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The Iranian Protest Morphs

CNN is still reporting on Iran: Thousands demonstrate silently in Tehran

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) — About 5,000 protesters marched slowly and silently through Tehran on Sunday near a mosque where the government was allowing a demonstration for the first time in days.

Authorities were riding on motorcycles alongside the marchers, who are telling each other to walk slowly and drag their feet, a CNN producer reported. Police were telling the demonstrators to move faster, the producer added, who CNN is not naming for security reasons.

Some of the protesters were telling the police that they have the legal right to protest in peace, the CNN journalist said.

The marchers are walking from north to south down a major street, Shariati Street, near the Ghoba Mosque, where a memorial is being held in honor of a hero of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The gathering is officially meant to honor Mohammad Beheshti, who was killed in a bombing on this date 28 years ago. It follows two weeks of protests against the official results of the June 12 presidential elections, which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won.

A post on a Web site associated with opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi urged people to go to the rally.

“There will be a gathering in ‘Ghoba’ Mosque and it’s legal! Please send this message to everyone you can in Iran,” says the post in Farsi and English, on a page which claims to be Moussavi’s Facebook site.

CNN has not confirmed the site is run by Moussavi or his associates.

There is also a rumor that they will be gathering in markets when they open to protest. The government is unlikely to shut down the markets.

Mousavi’s main web site has been taken down by government order, so it is hard to determine if the places where messages reported to be from him are valid.