots were fired.'
4:30 PM Tehran time - 1:00 PM GMT
Khamenei's picture gets trampled:
4:25 PM Tehran time - 12:55 PM GMT
Smoke and the sound of helicopters over the streets of Tehran, purportedly from today:
Protesters jeer helicopter flying overhead:
A blogger who participated in this morning's rally in Tehran writes the following account:
1. From 10 AM, I went down Ashrafi Esfahani to Second Sadeghiyeh Square, down Mohammad Ali Jenah to Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri overpass. (NB This route is along one of the north-south roads which lead to Azadi Square. There have been clashes all day in this area.). Then I went back up the same way.
2. There were many greens, but they were dispersed. The crowd was much bigger than I'd anticipated. But no one was chanting any slogans or showing any green symbols. As soon as someone would chant or even show a V sign with his fingers, they'd charge him and arrest him. To give an idea of the proportions, between 10 AM and 11 AM around Second Sadeghiyeh Square, 60% of the crowd were protesters, 20% were Ahmadinejad supporters, and 20% were police and Basij forces.
3. From 11 AM, when Ahmadinejad started his speech, the protesters went north towards Pounak Square and chanted 'Death to the dictator.'
4. The police and Basij were extremely violent. They attacked people with chains, batons, electric cables, and pepper gas. The interesting thing was that they didn't care who they beat. They sometimes beat their own supporters who were there for the ceremony. Their main concern was to prevent any gathering of greens. In practice, they sacrificed their own ceremony to disperse protesters. Interest point: many of the people who had turned up in support of the regime were very scared. I saw many people who turned around and left for fear of being beaten. Perhaps in the future they will not consider regime demonstrations to be picnics.
5. In short, the sedition, to use their own phrase, was not subdued this time either. Despite all the violence, executions, and arrests a portion of the people are still not afraid and they voice their protest in the streets.
6. A major part of the protesters (myself included) participated in the march without any green symbols. The climate was such that it was impossible to congregate. Those of you who watch the images on media outlets will surely be unable to identify this crowd, but dispel any preconceptions you may have about the crowd that was demonstrating. All the people that are shown on Iranian television are not regime supporters. A significant portion (I don't know how many, but in Aryashahr it was at least half) are protesters.
3:40 PM Tehran time - 12:10 PM GMT
Swedish police repelled Iranian protesters who were attempting to take over the Islamic Republic's embassy.
After getting free transportation on chartered buses, 'regime supporters' flock to a stand to get free goodies.
3:20 PM Tehran time - 11:50 AM GMT
Caller to ePersian Radio: I made it to the front steps of state radio-television (NB near Vanak Square, north Tehran) with about 2,000 people. We almost managed to take over the radio-television broadcaster, but security forces arrived in great numbers and shot tear gas at us. I ran away, but many people were arrested. My eyes are stinging badly. A family helped me get away. I'm tending to my wounds.
3:15 PM Tehran time - 11:45 AM GMT
Protesters have raided the Islamic Republic embassy in Stockholm, according to two sources.
Sadeghiyeh district, north of Azadi Square. 'Referendum, referendum, this is the people's slogan!' and 'Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein!'
A police car was set on fire in the Bazaar area south of the main official route, according to a caller who said he witnessed it from his apartment window.
Demonstrators have been protesting the regime since noon, from Naderi Street toAbadan crossroads.
3:05 PM Tehran time - 11:35 AM GMT
Footage purporting to be from today. 'Political prisoners must be freed!'
Low-flying helicopter over Tehran:
Callers to ePersian Radio describe how they have called the Intelligence Ministry's hotline set up for denouncing protesters. First caller: 'I called the number and there was a message to press 5. I did this and then a gentleman with an Azeri accent answered. I said I'm calling from abroad and wanted to get some information about today's events. He said I should watch the satellite channels. I said I had, but wanted real information because state media were saying that 50 million regime supporters had demonstrated today. He laughed and said go fool someone else.' Caller 2: 'I called the same number, but I wasn't as polite. I said I knew of a rioter. He was very happy and asked for more information. I said that Ahmadinejad's wife had become a prostitute in Beirut and was causing riots.' The Intelligence Ministry's hotline is 009821113. Please do not use it to make prank calls. That would be impolite.
Caller to ePersian radio: Listen to this. I'm in Tajrish. (NB North Tehran) (Loud sounds of chanting: 'With God's help, victory is near. Death to this deceitful government.'
2:50 PM Tehran time - 11:20 AM GMT
Footage purportedly from today. Protesters shout 'Death to Khamenei' as they are chased by Basijis:
2:45 PM Tehran time - 11:15 AM GMT
Chant in Sadeghiyeh which is still the scene of heavy clashes: 'Death to the Supreme Leader!' A police van and motorcycle were set on fire.
Raheh Sabzeh Azadi: The protesters are showing surprising resistance in the face of security forces throughout the city. Anti-riot police are being redeployed from Azadi Square to hot spots.
Automated SMS messages were sent to random people last night (picture to the right): '22 Bahman is the day of the destruction of the sedition. [signed:] Intelligence Ministry communications department.'
2:30 PM Tehran time - 11:00 AM GMT
Protesters plan to take to the streets again at 4 PM, according to several FaceBook pages of groups within Iran.
Reports of at least one protester shot to death in Tehran. Protesters allegedly captured the gunman and managed to take away his ID card. The alleged killer's name is already being distributed on the Internet, but this blog will not post the name until the dust settles and the veracity of this news is confirmed.
Nedayeh Sabzeh Azadi claims that Mir Hossein Mousavi was present among the throng of protesters earlier today.
2:15 PM Tehran time - 10:45 AM GMT
Photo posted by the Iranian Students News Agency shows security helicopter flying over Azadi Square:
Several mosques in the area around Azadi Square handed out gold coins and coupons to stay in luxury hotels next to the Caspian Sea as 'regime supporters' walked by, according to a listener who called ePersian Radio. 'I can't even make enough money to buy bread and this is what they do to our oil money!'
Clashes continue in Aryashahr and Sadeghiyeh district, north of Azadi Square. People chased a security vehicle in which several arrested protesters were held.
2:10 PM Tehran time - 10:40 AM GMT
Footage purporting to be from today. 'Political prisoners must be freed!'
2:05 PM Tehran time - 10:35 AM GMT
Caller to ePersian Radio: Thousands of protesters are moving from Aryashahr towards Evin Prison in the north of Tehran.
Eyewitness accounts to Mardomak appear to indicate that the intense security presence has thus far managed to neutralize any significant gathering of protesters.
2:00 PM Tehran time - 10:30 AM GMT
Footage purporting to be from today:
1:50 PM Tehran time - 10:20 AM GMT
Tear gas fired on Paramount Street. Thousands of protesters chanted 'Death to the dictator' and 'Death to Khamenei.' One report cites close to 20,000 people were present all the way to Saadi movie theater.
Clashes are taking place in western and northern Tehran. Jaras reports that very large crowds have converged in the area around Vanak Square, northern Tehran. Security forces are having a hard time dealing with the mas of people.
There are also reports of unrest in North Kargar Street. The number of protesters AND Basijis is increasing by the minute.
Caller to ePersian radio: Their celebration ceremony went to sh**! I saw security forces take a foreign journalist away. They took his notebook and everything and drove him away. The police is patrolling the streets and stopping anyone they can get their hands on. Ahmadinejad was giving his speech and just a few hundred meters away, the people were fighting security forces.
1:40 PM Tehran time - 10:10 AM GMT
Clashes breaking out around the city as protesters play cat and mouse with the security forces.
Footage purporting to be from today. Security forces charge people:
'Cannons, tanks, Basijis no longer work!'
Basij forces in camouflage uniforms are present in 7th Tir Square. People are continuing to arrive. There is absolutely no mobile telephone service in the area.
1:20 PM Tehran time - 9:50 AM GMT
Severe disruptions in mobile telephone and Internet services.
Caller to ePersian Radio: We've filmed the clashes that took place in Aryashahr but we can't upload because Internet connection is so slow. There were so many buses around Azadi Square. I don't know where they brought these people from. I'm going out again to join the protesters.
Anti-riot vehicles bought from China are being employed close to the state radio-television, near Vanak Square. Vehicles have hot-water cannons which are being used on the people.
Caller to Radio Farda: SMS service is completely cut and mobile telephone service keeps getting cut.
1:05 PM Tehran time - 9:35 AM GMT
Very strong security presence on main artery from Enghelab Square to Azadi Square.
Caller to Radio Farda: As the official ceremony winds down, we're seeing the departure of supporters who were bused in (NB see video below for a look at long lines of buses). The people left on the streets are the protesters.
Video purpoting to be from today, near Vali Asr Square. 'Death to Russia!'
12:50 PM Tehran time - 9:20 AM GMT
Video of long lines of buses which brought 'regime supporters' to Tehran:
Strong presence of protesters in Aryashahr, north of Azadi Square.
Footage almost definitely from today, outside Sadeghiyeh subway station in Aryashahr. 'Referendum, referendum, this is the people's slogan!' This is a new slogan and strongly suggests this video is from today:
12:45 PM Tehran time - 9:15 AM GMT
Chant heard on Tehran streets this morning: 'Referendum, referendum, this is the people's slogan!'
Video purporting to be from today. Protesters chant 'Death to the dictator' on Tehran subway car.
Footage purporting to be from today. 'Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein' in Sadeghiyeh subway station, situated in Aryashahr, north of Azadi Square, east of Second Sadeghiyeh Square:
12:35 PM Tehran time - 9:05 AM GMT
Some footage of Ahmadniejad's speech at Azadi Square. This is from state TV's feed so must be taken with a grain of salt. Many sources say that Tehran is cloudy, but state television is showing blue skies:
Expediency Council chief Hashemi Rafsanjani is on Palestine Street.
12:20 PM Tehran time - 8:50 AM GMT
Mohammad Reza Khatami, former President Khatami's brother, and his wife Zahra Eshraghi, Khomeini's granddaughter, were released an hour after their arrest.
Footage from yesterday shows free food packages being prepared for 'regime supporters' who often come to official ceremonies to receive handouts:
12:10 PM Tehran time - 8:40 AM GMT
Hossein Karroubi, son of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, to Radio Farda: Security forces attacked my father and his entourage as they walked south towards Second Sadeghiyeh Square. They beat the people with batons and shot paintballs at them.
12:00 PM Tehran time - 8:30 AM GMT
Shots were fired towards protesters north of Azadi Square, in Aryashahr, according to Jaras. It appears that that Second Sadeghiyeh Square is becoming one of the main protest fronts in Tehran.
Female caller to ePersian Radio: Poster of Khamenei was set on fire on Behboudi Square. My back aches from a paintball shot. These security forces have no idea -- we're wearing several coats and can change our clothes so we're not identified from the paint. We're waiting for Ahmadinejad's speech to end. We'll stay on the streets until late today.
11:45 AM Tehran time - 8:15 AM GMT
State TV live footage shows very close shots of Ahmadinejad giving his speech, but it looks like wider shots are being 'controlled.' For example, the same footage of supporters is repeatedly broadcast between shots of Ahmadinejad. Blue skies in other footage seems strange as Tehran is cloudy today. One caller to ePersian Radio says a person on Azadi Square was shown holding a sign insulting Khamenei. The person was shown twice, according to this caller.
A security motorcycle was set on fire on Vali Asr Square. Clashes near state radio-television building north of Tehran.
First reports of unrest near Si-o-Seh Pol (Thirty Three Bridge).
First reports of unrest in Setad neighborhood.
11:30 AM Tehran time - 8:00 AM GMT
Car bearing former reformist President Mohammad Khatami was attacked and its windows were smashed, according to Mardomak.
Jonbesheh Raheh Sabz: Mohammad Reza Khatami, former President Khatami's brother, has been arrested along with his wife Zahra Eshraghi, the granddaughter of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Update on Ali Karroubi's arrest: Opposition leader Karroubi's younger son was arrested as he tried to protect his father near Second Sadeghiyeh Square.
11:20 AM Tehran time - 7:50 AM GMT
Side streets around 7th Tir Square are filled with security forces. People are milling on the sidewalks. No clashes yet.
Euro News showing footage of Ahmadinejad's speech, using Iran state TV's feed. Strangely, spectators who are shown in the footage are not holding signs or flags.
Hossein Karroubi, opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi's son, just called Radio Farda and said that his younger brother, Ali Karroubi, has been arrested.
11:00 AM Tehran time - 7:30 AM GMT
State television broadcasting live from Azadi Square and Ferdowsi Square... The following screen capture shows what appears to be tear gas hanging over Ferdowsi Square at 10:22 AM Tehran time, 7:22 AM GMT.
10:50 AM Tehran time - 7:20 AM GMT
Helicopters flying very low just north of Azadi Square.
Very large crowd, mix of Basijis and protesters, near University Street, close to Tehran University.
Despite massive security presence, pockets of protesters holding green ribbons and other distinctive signs have amassed on the north and west sides of Azadi Square and their number is growing.
10:40 AM Tehran time - 7:10 AM GMT
Several sources report that there are clashes in Aryashahr, near Second Sadeghiyeh Square. Tear gas is being employed.
ePersian radio's reporter: Karroubi arrived at Second Sadeghiyeh Square. He was attacked physically. He got back in his Peugeot 405 and drove away. The car's windows were smashed.
10:30 AM Tehran time - 7:00 AM GMT
Some reports that epic poet Ferdowsi's statue has been draped in green on Ferdowsi Square.
10:25 AM Tehran time - 6:55 AM GMT
Female caller to ePersian radio: I'm in Aryashahr and from the subway station all the way to Aryashahr is full of people. The people are running in the direction of Azadi Square. I can see some religious people clashing with the people. Can you hear the people? (sounds of Allah Akbar in the background) It hasn't gotten to the point of lobbing tear gas yet. There are helicopters flying overhead. They've been flying over the city since midnight. If I die today, it won't be a problem.
10:10 AM Tehran time - 6:40 AM GMT
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's vehicle arrived at Azadi Square, where he will be giving a speech.
Opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi announced yesterday that he would be joining the march at Second Sadeghiyeh Square, the starting point of one of the official routes just north of Azadi Square, at 10:00 AM. There is no news yet of his arrival.
The protesters plan to infiltrate the official routes of today's marches which will begin at 9:30 AM at seven locations in Tehran and move towards Azadi Square:
View Tehran - Official routes for revolution anniversary - 9:30 AM, Thursday, 11 February 2010 in a larger map
Last night, February 10, 2010
The Islamic Republic News Agency web site was brought down by hackers. It is unclear whether the state's official news outlet will be able to post articles on this historic day.
A prelude to today's protests... The people chanted 'Allah Akbar' from their rooftops at 10 PM Tehran time.