Nine killed in Iran unrest as hundreds detained
Nine Iranians were killed overnight in unrest related to ongoing protests with hundreds detained in Tehran over the past three days.
Six demonstrators were killed in clashes with security forces as they tried to storm a police station in the town of Qahderijan in the Isfahan region.
A member of the Revolutionary Guards and a civilian were also killed in nearby Kahriz Sang.
Earlier reports said a policeman was killed and three others injured after being shot by a hunting rifle in Najafabad.
A total of 21 people have now died since protests began last Thursday in the second city of Mashhad before quickly spreading across the country.
Some 450 people have been arrested in the Iranian capital over the past three days during unrest linked to protests, an official told local media on Tuesday.
"200 people were arrested on Saturday, 150 on Sunday and around 100 on Monday," Ali-Asghar Naserbakht, a deputy in the Tehran city governor's office, told the reformist-linked ILNA news agency.
Protests have been relatively small in Tehran compared with many parts of the country since the unrest began last week.
"We feel the situation in Tehran is more calm than previous days. Already yesterday, it was calmer than before," said Naserbakht.
He added that no request had yet been put to the Revolutionary Guards to intervene in the capital.
"We will not permit insecurity to continue in any way in Tehran. If it continues, officials will take decisions to finish it," said Esmail Kowsari, a deputy commander for a local branch of the Revolutionary Guards, on state television.
Thousands of Iranians took to the streets in anti-government rallies last Friday, in what was thought to be the biggest show of public defiance since 2009.
The protests came a day after demonstrations against rising food prices and inflation began in second city Mashhad, with authorities arresting 52 protesters over the unrest.
Since the 2009 protests were ruthlessly put down by the Revolutionary Guards, many middle-class Iranians have abandoned hope of pressing for change from the streets.
Low-level strikes and demonstrations have continued, however, often on a sector-by-sector basis as bus drivers or factory workers protest against unpaid wages or poor working conditions.