Karroubi offered a sharp comparison, asserting that even the Shah respected the day of Ashura and gave orders for people to be able to commemorate it as they wished..
2155 GMT: Closing and Wondering. As we get to the end of the day, a tentative assessment of the signficance, "A 5-Minute, 5-Point Reaction to The Events of Ashura". (For those who want to see what 24 hours can bring, see our analysis yesterday in Edward Yeranian's article for the Voice of America.)
2150 GMT: Rah-e-Sabz reports that the brother of Abdollah Nouri, Minister of Interior in the Rafsanjani and Khatami Governments, was severely beaten in Isfahan today.
NEW Iran: A 5-Minute, 5-Point Reaction to The Events of Ashura
NEW Latest Iran Video: The Ashura Protests (27 December — 3rd Set)
NEW Latest Iran Video: The Ashura Protests (27 December — 2nd Set)
NEW Latest Iran Video: The Ashura Protests (27 December)
NEW Iran: A Tehran Map for Today’s Events
NEW Iran Uncovered: The Top-Secret Obama-Ahmadinejad Relationship
NEW Iran: The False US Friends of the “Iranian People” (An Open Letter to Charles Krauthammer)
NEW Latest Iran Video: Attack on Jamaran Memorial/Khatami Speech (26 December)
Latest Iran Video: Eve of Ashura Protests (26 December — The Jamaran Videos)
Latest Iran Video: The Eve of Ashura Protests (26 December)
The Latest from Iran (26 December): The Eve of Ashura Demonstrations
2040 GMT: Desperation. Press TV, citing Fars, reports --- presumably with a straight face:
A source with the Iranian Intelligence Ministry has announced the arrest of a number of Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorists in the anti-government protests that sparked in central Tehran.
At right, a stunning photograph to set beside the story: an anti-riot officer, wearing a green headband given to him by demonstrators, joins the "MKO terrorist" crowd.
2035 GMT: Martial Law?! Rah-e-Sabz is reporting that martial law was declared at 9 p.m. local time in Najafabad.
The website is also claiming "unprecedented police violence" outside the IRIB buildings.
2030 GMT: Ashura & Mousavi. A crowd have gathered outside Ebn-e-Sina Hospital to mourn and support the family of Mir Hossein Mousavi. Mousavi's nephew Seyed Ali died in the hospital today after being shot in demonstration in Enghelab Square.
2020 GMT: The US Comments. The White House has issued the following statement:
We strongly condemn the violent and unjust suppression of civilians in Iran seeking to exercise their universal rights. Hope and history are on the side of those who peacefully seek their universal rights, and so is the United States.
Governing through fear and violence is never just, and as President Obama said in Oslo -- it is telling when governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation.
2005 GMT: AUT News reports on Internet chatter we've heard all evening: Mohammad Moin, the son of Mustafa Moin, former reformist Presidential candidate and Minister in the Rafsanjani and Khatami Governments, was arrested today.
2000 GMT: The Ashura "Martyrs" in Tehran. Rah-e-Sabz has named the five people killed in the capital today: Mehdi Farhadi Nia, Mohammad Ali Rasekhi, Amir Arshadi, Shahram Fraji, and Seyed Ali Mousavi.
1950 GMT: What We're Watching. Reports of clashes outside buildings of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and in squares and avenues across Tehran: Mirdamad, Karegar, Enghelab, Azadi, Tajrish, and 7 Tir.
1835 GMT: And Tonight? From a distance, it feels like the final round of a heavyweight boxing match. The challenger --- having landed some mighty blows and even putting the champion (if you can call the regime "champion") on the ropes --- has punched himself/herself out.
So the protests tonight are smaller, with security forces preventing a mass gathering. For example, groups tried to congregate in Mohseni Square but were contained along Mirdemad Avenue.
Yes, it feels like the final round. Except that you and I know it is far from the final round, right?
1715 GMT: I'm Telling You, They Set the Koran on Fire! That's Fars News' latest attempt to tarnish the protests (which only hours supposedly had not occurred).
1705 GMT: A 3rd set of videos from today is now posted.
1635 GMT: Rouydad is now reporting on the Arak protest and clashes, and we have video from there and Najafabad.
1550 GMT: Beyond Tehran. Josh Shahryar is summarising:
Protests in Mashhad can be confirmed now. Protesters gathered outside Grand Ayatollah Sane’i’s house and at Imam Reza’s Shrine. At least 17 people were arrested – most of them students. Many people were injured in clashes as well.
Protests in Babol can be confirmed too now. Many protesters – including a young girl – were beaten badly by security forces here.
The number of people arrested in Tehran has reached at least 10. The number is probably going to rise. At least 4 people were also killed here.
So far, the protests could be confirmed in Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad, Babol, Ardabil, Qom and Najafabad.
In addition, an Iranian source is reporting protests and clashes in Arak.
1510 GMT: Mousavi's Nephew Dead. A "close aide" to Mir Hossein Mousavi has confirmed the killing of Mousavi's nephew Seyed Ali by security forces this afternoon.
1500 GMT: Understatement of the Day. Press TV takes the gold medal: "The Iranian capital on Sunday witnessed sporadic anti-government protests on the anniversary of the Shia Muslim Ashura religious event."
1420 GMT: Parleman News is reporting that Seyed Ali Mousavi, Mir Hossein Mousavi's nephew, was shot and killed in today's demonstrations. Mousavi was reportedly slain in Enghelab Square around noon local time (0830 GMT).
1350 GMT: Rouydad News is reporting clashes in Tabriz, with "probably at least four" killed.
1330 GMT: The Official Interpretation. Islamic Republic News Agency writes that a "cult of Mousavi" has caused chaos in Tehran, damaging public property and inconveniencing citizens.
IRNA also tries the story of a group of students out to cause trouble, with foreign media on hand to report "uproar and chaos".
Fars News reports on same lines,
1245 GMT: Taking the Streets? We have been busy looking at and uploading footage, starting a second set of vide0s, of the demonstrations. The images indicate that, at least for periods today, protesters have beaten back security forces --- despite the first deaths in months --- and taken control of sections of Tehran.
Rah-e-Sabz, still under cyber-attack, has reported, "Police forces are refusing their commanders' orders to shoot at demonstrators in central Tehran....Some of them try to shoot into the air when pressured by their commanders."
1135 GMT: Reports now of protests in Babol.
1130 GMT: Still a fluid situation with reports of gatherings and clashes throughout Tehran and in other cities. We have posted the first set of videos from today, including dramatic footage of protesters fighting back against security forces, especially at College Bridge (Pole Kalej). One report claims the forces relinquished Val-e Asr Square to demonstrators.
1025 GMT: Reformist websites are now confirming the 4th death. Reliable sources says a 5th person has been killed outside Amir Kabir University.
0955 GMT: 4th Death? Sources are reporting that a person has been killed in demonstrations at Vali-e Asr.
0950 GMT: Rah-e-Sabz confirms that its site is under attack.
0940 GMT: Mardomak confirms no live footage from Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, unlike past years, of Imam Hossein Square in Tehran.
Meanwhile, Ironic Journalism Award of Day goes to Press TV. After showing ceremonies in Zanjan (but not Tehran), the channel reported very seriously that Moharram marches have been banned in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
0930 GMT: We've posted the first claimed video of today's protests and also the link to a useful map of Tehran.
0925 GMT: Beyond Tehran. Reports now coming in of protests in Isfahan, Shiraz, and Najafabad.
0915 GMT: Deaths of Protesters? Rah-e-Sabz (which is up but is difficult to access because of overload) is reporting three people killed and two injured in the area near Kalej Bridge (Pole Kalej).
0830 GMT: We are watching carefully the torrent of claims of clashes across the capital, including claims that security forces have backed away at certain points in the face of determined protesters. BBC has now posted, "Tehran police 'fire tear gas at opposition protesters'."
0815 GMT: Mardomak reports tear gas fired in Enghelab Square and clashes in Imam Hossein Square. After clashes at Amir Kabir University, the crowd has been dispersed.
0810 GMT: Rah-e-Sabz, before it went down, also reported tear gas at Vali-e Asr.
0805 GMT: Fancy a Lighter Moment? It promises to be an intense day, so if you need a break, have a look at our special world exclusive, based on minutes of investigative journalism, "The Top-Secret Obama-Ahmadinejad Relationship".
0755 GMT: Watching reports of clashes at Imam Hossein, Vali-e Asr, and Enghelab Squares.
0745 GMT: The reformist site Rah-e-Sabz, a key source in recent days for "Western" media, has just gone down. The site had just reported tear gas used in Enghelab Square and the closing off of Vali-e Asr crossing.
0740 GMT: Mardomak is reporting clashes at Ferdowsi Square and heavy traffic around Pol-e Choubi.
0715 GMT: First unconfirmed reports of clashes in Tehran, mainly at Imam Hossein Square and 17 Shahrivar Street.
0711 GMT: Nothing to See Here, Go Away. Press TV still repeating the history and religious background of Ashura over and over, against live shots from Taft. Just keep talking --- even though nothing new is being said --- and maybe no one will notice the current political context and events.
0700 GMT: Press TV are carrying live shots of the Ashura ceremony in Mashhad and Taft. No word of Tehran, however.
0655 GMT: The reformist website Rah-e-Sabz reports an "extensive security presence" in Tehran, noting in particular forces around Imam Hossein and 7 Tir Squares.
0640 GMT: Drama and Polemic. We've posted stunning footage of yesterday's attack on the Jamaran memorial.
And we've finally caught our breath to highlight our analysis of the embrace of the "Iranian people" by American "false friends", trying to use the movement to extend US power in the name of the "new birth of freedom".
0625 GMT: A hat-tip and a heads-up for coverage of events. While we were down because of host problems yesterday, we noticed the good work being done by the LiveBlogs of The Daily Nite Owl (EA correspondent Josh Shahryar) and of IranNewsNow. Both are already in action this morning.
0605 GMT: AUT News reports that, in addition to the disruption of the Jamaran memorial and the speech of former President Mohammad Khatami by plainsclothes "thugs" (see yesterday's updates), 2000 Basiji surrounded the mourning ceremonies at Dar al-Zahra last night.
Ferehsteh Ghazi has a detailed report, in Persian, of the events and violence at Jamaran. Robert Mackey's blog for The New York Times draws from several sources for a summary.
0600 GMT (0930 Iran time): The holy day of Ashura, marking the death of the third Imam, Hossein, at the hands of Yazid's forces at the battle of Karbala, has begun. Government forces reported "in large numbers at all intersections from Enghelab to Azadi Squares" in Tehran.