'The authorities are losing control of what's happening on the streets and that's very dangerous and damaging to them' (www.flickr.com: Shahram Sharif)
via ABC News:
Extraordinary scenes: Robert Fisk in Iran
The long-standing Middle East correspondent for The Independent, Robert Fisk, is defying the government crackdown on foreign media reporting in Iran.
As he explains, he has been travelling around the streets of Tehran all day and most of the night and things are far from quiet:
I've just been witnessing a confrontation, in dusk and into the night, between about 15,000 supporters of Ahmadinejad - supposedly the president of Iran - who are desperate to down the supporters of Mr Mousavi, who thinks he should be the president of Iran.
There were about 10,000 Mousavi men and women on the streets, with approximately 500 Iranian special forces, trying to keep them apart.
It was interesting that the special forces - who normally take the side of Ahmadinejad's Basij militia - were there with clubs and sticks in their camouflage trousers and their purity white shirts and on this occasion the Iranian military kept them away from Mousavi's men and women.
In fact at one point, Mousavi's supporters were shouting 'thank you, thank you' to the soldiers.
One woman went up to the special forces men, who normally are very brutal with Mr Mousavi's supporters, and said 'can you protect us from the Basij?' He said 'with God's help'.
It was quite extraordinary because it looked as if the military authorities in Tehran have either taken a decision not to go on supporting the very brutal militia - which is always associated with the presidency here - or individual soldiers have made up their own mind that they're tired of being associated with the kind of brutality that left seven dead yesterday - buried, by the way secretly by the police - and indeed the seven or eight students who were killed on the university campus 24 hours earlier.
Quite a lot of policeman are beginning to smile towards the demonstrators of Mr Mousavi, who are insisting there must be a new election because Mr Ahmadinejad wasn't really elected. Quite an extraordinary scene.
There were a lot of stones thrown and quite a lot of bitter fighting, hand-to-hand but at the end of the day the special forces did keep them apart.
I haven't ever seen the Iranian security authorities behaving fairly before and it's quite impressive.
Certainly the authorities were very struck by the enormous number of people who turned out for Sunday's march ... from the Square of Revolution to the Square of Freedom.
I walked alongside that march the whole way and was stunned to find one million people at the end, it must have been one million at least.
There were seven killed after that instant alone so we're having a lot of deaths, much more than we realise, in fact some people say there are more deaths than have been recorded.
There was 100 metres of no man's land between these thousands of people and I actually walked up and listened to a Basij guy urging his people on to attack the forces of the opposition, saying 'we fought and defended our country in the Iran-Iraq war and now we have to defend it again and we have to move forward'. You could actually just walk a few metres and talk to Mousavi's people.
Some of them came down and tried to embrace the Basij and indeed the leaders who support the man who indeed thinks he is the president. One man, in the Muslim tradition, tried to kiss him on both cheeks and the Basij man moved back irritably and angry, he didn't want to be touched by this man.
There was a great deal of anger on the part of Ahmadinejad's supporters.
Safe to report
No-one's told me not to drive around so I go and see wounded people and go and watch these confrontations and no-one seems to bother me.
I rather think an awful lot of journalists take it too seriously. If you get in a car and go out and see things, no-one's going to stop you, frankly.
I went to the earlier demonstration in the centre of the city, which was solely by Ahmadinejad's people, immensely boring, although I did notice one or two points where they were shouting 'death to the traitor'. They meant Mousavi.
You've got to realise that what's happening at the moment is that the actual authorities are losing control of what's happening on the streets and that's very dangerous and damaging to them.
It's interesting that the actual government newspapers reported at one point that Sunday's march was not provocative by the marchers. They carried a very powerful statement by the Chancellor of the Tehran University, condemning the police and Basij, who broke into university dormitories on Sunday night and killed seven students.
They've even carried reports of the seven dead after the march on Sunday ... almost as if, not to compromise but they're trying to get a little bit closer to the other side.
My suspicion is that [Ahmadinejad] might have actually won the election but more like 52 or 53 per cent. It's possible that Mousavi got closer to 38 per cent.
But I think the Islamic republic's regime here wanted to humiliate the opponent and so fiddle the figures, even if Ahmadinejad had won.
The problem with that is they're now going to claim they're going to need a recount. If the recount is to actually give Mousavi the presidency, someone is going to have to pay the price for such an extraordinary fraud of claiming Ahmadinejad won 30, 40, 50 per cent more than he should have done.
You've got to remember as well, on the election night, if the count was correct it meant that they would have had to have counted five million votes in two hours.
Next few days
Someone, presumably the supreme leader, who is constitutionally the leader of all Iran and the clerical leader, Ayatollah Khamanei, he's going to have to work out a way of stopping these constant street confrontations.
We've got another great demonstration by the opposition tomorrow evening in the centre of the city. I suspect what they're going to have to do is think whether they can have a system where they reintroduce a prime ministership, so the president has someone underneath him.
Maybe we'd have President Ahmadinejad and a Prime Minister Mousavi or maybe a joint presidency.
All this is what people talk about but it means changing the constitution, it means having a referendum. They didn't believe that the opposition could be so strong and would keep on going.
[The protest] is absolutely not against the Islamic republic or the Islamic revolution.
It's clearly an Islamic protest against specifically the personality, the manner, the language of Ahmadinejad. They absolutely despise him but they do not hate or dislike the Islamic republic that they live in.
Based on an interview with Radio National's Fran Kelly