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Iran Violence Protests Erupt, Riot Police Launch Crackdown & Opponents of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad . Re-Post

6:24 PM ET -- More house arrest reports. The National Iranian American Council notes reports that Ahmadinejad's main challenger, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, has been placed under house arrest, as well as another of the four presidential candidates, Mehdi Karroubi, and Karroubi's campaign manager (and former Tehran mayor) Gholamhossein Karbaschi.

6:12 PM ET -- "Deafening." From a reader: "My next door neighbor is an Iranian immigrant who came here in 1977. He just received a SAT phone call from his brother in Tehran who reports that the rooftops of nighttime Tehran are filled with people shouting 'Allah O Akbar' in protest of the government and election results. The last time he remembers this happening is in 1979 during the Revolution. Says the sound of tens of thousands on the rooftops is deafening right now." It's almost four in the morning in Iran.

6:00 PM ET -- Not just Tehran. Video of protestors at the university in Shiraz, Iran.

5:53 PM ET -- Report: Khatami's brother arrested. The excellent National Iranian American Council, which I've cited several times today, offers some new translations of Twitter messages coming out of Iran.

One says the brother of former Iranian President Khatami (who was defeated by Ahmadinejad) has been arrested. Earlier today, as we noted, Khatami's clerical group called for the election to be redone.

"Seyed Mohamad Khatami has not been arrested, but his brother Mohammad Reza Khatami and (his wife) Zahra Esraghi have been"

"[Tehran Univ. political scientist] Ahmad Ziadabadi and [prominent political blogger] Saeed Shariati have been arrested"

"There has been no news published about the house arrest of Mir Hossein Mousavi"

Opponents of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clashed with police in the heart of Iran's capital Saturday, pelting them with rocks and setting fires in the worst unrest in Tehran in a decade. They accused the hard-line president of using fraud to steal election victory from his reformist rival.

The brazen and angry confrontations _ including stunning scenes of masked rioters tangling with black-clad police _ pushed the self-styled reformist movement closer to a possible moment of truth: Whether to continue defying Iran's powerful security forces or, as they often have before, retreat into quiet dismay and frustration over losing more ground to the Islamic establishment.

But for at least one day, the tone and tactics were more combative than at any time since authorities put down student-led protests in 1999. Young men hurled stones and bottles at anti-riot units and mocked Ahmadinejad as an illegitimate leader. The reformists' new hero, Mir Hossein Mousavi, declared himself the true winner of Friday's presidential race and urged backers to resist a government based on "lies and dictatorship."

Authorities, too, pushed back with ominous measures apparently seeking to undercut liberal voices: jamming text messages, blocking pro-Mousavi Web sites and Facebook and cutting off mobile phones in Tehran.

The extent of possible casualties and detentions was not immediately clear. Police stormed the headquarters of Iran's largest reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, and arrested several top reformist leaders, said political activists close to the party.The activists spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Mousavi did not appear in public, but warned in a Web message: "People won't respect those who take power through fraud."

Many backers took this call to the streets. Thousands of protesters _ mostly young men _ roamed through Tehran looking for a fight with police and setting trash bins and tires ablaze. Pillars of black smoke rose among the mustard-colored apartment blocks and office buildings in central Tehran. In one side road, an empty bus was engulfed in flames.

Police fought back with clubs, including mobile squads on motorcycles swinging truncheons.

A supporter of Iranian reformist presidential candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, holds a piece of stone and with his covered his face with green scarf symbolizing his party's color as the others burn a trash bin in Tehran, Saturday, June 13, 2009. Supporters of the main election challenger to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clashed with police and set up barricades of burning tires Saturday as authorities claimed the hard-line president was re-elected in a landslide. The rival candidate said the vote was tainted by widespread fraud and his followers responded with the most serious unrest in the capital in a decade.