1925 GMT: Zahra Rahnavard, the wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi, has issued a statement demanding the freeing of all political prisoners before 22 Bahman. Rahnavard, an academic at Tehran University, points to the problems that women have experienced under the regime and praises their passion on issues of freedom and equality.
NEW Latest Iran Video: Claimed Protest in Southern Iran (1 February)
Latest Iran Video: What Does the Iranian Public Really Think? (4 February)
Iran Analysis: The Missing Numbers in the Economy
Iran Analysis: How Turkey Can Break the Nuclear Stalemate
Iran Spam, Spam, Lovely Spam: Mass E-mails, Old Polls, and “Analysis”
The Latest from Iran (4 February): The Relay of Opposition
1830 GMT: Catching Up. Highlighting a story that our readers noted this afternoon, Hassan Rassouli, a deputy of the Baran Foundation, headed by former President Mohammad Khatami, and Abolfazl Ghadiani, a member of central committee of the Mohajedin of Islamic Revolution party, were freed last night on bail.
1815 GMT: Altering the Imam. Rah-e-Sabz reports that Seyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini, has written the head of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Ezzatollah Zarghami, to complain about the "censoring" of his grandfather's speech. Ayatollah Khomeini's words have allegedly been adjusted to present a more favourable view of the Government in the run-up to the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution.
1730 GMT: That Tehran Friday Prayer. Press TV finally has a summary of Ayatollah Emami Kashani's address looking forward to the 22 Bahman demonstrations. He warned, "Some individuals may try to infiltrate into the lines of people by chanting deviant slogans," but Iranians must be vigilant against “those trying to derail the [Islamic] Revolution's path".
Frankly, I prefer our one-sentence report (1320 GMT).
1500 GMT: Greetings from Beirut. Yesterday we noted that 90 Lebanese intellectuals have issued a statement of support for the opposition in Iran. Persian2English provides a translation:
They tried so hard to destroy our memory and our cities. But you can see today that we shout for freedom (from oppression) from Beirut to Tehran with one voice and one heart....We, the democratically-minded Lebanese people, announce our support for the the movement of the people of Iran for freedom, democracy, and pluralism.
We listen to Tehran today, we understand its language – the language of freedom. We notice the scars on its proud body. It is from this position that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the freedom-loving people and the Green Movement of Iran and its political prisoners against the murderers.
We share your sorrow and we seek the same justice of all human beings, no matter what language they speak.
1320 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayers Summary. Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani keeping it real today by repeating over and over: "Hey, protesters, don't ruin 22 Bahman for the rest of us."
1310 GMT: Breaking Cover. This may be the most forceful statement from a British Government official during the post-election crisis. Foreign Minister David Miliband has just posted on his blog:
1 February marked the start of the 10 Days of Dawn, commemorating the return to Iran of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 and the victory of the Islamic Revolution on 11 February. In a blatant attempt to cow the opposition movement ahead of the 31st anniversary of the Revolution, the Iranian regime has resorted to a chilling campaign of threats and intimidation in the form of mass arrests, executions and calls for hangings to quell demonstrations. Reports that nine people will be executed imminently in connection with the post election unrest are utterly deplorable.
This in response to peaceful calls for democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms. These are not western prerogatives, but universal rights to which we are all entitled. We in the international community will continue to speak out in defence of those who are killed, arrested or brutalised in the name of free speech and freedom of expression. We have a right to do so, and a duty. The people of Iran have legitimate concerns which their government must address. Such brutality and hateful rhetoric can only serve to further erode whatever remains of the fragile bond of trust between the Iranian regime and its people.
1245 GMT: A Forerunner of 22 Bahman? We have been following reports all morning that protests in Lar, a town of about 70,000 in southern Iran, started on Monday and have been continuing all week. An account of the latest demonstrations has now been posted, and we are putting up the claimed video.
(A report from an activist distances the protest from post-election conflict: it was "apparently caused because part of Lar was attached to a neighboring town by decree".)
1230 GMT: One Who Is Free. Amidst the arrests of journalists (see 0720 GMT), Mahsa Hekmat of Etemaad has been released after 34 days in detention.
1000 GMT: Detaining Families. We have had general reports of the regime arresting family members as well as specific activists. Well, here is apparent confirmation of one case:
Yashar Darolshafa was arrested last night after his home was raided in Tehran. His current whereabouts are unknown. Darolshafa is completing a Master’s degree in social welfare studies at the University of Tehran... [and] is the former secretary of a reformist student organization at the International Qazvin University and a leftist student activist.
Following the arrest of Yashar Darolshafa last night, his mother and his brother were also arrested at their home today.
0945 GMT: On the Labour Front. Iran Labor Report writes about a three-day sit-in strike by 150 workers for the municipality of Andimeshk, in southwest Iran, over unpaid back-wages and health-insurance expenses. One of the strikers set himself on fire in protest and is now recovering in hospital. The article has extracts from a radio interview with one of the protesters.
0900 GMT: The "Siege" of Qoba Mosque. Footage has been posted of claimed damage and injuries after Wednesday's pro-Government rally outside Qoba Mosque in Shiraz:
0805 GMT: Not-Hysterical-At-All Statement of Day. Video of one of our favourite US talking heads, Charles Krauthammer, as he gets agitated about the Iran rocket launch: “If you can put a mouse into space, you can put a nuke in New York, in principle."
0755 GMT: MovieFail. The Fajr Festival, Iran's premiere international gathering for film, has already been beset by withdrawals of leading Iranian and foreign directors. Now it has gotten a satirical thumbs-down from Ayande News, which has presented its own "Golden Barberry" (the equivalent of the "Golden Raspberry" in the US) awards for not-so-glorious movies.
0740 GMT: Beyond Detention to Death. Persian2English, drawing from the International Committee Against Executions, lists 56 political prisoners at risk of execution in Iran.
0730 GMT: Cyber Ups and Downs. The Amir Kabir university student site, a leading source for information in the post-election crisis, is still out of service this morning after a cyber-attack. However, a new Green website, Mizan Khabar, has been launched.
0720 GMT: And On the Detention Front. To back up our initial analysis this morning of the regime's crackdown, we note this from the Committee to Protect Journalists:
Iranian authorities are now holding at least 47 journalists in prison....At least 26 journalists have been jailed in the last two months alone, CPJ found.
The number of jailed journalists is the highest CPJ has recorded in a single country since December 1996, when it documented 78 imprisonments in Turkey.
0715 GMT: On the Economic Front. The Italian company ENI is declaring that it will cease activities in Iran. We are monitoring to see whether this is just an immediate posture, linked to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's loud denunciation of the Iranian Government this week, or a definite plan.
0645 GMT: By the end of Thursday, it seemed --- as it did just before other demonstrations such as the 13 Aban (4 November) and Ashura (27 December) protests --- that Iran (or at least what I could see inside Iran) was going into a tunnel. The regime's dedicated effort to break any possibility of a mass gathering on 22 Bahman (11 February), the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution, meant an escalation in the already high level of crackdown, with widespread reports of arrests of activists. Internet communications are now being slowed, if not stopped.
Still, protest is now sufficiently established to ensure at least a flashlight-glimpse. Beyond the assertions in Washington of "What the Iranian People Really Think" (see separate video), we have posted claimed video of a public demonstration in southern Iran on Monday and a workers' strike on Wednesday. There are also the latest official figures on the Iranian economy, which --- perhaps inadvertently, with their gaps as well as the published numbers --- point to serious structural issues and even "decline".