5:47 pm: According to a contact in Tehran, women police are now out in force. Not that the women protesters were free from being attacked, but now there is a special female force solely designed for them.
5:24 pm: LA Times reports that Mousavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard, was also at the rally.
5:21 pm: Tweets from a human rights activist in Iran:
- Kambiz Norouzi, legal secretary of journalists’ union was arrested today.
- Shokoofeh Azar, reporter for Sarmaye Emrooz paper, was arrested in front of Ghoba mosque. Her family have no info.
- Mousavi was in the vicinity of Ghoba today but huge crowd & heavy traffic did not let him enter the mosque.
5:17 pm: Some British embassy officials released
(VOA) Iranian state media is reporting that authorities have released some members of the British Embassy staff in Tehran, one day after eight Iranian staffers there were detained for alleged links to the nation’s post-election unrest.
A report quotes the nation’s intelligence minister, Qolam Hosein Mohseni-Ejei as saying Sunday it has proof that some British embassy employees collected news about the recent protests.
It is unclear how many staffers remain in custody.
3:50 pm: More on Rafsanjani’s statement, as reported by the Iranian Labor News Agency and translated by Sanaz:
Rafsanjani, the head of the Expediency Discernment Council said the aftermath of the elections is a “complicated ploy by suspicious agents whose goal is to create separation between the people and the Islamic regime.” According to Rafsanjani, “wherever people have entered the scene with awareness such a plot has been neutralized.”
3:33 pm: Ayatollah Javadi Amoli Calls for Separation of Powers in Iran
“When one person alone enacts, executes and judges the law, there will be problems” (Translated from Mowj news)
Amoli, who led the Friday prayers sermon in Qom, believes that the best way to resolve the current situation is a separation between the executive branch, the judicial branch and the Islamic jurist. Amoli said separation of powers is not a recent phenomenon and it existed before Islam. “Separation of powers does not belong to a particular century. Islamic and non-Islamic governments have it now, too,” he said.
2:39 pm: “Iranbaan” also reports via twitter that “Mousavi could not join [the] people today but apparently he’s spoken to them through a mobile & a loudspeaker.”
2:32 pm: Iranian activists are reporting that Mehdi Karoubi, Morteza Malekian, Faezeh Hashemi & Effat Mar’eshi were among today’s demonstrators.
This video shows Karroubi with demonstrators, but we can’t confirm if it is in fact from today.
1:55 pm: Video of demonstrators
1:53 pm: Clashes in North Tehran
(Via AP) Riot police clashed with up to 3,000 protesters near a mosque in north Tehran on Sunday, using tear gas and truncheons to break up Iran’s first post-election demonstration in five days, witnesses said.
Witnesses told The Associated Press that some protesters fought back, chanting: “Where is my vote?” They said others described scenes of brutality — including the alleged police beating of an elderly woman — in the clashes around the Ghoba Mosque.
The reports could not immediately be independently verified because of tight restrictions imposed on journalists in Iran.
According to one Iranian human rights activist, the Ghoba Mosque was full and there were “tens of thousands” in the nearby streets. She reports the police are beating people to disperse the crowd.
12:30 pm: Israeli Press – “Good we didn’t bomb Iran”
[E]verything happening at Tehran’s Azadi Square – the amazing coming together of young people, Internet culture, social ferment, and woman power – would not have happened had we listened to the regular bunch of hysterical screamers around here and attempted to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites
What would have happened then? Exactly what happens around here during times of war: The Iranian public would have rallied around the leadership, a wave of patriotic fury would have swept through the whole of Iran, and Ahmadinejad would not have needed to resort to any fraud in order to defeat the reformists.
12:17 pm: Rafsanjani breaks silence, calls for fair and thorough examination of election complaints:
In Sunday’s statement, Rafsanjani praised a decision by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week to extend by five days a deadline for Iran’s top legislative body to receive and look into complaints by the three defeated candidates.
“This valuable move by the Supreme Leader in order to attract the people’s trust towards the election process was very effective,” Rafsanjani told a meeting of families of victims of a 1981 bombing in Tehran that killed many senior officials.
“I hope those who are involved in this issue thoroughly and fairly review and study the legal complaints,” he said.
11:46 am: Is Iran “meddling” in Iraq?
Yes, says Gen. Ray Odierno, Commander of US forces in Iraq. Today on CNN, Odierno said Iran continues to “interfere inside of Iraq.” Although that activity is somewhat reduced, Odierno said that was a result of the improved security situation, not of the Iranians’ intent. Odierno said of the Iranians, “They’re still attempting to interfere in Iraq. They’re still attempting to have undo influence inside of Iraq.”
11:20 am: Iranian employees of British embassy, UN detained:
Iranian authorities arrested eight local employees of the British embassy in Tehran, accusing them of “playing major parts” in the recent unrest over a presidential election, the semi-official Fars news agency reported today.
The eight worked in the embassy’s political section. At least one UN employee has also been targeted:
Iranian authorities have also targeted local staffers of the United Nations. At least one was arrested after she was photographed flashing a supportive “V” signal with her fingers during a rally in support of Ahmadinejad’s challenger, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, in front of the U.N.’s Tehran offices.
11:19 am: The Guardian has a piece examining the battle behind-the-scenes for power in Iran. The article provides a lot of context, but breaks little new ground.
NPR has a story about the CIA’s troubles collecting reliable information on Iran.