The other is new to us: Iranian media have apparently been told to make no mention of the effects of sanctions.
NEW Iran Document: Interview with Detained Filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad
NEW Iran Special: Have Ahmadinejad and Ali Larijani Kissed and Made Up?
Iran: Today’s Shiny Object for Media? Why, It’s an Ambassador-of-Death Drone Bomber!
The Latest from Iran (22 August): Ahmadinejad Aide Mortazavi Suspended?
1800 GMT: The President's Men. Fars News is now carrying the story of the suspension of three officials over the Kahrizak Prison abuses, but does not name any of them, including Presidential aide Saeed Mortazavi.
1745 GMT: MediaWatch (cont.). Thomas Erdbrink, writing in The Washington Post, is the first "Western" reporter to name Presidential aide Saeed Mortazavi as one of the three officials suspended for alleged connections with post-election Kahrizak Prison abuses. Erdbrink quotes human rights lawyer Saleh Nikbakht, "Mortazavi is among them, and now that he no longer has judicial immunity, he could face trial."
And The Financial Times is clearly on a roll with its coverage of the in-fighting. Having noted the Supreme Leader's intervention on Wednesday (see 1735 GMT), the newspaper also features Najmeh Bozorgmehr's article "Shia Schism Deepens Ahmadi-Nejad's Woes": "The infighting between Iran’s fundamentalists has deepened the gulf between supporters and opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad."
1735 GMT: MediaWatch on The President's Men. Credit to Reuters for picking up on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's appointment of his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, as one of his four "special representatives" for foreign policy --- Rahim-Mashai's responsibility will be the Near East --- and for putting that in the context of political battles within the establishment.
Not so sure, however, that Reuters' snap conclusion is on the mark: "[This suggests] for now that for now [Ahmadinejad] may have the upper hand over the critics." (Someone might want to consult Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani.)
The Financial Times, belatedly but interestingly, notes the Supreme Leader's intervention last Wednesday and frames it as "Ayatollah Warns Bickering Politicians". The reporter, Monavar Khalaj, picks out this extract from Ayatollah Khamenei's statements, “I gave a serious warning to the officials not to make their differences public....Unity and solidarity among the country’s officials is a religious duty and the intentional rejection [of unity] is, especially in the upper echelon, against religious teachings.”
1720 GMT: Baby Basij. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, drawing from Aftab News, reports that female commander of the Basij militia, Zohreh Abbasi, has said that her unit has introduced a special program that allows baby girls to be registered as members of the force and receive training.
Abbasi said that, in the past six years, 23 baby girls had been trained as Basij members through "Koranic, cultural, educational, and military" classes.
"Basij mothers register their baby girls 40 days after they were born at the Hossein Haj Mousaee unit by presenting documents and IDs," Abbasi said. She declared that two babies have recently been born and work is under way to prepare a dossiers for the new arrivals to enrol them in the special program.
1715 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Detainees at Rajai Shahr Prison written to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, asking him to support human rights and labour activism.
1450 GMT: Energy Squeeze. Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, the company behind the amibitious Asia to Europe "gas bridge", will supply Europe through links to Turkey’s borders with Georgia and Iraq, rejecting a connection to the Turkish-Iranian border. Nabucco said the shareholders' decision was “due to the current political situation".
1335 GMT: MediaWatch (President's Man Edition). Almost 24 hours after the suspension of Ahmadinejad aide and former Tehran Prosecutor General Saeed Mortazavi from his post because of alleged links to the Kahrizak Prison abuses, non-Iranian media --- like their counterparts in Tehran --- are not providing a name. The BBC, following the lead of the Associated Press, say only that "Iran has suspended three judicial officers".
1315 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Persian2English reports that Amnesty International and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands have expressed concern over the possibility of a death sentence for Zahra Bahrami, an Iranian-Dutch citizen arrested in Iran after the Ashura protests of 27 December.
1245 GMT: Tough Talk Today. Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, the Revolutionary Guard's Navy Commander, says Iran's missile-launching vessels are the best in the world for speed and power. “American warships currently have a maximum speed of 31 knots while Iranian vessels can travel twice as fast on average,” Fadavi said at a ceremony to open production lines for domestically-built Zolfaghar and Seraj craft.
1100 GMT: The Nuclear Front. Yesterday we noted, from a paragraph in a New York Times article on the Bushehr nuclear plant, the significant announcement that "Russia would provide Iran with iodine and molybdenum, nuclear isotopes used in medicine" and asked, "Will Iran withdraw its demand that it be allowed to enrich uranium to 20%, at least while discussions proceed on a long-term deal over the nuclear programme? And is Washington up-to-speed and supportive of the Russian move?"
An EA source offers an answer, noting this statement from the head of Iran's nuclear enrichment programme, Ali Akbar Salehi:
We will go as far as our needs are met. So we have no intention to proceed forever for enriching [uranium] to 20%, although it is our right according to the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] and the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] statute to enrich uranium to any percentage that is needed for peaceful uses in nuclear energy. But this does not mean that we shall do so. We only embarked on 20% because of the conditions that were imposed on us. I reiterate that we will go as far as our needs are met.
Our source comments, "Seems to me that Iran is gearing up to offer this as a bargaining chip."
0919 GMT: Blackout in the Newspapers. Daneshjoo News publishes a document which it claims is a Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance order barring the names and pictures of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and Mohammad Khatami from newspapers.
0918 GMT: Silence in the Theatre. Voice of America offers an overview of new restrictions by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance on Iran's theatre.
0915 GMT: We have published a separate feature: journalist and filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad, just before returning to prison last week, posted his comments in an interview for his website.
0739 GMT: The Hunger Strike. Jila Bani Yaghoub, the wife of journalist Bahman Ahmadi Amoui, one of 17 detainees who recently went on hunger strike in Evin Prison, has offered an update on her blog.
Bani Yaghoub says the hunger strikers, who ended their fast last week, are "weakened" but in excellent spirits. She claims that, when they were finally returned to the general ward --- Amoui was one of the last three prisoners to be let out of solitary confinement --- they knew already about the international "echo" of their protest.
0735 GMT: Cleric Stands Tough. Following yet another attempt by a crowd to intimidate him by gathering outside the Shiraz mosque where he presides, Grand Ayatollah Dastgheib has warned "those who meet clandestinely to attack Qoba Mosque again". He said that he is interpreting the Qu'ran in mosque, and all that his followers want is justice and implementation the Constitution.
0725 GMT: The Supreme Leader and the Students. More on Ayatollah Khamenei's three-hour meeting with student represenatives on Sunday....
The Supreme Leader declared, "I am united with all those who follow principles, but others are outside" the Iranian system. He added, "We must not eliminate people with weak religious belief on pretext of purifying society."
Khamenei admitted --- interestingly, in light of yesterday's news about the suspension of three officials --- that procedure in the Kahrizak abuse case had been slow.
0650 GMT: An Ahmadinejad-Ali Larijani Deal? Really?
Already EA correspondents are moving beyond the public face of a reconciliation between the President and the Speaker of Parliament --- considered in our special analysis this morning --- and the notion of a resolution between the Majlis and the Government is far from clear-cut.
First, the Ahmadinejad meeting with Parliament that preceded the press conference with Larijani....
The President, attending with Minister of Agriculture Sadegh Khalilian (who is under some pressure from the Majlis) and Minister of Economy Shamsoddin Hosseini, welcomed the monthly discussions. Then the questions began on topics which have been long-standing and growing sources of dispute: privatisation, proper implementation of laws, cultural problems (hijab), and the possible impeachment of Khalilian.
That in itself was a bit of a climb-down for Ahmadinejad, who had balked at given an account of his meetings, but it cut off an initiative by some MPs for formal questioning of the President. This, as well as the Supreme Leader's intervention on Wednesday, lay behind the good-news statements that followed the meeting: Ali Larijani said the Majlis has made the first step for unity of powers, while Ahmadinejad declared, "If you make good laws, the Government will implement them."
Whether that reconcililation holds is another issue. In the meeting, Ahmadinejad faced challenges, such as Mohammad Ebrahim Nekounam insisting on the Government's "duty" to implement Majlis legislation and Gholam-Ali Hadad Adel insisting that the President's enforcement of the "hijab and chastity project" is absolutely necessary. (As always, make what you will of the fact that this description is appearing in Khabar Online, linked to Ali Larijani.)
And there are signals of persistence, if not defiance, from each side. The President has given his Chief of Staff --- Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai --- a prime target for the criticisms of conservative MPs --- yet another post, appointing him as special representative for the Near East. (There have also been appointments for Asia, the Caspian Sea area, and Afghanistan.)
From the Parliamentary side, Mohammad Karami-Rad said that a meeting with Minister of Agriculture Khalilian, postponed because of Wednesday's discussions with the Supreme Leader, will take place and the Majlis will proceed with moves for impeachment.
0640 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Persian2English publishes a letter from Sepideh Pooraghaiee, a friend and colleague of Shiva Nazar Ahari, about the deatined human rights activist and journalist:
Shiva Nazar Ahari has acted very distinguishably throughout the years. She never allowed intimidations and threats to turn into an impenetrable dam against her sacred efforts. Along with her bravery and clarity, she also was calm, patient and hopeful. She never expected to be praised. She never compromised with the resolution of a problem, however small, for a human being.
Nazar Ahari has been imprisoned since July 2009 and reportedly faces a charge of "mohareb" (war against God), which carried the death penalty.
0630 GMT: A Kurdish Political Perspective. Rooz Online carries an interview with the head of the Komeleh Party, Abdollah Mohtadi. The opening exchange:
Rooz: The Komeleh Party and the Green Movement! Is this not strange?
Abdollah Mohtadi: No, I do not believe it to be strange. I view the green movement to be a rightful and democratic movement, and we support any such movement. Even though this movement has not cut its nuptial cord from people who I think are official reformers and is still connected to them, I do not view the green movement to be the simple extension and continuation of what has been known as the reformist path in Iran. On the contrary, I believe that impasse of that model of reforms and ineffectiveness of its methods in its confrontation of dictatorship and the inability of reforms to create change at the top, has caused the green movement to take shape from the bottom through the public to attain its demands.
0615 GMT: We begin today with a special analysis: has the Supreme Leader mediated a political compromise between President Ahmadinejad and Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani? And is the Ahmadinejad-Larijani profession of co-operation more than a temporary, public measure?
Political Prisoner Watch
This week we have been noting the case of Abed Tavancheh, the student activist sentenced to one year in prison. To put further pressure on him, Iranian authorities have threatened to seize his family's home.
Now, according to Tavancheh's Facebook page --- as relayed to EA by a reader --- a deal has been proposed. The activist has been told that he should be at home on Wednesday, so agents accompanied by the relative who posted the house as bail can raid it and detain him. This way the relative has made a sign of co-operation and the house will not be confiscated.
Students at Zanjan University staged a sit-in protest on Sunday to protest the firing of Professor Yousef Sobouti.