There was a relative calm on the streets of Tehran on Tuesday after days of protests against a presidential election the opposition claim was rigged.
However, the dispute escalated on the diplomatic front with Britain expelling two Iranian embassy officials in response to the same action by Tehran. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been confirmed as the election winner by the Islamic Republic’s Guardian Council, but Ayatollah Ali Khamanei has accepted its recommendation that the deadline for opposition complaints be extended by five days. The propaganda war has also intensified. The Iranian leadership has accused the West of inciting unrest in the country through its media coverage of the election. State TV has taken up the theme, airing interviews with people it claims are rioters who admit being influenced by Western reporting. It is thought some 17 people have been killed in the disturbances that erupted in the country after the ballot on June 12. The military has warned of a crackdown, but more protests are planned for Thursday to honour those who have died.