Reporting from Beirut — Clashes erupted in downtown Tehran late Saturday afternoon between demonstrators seeking to mark the one-year anniversary of Iran's disputed presidential elections and baton-wielding security forces.
The small skirmishes between security forces and demonstrators unfolded along streets adjacent to Tehran University, the capital's main institution of higher learning. Protests occurred despite opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi having called off the demonstrations, apparently concerned that the official crackdown would be too harsh.
Both men ran and lost against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a year ago Saturday in an election landslide immediately derided as fraudulent by the nation's reformist opposition and suspect by most independent observers.
The vote sparked a months-long, largely peaceful anti-government uprising quashed by Iranian authorities using mostly non-lethal force, mass imprisonments and a relentless media campaign on state-controlled television and radio depicting the opposition as foreign dupes.