The LA Times reports:

Large-scale protests spread in central Iranian cities [including Esfahan and Najafabad] Wednesday, offering the starkest evidence yet that the opposition movement that emerged from the disputed June presidential election has expanded beyond its base of mostly young, educated Tehran residents to at least some segments of the country's pious heartland. [...] The central region is considered by some as the conservative power base of the hard-liners in power.

Iranian authorities are clearly alarmed by the spread of the protests.

Mojtaba Zolnour, a mid-ranking cleric serving as supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's representative to the elite and powerful Revolutionary Guard, acknowledged widespread unrest around the country. "There were many [acts of] sedition after the Islamic Revolution," he said, according to the website of the right-wing newspaper Resala. "But none of them spread the seeds of doubt and hesitation among various social layers as much as the recent one."

Scott Lucas provides a similar analysis. Video above was shot in Najafabad yesterday.

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