2220 GMT: Ending with Gratitude. EA took the night off for a music festival (yes, an EA Music Corner special may be coming in the morning).
Thanks to all for contributing information and ideas on an interesting day.
We'll be back early in the morning with the latest news and a series of special analyses on what this Qods Day meant for the Iranian regime and the opposition.
NEW Latest Iran Video: The Claimed Attack on Karroubi’s House (2/3 September)
NEW Iran Video and English Summary: Mehdi Karroubi after 5th Night of Pro-Regime Siege (3 September)
NEW Iran Urgent: Breaking News with Video on Day 5 of Karroubi “Siege”
Latest Iran Video: The Rooftop “Allahu Akbars” (2 September)
Pro-Regime Media Asks, “Which is Worse: Stoning or Prostitution?”
NEW Iran Document: Karroubi-Mousavi Meeting on Eve of Qods Day (31 August)
The Latest from Iran (2 September): Karroubi, Mousavi, and Qods Day
1930 GMT: Larijani Talks Tough on US. Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, speaking to a Qods Day audience, has maintained his public line that it is not possible to hold direct talks with U.S. officials.
“Negotiation with the US is not possible and no one has the right to make compromise with the Great Satan,” said Larijani.
However, on the wider (and relevant) issue of whether Tehran would discuss uranium enrichment with the 5+1 Powers, which include the US, Larijani was ambiguous. He said that, according to the Supreme Leader’s guidelines, Iran’s policy is negotiation but not with the US.
1900 GMT: Checking in from a music festival in the centre of Britain, I find Press TV giving me the truth on the Karroubi siege.
It is largely a straightforward report of "groups of people...preventing (Karroubi) from leaving his residence in Tehran" to attend the Qods Day rally, although the casualties --- a Karroubi bodyguard is reportedly in a coma --- are reduced to "four people were reported wounded".
Then the blame sets in: "Mehdi Karroubi was one of the controversial figures following the 2009 presidential election in Iran and the frenzy that followed the vote in the wake of baseless fraud allegations against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election.
Public anger against Karroubi were intensified after his and other opposition supporters attempted to obstruct last year's Day of Quds rallies by invoking purely nationalistic slogans.
He also created controversy and public rage by airing rumors of jail-rape by unidentified individuals that had claimed to have been detained during the post-election riots."
1620 GMT: How Big Was That Rally? Fars News' lead story is that the Associated Press has reported on Iran's anti-Israel protests today, with "millions" on the streets. Earlier today, Iranian media were concerned that outlets of the "West" were minimising the crowd.
So it would seem the regime is getting very concerned that the world know that today proves it has a lot of support from its people. I'm looking for the proof: so far I can't track down the Associated Press report.
1615 GMT: Karroubi Watch. Mehdi Karroubi's Saham News, down for a few hours this afternoon (see 1445 GMT), is back on-line.
1600 GMT: How Big was the Regime Rally? Iranian Students News Agency posts a set of photographs of today's march in Tehran for Qods Day. This is the largest crowd shot in the set:
1555 GMT: Attacking the Clerics. Aftab News offers a pro-Government version of the clash today in which a pro-regime crowd --- reported by Rah-e-Sabz as "200 to 300 Basij" (see 1400 GMT) --- entered and shut down the Qoba Mosque in Shiraz, the base of Government critic Ayatollah Dastgheib.
The Facebook site supporting Mir Hossein Mousavi posts photos of those injured in the attack.
1445 GMT: Attacks on Karroubi. Mehdi Karroubi's website Saham News (see 1420 GMT) has been taken down by an apparent attack diverting readers to a "dummy" site on financial matters.
1435 GMT: Today's Alice-in-Wonderland Statement. Tabnak accuses foreign media --- who operate, if they can report at all, under strict Government oversight --- of "censoring" reports on the turnout for the Qods Day rally. Mehr levels a similar charge at CNN.
Am I sensing regime worry that the rally may not have been the grand success it wanted? Fars attacks the BBC and al-Arabiya for minimising the turnout.
1430 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Aftab News reports that former President Hashemi Rafsanjani joined today's march for Qods Day.
1425 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Japan has imposed new sanctions on Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme, banning transactions with some Iranian banks and targeting energy-related investments.
Japan approved sanctions against Iran last month, but US officials have been pressing Tokyo to adopt tougher measures.
Despite the pressure, Japan --- a major importer of Iranian crude oil --- but did not impose any restrictions on its oil imports.
1420 GMT: Karroubi Watch. Mehdi Karroubi's Saham News, a primary source of information about the siege of the Karroubi house, has been off-line for the past hour, first with a blank screen and now with a "403 Forbidden" error.
1405 GMT: Perspective. An EA source from Iran offers the following, "The deaths are going on all the time; recently two people from my town were killed by the regime. The families are forced to say they died of natural causes, but everyone knows that the regime killed them. And that is going on in every city, town, and village of the country. People are just disappearing. And those who are being killed are the people no one hears of, and those who do have a voice are being silenced.'
1400 GMT: Shutting Down the Clerics --- Clash in Shiraz. Rah-e-Sabz provides more information on the closure of the Qoba Mosque in Shiraz, the base of Government critic Grand Ayatollah Dastgheib (see 1050 GMT), this morning. The website claims that 200-300 Basij entered the mosque and proceeded to attack the cleric’s students.
1355 GMT: Academic Corner. Iran’s Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Bagher Khorramshad, has cancelled his trip to the Netherlands after protests by the Dutch-Iranian community.
The visit, organized by Clingendael (the Netherlands Institute of International Relations) and the Iran's Embassy was scheduled for 17 September.
1340 GMT: The Karroubi Siege. It looks like this story may take over from the Government's Qods Day showpiece. The latest is that Grand Ayatollah Bayat Zanjani has called Mehdi Karroubi to express his support and praise his resilience, according to reliable sources. Bayat Zanjani denounced the attacks on the Karroubi house and hoped that the pro-regime crowd would cease their activities.
One of Imam Khomeini’s grandsons, Seyed Yasser Khomeini, also visited Mehdi Karroubi to express his condolences and denounce the assailants.
1215 GMT: The Karroubi Siege. The Assembly of Teachers and Researchers of Qom Seminary School has issued a statement strongly condemned the attacks by a pro-regime crowd on Mehdi Karroubi's home.
Karroubi's Etemade Melli party have also put out a statement of condemnation.
1210 GMT: More Tough Talk (see 1040 GMT). General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij military, has complained that "our hands are closed due to treaties" when it comes to actions of Zionists. Naqdi continues, "We are waiting for a foolish move by Israel to erase it."
1050 GMT: Controlling the Clerics. The Qoba Mosque, the base of Grand Ayatollah Dastgheib, is closed for prayers, even though it is a Friday.
Dastgheib, far from coincidentally, is a prominent critic of the Government.
1040 GMT: Today's Tough Talk. Let's hand over to the head of Iran's armed forces, General Hassan Firouzabadi: ""Our developed weapons can hit any part of the Zionist regime....We hope not to be forced to attack their nuclear facility [at Dimona]."
0950 GMT: Karroubi Watch. More information from Saham News on last night's violence by the pro-regime crowd surrounding Mehdi Karroubi's house: the website claims a husband and wife were beaten. The incident allegedly began when the woman, who had her headscarf removed, was spotted using a mobile phone.
Saham News also claims the couple were detained.
Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard, in a phone call to Karroubi, offered their full support "and strongly condemned the hideous and foolish actions of a group of thugs pretending to be Muslims".
0920 GMT: Rah-e-Sabz reports that security forces have flooded 7 Tir and Enghelab Squares and lined roads leading to 7 Tir from the north. Several people have been detained, one allegedly for wearing a Green bandana.
The website also claims security forces with batons are boarding metro cars in Tehran to seek out any Greens. Forces at checkpoints in Tehran and are stopping and searching people.
Mehdi Karroubi's son Hossein says his family home is still surrounded, preventing his father from getting to the Qods Day rally.
0833 GMT: Ahmadinejad's speech ends. Nothing new in a statement which was meant to whip up crowd sentiment against Israel, and certainly no references to the internal situation (apart from the President's repeated, unintended ironies on allowing the people to choose and the media to speak and on the flaws of the West in supporting "sham elections").
The far more important issue, I suppose, will be the reaction that the President's speech gets from others in the Iranian establishment as well as from the population.
0825 GMT: I'm sorry, but I can't keep a straight face when Ahmadinejad enjoins the "West" to "listen to your people" and "let the media speak": "Do not silence them. Let them raise their voice."
0820 GMT: Ahmadinejad, addressing "the US and the West", challenges them --- as the authors of the United Nations Human Rights Charter --- to support a referendum in Palestine and to hold referenda amongst their peoples over Palestine policy.
0815 GMT: Ahmadinejad now appealing to Arab leaders to "let your people be free" to "bring down the Zionist regime". He says, "Instead of relying on American and the West, you should rely on God."
0810 GMT: Ahmadinejad says, "Israel-Palestine direct talks have already failed."
0808 GMT: Ahmadinejad now criticising sham elections in Iraq. (No, he showed no sense of irony or self-reflection with that statement.)
0803 GMT: Now Ahmadinejad gets confident saying that, with the rise of Qods Day, the Zionists are under pressure and "are on the verge of collapse".
0800 GMT: More of the same from Ahmadinejad, as crowd breaks in with "Death to Israel".
0755 GMT: Karroubi Watch. Saham News reports that more than 20 motorcyclists have surrounded Mehdi Karroubi's residential complex.
0748 GMT: More from Ahmadinejad on "moral corruption" and "cultural devastation" of the "Zionist regime": "No culture is immune".
Ahmadinejad says the Zionists have "manipulated history of World War II" with the symbols of the Holocaust", which he calls a "likely crime". He adds that politicians in Europe or North America are "selected by the Zionists".
0740 GMT: President Ahmadinejad is now speaking at Tehran Friday Prayers, commenting on the repression of the Palestinian people and the "occupation" of the area over the past 60 years.
0710 GMT: Press TV is now featuring crowd shots from Kerman in central Iran and Oroumiyeh in northwestern Iran as well as Tehran.
No significant action, so Press TV is playing up the presence of Lauren Booth (the half-sister of Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair) as their correspondent in the centre of Tehran. She is enthusiastic, opening, "Well, I've never seen so many people take to the streets of a capital city in my life. Here we are...on Al-Qods Day 2010 with a million people expected....The message coming from Tehran today, not just to Palestine but to the world, is one of steadfastness, a message of solidarity."
0645 GMT: MediaWatch. No real movement yet, so we settle for the unintended irony of analyst Seyed Mohammad Marandi in Press TV's studio: "After the Revolution, people power is more important."
The host and Marandi continue to talk about "people power, a factor, a big factor". At no point do they reflect, as they speak in post-election Iran, that the term might hold significance in a context different from that of Palestine.
0635 GMT: The Karroubi story continues to hold centre stage as we wait for the Qods Day rallies for the regime. We have posted the video and English summary of the cleric's TV interviews after the violence on the fifth night of the siege of his house by a pro-regime crowd.
0535 GMT: Today is Qods (Palestine) Day in Iran. Established by Ayatollah Khomeini on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, the occasion traditionally shows solidarity with the Palestinian people as they seek independence. Last year, however, the day took on a different tone, as those protesting the 2009 Presidential election and the Government's actions demonstrated on the streets.
A year later, after the regime's suppression of dissent and amidst the continuing turmoil within the system, there is unlikely to be a significant show of opposition. Instead, the question is: can the regime and Government offer an enthusiastic demonstration of support for their legitimacy? The showpiece will be Friday Prayers in Tehran, where President Ahmadinejad will take the podium before Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami offers the Friday Prayer speech.
Already, however, the Government's effort has been complicated, if not overshadowed, by the events of Thursday night outside the residence of Mehdi Karroubi. The fifth night of the siege by a pro-regime crowd escalated into violence that caused damage and injures, as assailants tried to get into the Karroubi house.
An EA correspondent gets to the heart of the issue and thus the possible difficulties for the regime, even as it tries to parade its authority today:
Either Ayatollah Khamenei knews and approved the attack, or he is unable to stop it. Ahmadinejad on the other hand probably knev and secretly approves.This whole sordid affair casts a sorry light over the government's insecurity and its reliance on intimidation and threats in order to cow the opposition into silence.
We have continuing coverage of the Karroubi siege in a separate entry.