Confined to Azadi Square, where Ahmadinejad is giving his speech, the international press is unable to report on the protests going on just a kilometre away. Amateur images however are filtering out of the country; our Observers are updating us on events there.
"People have forecast that there will be three million protestors out today"
While there are already tens of thousands of updates on Twitter about the situation at today's Islamic Revolution festivities, not all of the information has been confirmed by journalists there. One of our Observers went to the protest area this morning, here's his first update (received at 9am Paris time):
Alireza is a journalist from Tehran.
There are two sections of the crowd - one for Ahmadinejad fans and the press, who are only allowed to work in Azadi Square, and one for the protestors. Plain clothes officers - not Basij, but intelligence service security forces and police - have infiltrated the crowds and as soon as someone gets out a camera or phone, they are arrested.
Apparently [opposition leader] Mehdi Karoubi was attacked by paramilitary forces when he got out of his car to wave at people just after 10am [8.30am Paris time]. He's really kind of crazy to have done that. People are also saying that [opposition leader] Mohammed Khatemi was also attacked in his car and his brother has been arrested.
People have forecast that there will be three million protestors out today. That's because it's not an illegal march - it's an official celebration so they can't stop them from gathering.
The police have told the Basij to avoid violence, but I find this extremely unlikely, seeing as the people are chanting "The Republic of Iran" (rather than the Islamic Republic of Iran): the one phrase the Basij really can't stand."
Posted at 10:45 (Paris time):
Video taken in the Sadeghiyeh metro station. Posted on Facebook Group "Greenrevolutiongroup".
Video taken in the metro. Location unknown. Posted on Facebook Group "Greenrevolutiongroup".
Posted at 10:15am (Paris time):
"Down with the dictator". Filmed near Sadeghiyeh metro station. Posted on Facebook.
Posted at 10am (Paris time):
At Sadeghiyeh Square, protestors chant “Referendum – the people’s demand”. Video posted on Facebook. Our Observer Hamaad says that this is the first time that protestors have used this particular slogan.
How are they getting the videos out of the country?
Omid is one of our Observers for Iran. He’s following the protests from where he is exiled in Sweden.Seeing as it’s almost impossible to send video by email due to the block on the internet, the only way I think they can get video content out of the country is by using private satellite internet, which means owning a satellite dish at home."
Posted at 4pm (Paris time):
Riot police seen detaining a man. Filmed in Tehran; appears to be close to Sadeghiyeh Square. Exact location impossible to verify. Posted by ""onlymehdi"".
Posted 2:40pm (Paris time):
Near Azadi Street. Posted on Facebook Group "Greenrevolutiongroup".
Posted at 1:55pm (Paris time):
Filmed in the Satarkhan Street area (parallel to Azadi Street). Posted by "onlymehdi".
Posted at 1:45pm (Paris time) :
A poster of Ayatollahs Khamenei et Khomeini ton down by protestors. Posted on YouTube by "freedommessenger20".
Posted at 1:25pm (Paris time):
Location unknown - thought to be on Satarkhan Street (a street parallel to Azadi Street). Posted on YouTube by "onlymehdi".
Posted at 1pm (Paris time):
The first photo of the day. Troops near to Azadi Square. Those in green are police officers. Those in brown are Sepah forces (riot police). Photo posted on Twitter by "Madyar".
Posted at 11:15am (Paris time):
First amateur images from Esfahan, central Iran. Posted by "onlymehdi" on YouTube.