2105 GMT: On the Academic Front. Dr Mohammad Sattarifar has been expelled from his post at Allameh Tabatabei University.
2100 GMT: The reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front has stated that it will continue its activities as scheduled.
2055 GMT: What Are Mahmoud (and Ali) Doing Today? Trying to out-do each other in the bashing of the West, it seems.
Ahmadinejad used a meeting with the speaker of Azerbaijan's Parliament to declare, "The so-called powerful countries are merely after their own interests. They are willing go so far as to sacrifice other countries and nations for their interests....The weakening of the so-called powerful countries will completely change the state of affairs on the regional and international scale."
Larijani's audience was the Parliament, as he warned President Obama about following the polices of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and declared that the 22 Bahman rallies had thwarted the US-Iran "plot" against Iran.
NEW Iran Analysis: Re-alignment v. Crackdown — Which “Wins”?
NEW Iran: A Tale of Cricket, Andre the Giant, and Protests
Iran: “It’s All Over” for the Green Movement?
The Latest from Iran (20 February): Questions
2010 GMT: Drawing a line. Peyke Iran claims that Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has convinced lawmaker Mostafa Kavakebian not to press his plan for further examination of detention centres.
1955 GMT: Iran's Nuclear Cooperation? Islamic Republic News Agency is quoting the spokesman of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Shirzadian that a delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived on Saturday yesterday, to study Iran's nuclear safety system. The delegation is expected to spend two weeks on safety evaluation, procedures, and international requirements.
1820 GMT: Well, well, have a look at Khabar Online, the "conservative" website which is now almost non-stop in its challenge to the President. Khabar reports on Saturday's meeting between Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi without a hint of criticism and throws in a good kick on the "magically changing flag" issue:
The report [from Karroubi's Saham News]...reads that the reformist leaders had a conversation about "eliminating a symbol of Iranian national flag". Actually it refers to a ceremony attended by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran for the head of the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). There, in a graphic design behind Ahmadinejad the green stripe of the country's national flag [green, white and red] had turned to blue.
Green is also symbolizes the opposition Green Movement led by the two former officials.
1635 GMT: Nukes, Nukes, Nukes! Today's hyperbole posing as analysis comes out of The Washington Post, where James Lindsay and Ray Takeyh of the Council on Foreign Relations spend several paragraphs feigning deep thought before setting up for First, Containment But Prepare to Attack:
If Tehran remains determined to go nuclear and preventive attacks prove too risky or unworkable to carry out, the United States will need to formulate a strategy to contain Iran. In doing so, however, it would be a mistake to assume that containment would save the United States from the need to make tough choices about retaliation. If Washington is not prepared to back up a containment strategy with force, the damage created by Iran's going nuclear could become catastrophic.
The piece is notable not for any insight but for a shift from Takeyh, who had been putting forward a rights-first approach to Iran up to 22 Bahman.
1620 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch (cont. --- see 1330 GMT). It hasn't taken long for regime defenders to respond to the alliance between Hashemi Rafsanjani and Moshen Rezaei to get changes in the Iranian system, especially the supervision of elections. Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of Kayhan, has warned that the Expediency Council --- headed by Rafsanjani and served by Rezaei as Secretary --- is trying to get rid of the Guardian Council.
1420 GMT: Alireza Khaliji, the son-in-law of Mohammad Reza Beheshti, martyr Ayatollah Beheshti’s eldest son, has been released from prison. Opposition activists claim the arrest was merely to put pressure on Mir Hossein Mousavi --- his chief advisor Alireza Beheshti is the uncle of Alireza Khaliji.
1400 GMT: Parleman News reports that journalist Hasan Zohouri, a specialist on cultural affairs arrested in the lead-up to the 22 Bahman rallies, was released last night.
1330 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Could this be an encounter with political significance? Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani has met Mehdi Karroubi's son Ali, who was taken away and beaten on 22 Bahman. Reports claim that Ali Karroubi's account of the experience brought Rafsanjani and his wife to tears.
0945 GMT: Don't Look Here, Look Over There! Iranian state media are pretending not to notice Hashemi Rafsanjani's comments on the internal political situation. Instead, it's all Nukes, Nukes, Nukes. From Press TV:
“The [International Atomic Energy Agency] report was clearly custom-made for Western powers,” said the former Iranian President. “There is no way an international organization with an independent approach would make such comments.”
“The tidal wave of threats and accusations against Iran's nuclear activity has certainly been unprecedented, but [Western powers] should come to realize that they have no chance of forcing Iranians [into giving up their enrichment program],” said Rafsanjani.
Rafsanjani went to add that one expected that "foreign enemies of Iran would not opt for "aggressive behavior" after millions of Iranians took part in rallies — held during the 31st anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution — and threw their weight behind the Islamic establishment.
0905 GMT: There are Sanctions...And There Are No Sanctions. While the French Government talks tough about economic punishment for Iran's nuclear stance, this bit of Auto News:
Iran's state-owned car manufacturer Iran Khodro unveiled for the home market on Saturday the Peugeot 207i, a locally built version of the French automobile firm's 207 model. The Peugeot 207i will hit the market at the beginning of the next Iranian year which starts on March 21....
Pierre Foret, representative of Peugeot in Iran, said the launch of the 207i was the French car maker's attempt to "develop its market in Iran"
0855 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Persian2English reports that the Revolutionary Court has sentenced human rights lawyer Mohammad Oliyaifard to a year in prison for “propaganda against the system”. Oliyaifard is prominent for his pro bono (no fees) work defending juveniles in death penalty cases.
0845 GMT: Police News and Rumour. Iranian media have reported that Tehran's police chief, Brigadier-General Azizollah Rajabzadeh, is retiring after only six months in charge.
The rather tasty rumour is that Rajabzadeh was beaten up by a woman who is a martial arts specialist. The more prosaic reason for his sudden departure is the perception that his forces failed to keep order during the Ashura demonstrations on 27 December.
0840 GMT: Speaking of that debate over the state of the Green Movement, we've got a special analysis by Josh Shahryar on "Cricket, Andre the Giant, and Protests".
0835 GMT: The Green Movement Debate. Another voice to add to this weekend's discussion of whether the opposition in Iran has been crippled: expatriate intellectual Abdolkarim Soroush declares that the movement is "unstoppable".
0815 GMT: We're catching up with a lot of news from Saturday. Much of it is in our morning analysis, "Re-alignment v. Crackdown: Which 'Wins'?", as politicians like Hashemi Rafsanjani manoeuvre for some changes within the system to prevent implosion but the Government persists in its strategy of threats.
Elsewhere, reformists have called on Minister of Higher Education Kamran Daneshjoo to demand release of students from detention, an end to punitive jail terms, and exclusion of armed forces from universities.
The nightly ritual of gatherings and protests by families of detainees continues outside Evin Prison. Once again, some prisoners are being released to those waiting.
On the economic front, claims are being made in the pro-Larijani Khabar Online that $9 trillion (yes, trillion) is wasted because of the lack of modern technology in Iran's oil fields means 24% productivity, instead of rates, as in Norway, of 48 to 65%.
In Tehran Bureau, "Hamid Faroknia" of the Iran Labor Report has a lengthy, detailed analysis of the effects of President Ahmadinejad's economic policy bringing in cheap imports: "farmers [driven] to bankruptcy; industrial workers arbitrarily denied wages".