2145 GMT: Lawyer Forough Mirzaei and Mahin Fahimi, a member of "Mothers for Peace", have been released from detention.
2100 GMT: And Analysing Rumour of Day (Week? Month?). We've posted a snap analysis considering the reasons for and implications of a Rafsanjani "ultimatum" to the Supreme Leader.
NEW Iran Snap Analysis: The Rafsanjani "Ultimatum" to the Supreme Leader
NEW Iran Feature: Human Rights Round-up (1-7 February 2010)
Latest Iran Video: Protest at Sharif University, Tehran (8 February)
Iran Document: Khatami Statement for 22 Bahman (8 February)
Iran Special: The 57 Journalists in Iran’s Prisons
The Latest from Iran (8 February): Staying with the Real Story
1924 GMT: Rumour of Day (Week? Month?) --- Rafsanjani "Ultimatum" to Supreme Leader. The Green site Rah-e-Sabz, without citing a source, makes the following claim:
Authorities went to arrest the wife of Mir Hossein's chief advisor Alireza Beheshti, who was already detained, on Tuesday, but could not find her. She then called Hashemi Rafsanjani from her hiding place and told him, "Look where we have got to that the grandchildren of the late Ayatollah Beheshti (Alireza Beheshti's father) have to be on the run in dahey-e fajr (the 10-Day Dawn preceding the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution)." This allegedly upset Rafsanjani to the point to tears.
During his regular Tuesday meeting with the Supreme Leader, Rafsanjani reporetedly demanded the immediate release of Beheshti and an end to these “shameful” actions. Beyond this, Rafsanjani spoke with Ayatollah Khamenei about the management of the country, the post-election crisis, detentions, and the press. The former President then allegedly gave Khamenei an ultimatum (“etmam-e hojjat”, which may also translate into “last word”) to take action.
Rah-e-Sabz says that it will publish more about this meeting later.
Now there is no way to verify the website's claim, but Alireza Beheshti has been freed. Coinicidence or validation of the report?
1920 GMT: We have posted an updated list, amidst recent arrests, of 63 journalists in Iran's prisons.
1820 GMT: Confusion over Tajik. Earlier today there were reports that Mohammad Reza Tajik, a Vice President in the Khatami Government and professor at Shahid Beheshti University, had been released with Alireza Beheshti (see 1723 GMT). Now it is being announced that Tajik has not been released but will be on television at 22:30 local time (1900 GMT) to talk about post-election events. Is this a version of the "confessions" aired on Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting this summer?
1815 GMT: Ali Malihi, a journalist with Etemaad newspaper, has been arrested at home.
1730 GMT: But Nabavi Gets 5 Years. An Iranian court has confirmed a jail sentence of five years for leading reformist politician Behzad Nabavi.
1723 GMT: Beheshti Released. Mehr News is reporting that top Mousavi advisor Alireza Beheshti has been released on bail from Evin Prison.
1720 GMT: The Fate of the "9". Remember that, at the time of the executions of Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani and Arash Rahminpour two weeks ago, the Iran Government declared that nine other political prisoners faced the death penalty? Iranian state media are now reporting that one of the nine will be executed while eight will serve prison sentences.
1710 GMT: Competing Protests. Peyke Iran reports a trend in labour protests for workers to chant Green slogans.
Meanwhile, pictures from pro-Government demonstrators protesting today in front of the Italian and French Embassies.
1635 GMT: More on Human Rights. Complementing our own round-up and list of journalists (which we need to update --- it is now 65 detained in Iran's prisons), Pedestrian has posted an update on a number of cases.
1630 GMT: Crime and Punishment? Kalemeh claims, from a judiciary official, that a 23 year-old man has been arrested for the murder of a protestor, shot by a pistol, on the evening of 24 Khordad (14 June) in Tehran. The official also says that the accused --- who is not identified as member of the military, police, or Basij militia --- did not have orders from any security officials and was acting by himself.
1535 GMT. Carrot. Stick. The rumour of the day, put out by Parleman News from a source in the Tehran prosecutor's office, is that key Mousavi advisor Alireza Beheshti will be released within hours.
The reality of the day is that the son of Mehdi Karroubi, Hossein, has had his passport confiscated as he got off a flight from Dubai.
1525 GMT: Back from academic break to find that the Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, has claimed that "dozens" of Basij militia tried to attack Italy's embassy in Tehran today.
1205 GMT: Saleh Noghrekar, Zahra Rahnavard’s nephew and the head of the legal committee of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s campaign, has been arrested.
1200 GMT: The family members of detainee Mohammad Nourizadeh, former chief editor of Kayhan who following criticised the Supreme Leader and the head of the judiciary in a post-election letter, have been summoned to the Revolutionary Court.
1055 GMT: Tehran's Back-and-Forth Sideshow. So here's the latest from Iran's Foreign Ministry on the uranium enrichment talks:
"“The issue of a nuclear fuel swap [with the West] … is still open. We have announced our conditions in a clear and transparent way. If the other sides provide our conditions and adopt a realistic approach, it (the swap) would be possible. It (the swap) by no means goes counter to our obtaining the required fuel through other means."
1030 GMT: A Relatively Quiet Morning. No significant political moves, so as we prepare for coverage of 22 Bahman, we are trying to assess the extent of the slowdown/halting of communications, as are other front-line media covering events. Some EA sources inside Iran can still communicate with us; others appear to have been cut off.
0740 GMT: Putting on the Show. Latest on the uranium enrichment front --- Iranian state media is loudly proclaiming that Tehran, under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has begun the attempt to enrich its stocks from 3.5 to 20 percent.
0730 GMT: Qalibaf v. The Government. Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, relatively quiet in the post-election crisis but still a key political player --- and possibly a central figure in a move against President Ahmadinejad --- has again attacked incompetent officials, comparing them to "rioters".
0723 GMT: An Appeal to the Supreme Leader. Ayatollah Mousavi-Ardebili has visited Ayatollah Khamenei, seeking the unconditional release of all political prisoners and exclusion of "radicals" from the Government.
0720 GMT: Today's Prison Numbers. Two students have reportedly been released by Iranian authorities, but 16 more have been detained, including 14 from Amir Kabir University.
0705 GMT: Baghi, Montazeri, and the Interview That Led to Jail. Emadeddin Baghi's interview with Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, filmed two years for the BBC but never aired, has now surfaced. Baghi has been detained since December, in part because of this video. This is part 1 of 3:
0700 GMT: Add another journalist to our list of those detained. Vahid Ostadpour has been arrested.
0655 GMT: Amidst the articles on Iran this morning, full marks to Reza Aslan at The Daily Beast as he previews 22 Bahman and puts the President's nuclear move in its place: "Ahmadinejad is trying everything in his power to change the subject....These announcements are a joke; they cannot be taken seriously."
0650 GMT: Imprisoning Dissent. On Monday, former Deputy Foreign Minister Mostafa Tajzadeh was sentenced to six years in prison for his threat to "national security". Here is an example of that threat in a speech before the election (hat-tip to Pedestrian):
In the days of the Shah, the people of Iran had every kind of freedom, except for political freedom. When one of the slogans of the revolution became esteghlal, azadi, jomhooriyeh eslami [independence, freedom, the Islamic Republic of Iran], by “freedom” they only meant political freedom. Which other kind of freedom was it that we didn’t have? You could freely practice your religion. If you were the type who wanted to go to the mosque, you could, if you wanted to go to a bar, you also could. The path was open. The freedom we did not have was political freedom. We did not have a free press, we did not have free political parties, we did not have free elections, we did not have free unioN....
With what rationality did the Imam [Khomeini] put aside the Constitution [during the time of the Shah]? His most important reason, the brightest, most historic [reason] he put forth, was when he said: “Our fathers, our mothers, in another time, thought that this Constitution [the one under the shah] was the best. Today, their children are mature and wise, they recognize that they want a new Constitution.” He thus acknowledged the right of every generation to govern its nation on its own....
It is imperative that the election be free, and if for any reason, anyone undermines this freedom, they are acting against the law. They tell us: “Don’t worry” [about fraud in the election]." Well, we are worried. I personally am very distraught over what Mr. Mahsouli [Ahmadinejad's Minister of Interior in 2009] is doing over at the Interior Ministry. They are shuffling around and changing everybody these days, even the secretaries. I don’t know what they are doing in there that has become so secretive and confidential.
0645 GMT: We've posted the debut of what we hope will become a regular feature: Tricia Sutherland looks over the past week in a "Human Rights Round-up".
0620 GMT: So another day in the countdown to 22 Bahman begins.
Monday was more a day of manoeuvre and anticipation than high drama. The Supreme Leader did put out a high-profile statement but, despite the headlines of "punching" Iran's enemies and declaring the Islamic Republic's supremacy, there was little beyond the rhetoric. Both Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mohammad Khatami used meetings and interviews to reiterate demands and determination, while making clear that their approach was not tainted by foreign intervention and within the framework of the Republic.
And, of course, the regime continued its efforts to ensure that their supporters, rather than the opposition, have the public space to themselves on Thursday. There was a steady stream of reports of detentions. Loudspeakers were set up alongside the likely route of the Green movement's march, and communications continued to be restricted, with claims that stations like Voice of America Persian are now jammed.
What is harder to read, in part because of those fogged communications, are the preparations for the demonstrations. Is the claim of "3 million on the streets" --- taken not from an opposition spokesperson but from a source inside Tehran's police headquarters --- best assessment, a bit of sensationalism, or even disinformation to set up a let-down when the crowds fall short of that number?