1935 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Al-Rai newspaper claims, citing a central bank circular, that Kuwait has asked Gulf emirate banks, investment companies, and money exchange firms to start implementing United Nations sanctions against Iran.
The instructions call for the freezing of assets and financial resources related to “Iran’s sensitive nuclear programmes or activities”. The circular bans the opening of branches or representative offices for Iranian banks in Kuwait and forbids Kuwaiti financial institutions from opening offices or accounts in Iran.
1830 GMT: Really, It's Coming. Yet another declaration, after weeks of delays, that the government's subsidy cuts programme is going to be implemented: according to Mehr, new energy prices will be announced within days.
1635 GMT: Oh, You Are So Coy. Press TV's report on today's Tehran Friday Prayer is a classic in careful reporting.Sure, the website is forthright in promoting Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati's call for vigilance against "seditionists and enemies," warning "they are fire under the ashes and we must be alert". However, it does not raise the obvious question: if the regime keeps declaring that it triumphed after the 2009 election because of the resounding support of the people, why is the cleric so worried?
But the real caution comes with the posting of Jannati's criticism, "Is it right for those who have not repented and are persistent in their ways to [be allowed to] go on a leave?", and his call for them to be arrested upon return to Iran.
What Press TV does not mention is Jannati's #1 example of the un-repentant foe on leave: former President Hashemi Rafsanjani's son Mehdi Hashemi.
1613 GMT: CyberWatch. An activist reports that the website of Massoumeh Ebtekar, former Vice President and current member of the Tehran City Council, has been filtered.
1610 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Tehran University student Alireza Moradi has received a one-year prison sentence.
1600 GMT: Reformist Resurrection. Tahavol-e Sabz publishes an extract from the first one-page edition of the revived reformist newspaper Etemade Melli, with links to the full version in PDF and JPF formats.
1400 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, leading the faithful today.
Jannati's opening gambit was a bit dated, as he said that everyone in Qom had loved the Supreme Leader when he visited recently. Given that the trip was weeks ago (unless Jannati would like to consider why Ayatollah Khamenei had to return to Qom last Friday for a chat with clerics), that's not much of a Dramatic Prayer Moment.
More timely was Jannati's assurances that the Government is now working with others to ensure the still-to-be-implemented subsidy cuts are effective but do not cause unnecessary hardship. In his last Friday Prayer appearance, Jannati had criticised the Ahmadinejad administration for not sufficiently recognising the pain that the cuts might cause.
But you had to hang around to get Jannati's crowd-pleaser which was no less than "Arrest Mehdi Hashemi". That's right: the leader of the Guardian Council was putting out the word, just after referring to "seditious elements", that the son of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani should be detained if he dared return to Iran from his exile in London.
1315 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Last week we featured the defiant letter of student activist Majid Dori, detained and sent to a prison more than 600 miles from his home. Now an Iranian blogger translates the testimony of his mother in an interview with Kalemeh:
The only thing my son demanded was his right to an education. They first denied him of his right to an education and later suspended and banned him from university. When he tried to inform people of his plight, they arrested him. Now they claim that the Council to Defend the Right to Education, which he was a member of, was formed as a result of orders by the 'Monafeghin' ["terrorist" group People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran], as though our children did not have enough intelligence to determine their own destiny.
1140 GMT: Nuke Talks. The European Union's foreign policy representative, Catherine Ashton, has agreed to Tehran's proposal that talks over Iran's uranium enrichment resume on 5 December. Ashton, however, has requested that the discussions occur not in Istanbul, as Tehran suggested, but in another country such as Switzerland.
Ashton may also suggest that the discussions, taking place between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) are conducted over three days rather than one.
The latest letter from Saeed Jalili, the Secretary of Iran's National Security Council, in his exchange with Ashton had proposed either 23 November or 5 December for the meeting.
0920 GMT: Sanctions Watch. A spokesman for the world’s largest oil-services company, Schlumberger, says that it has quietly promised the State Department that it will pull out of Iran when its current contracts are complete.
The Boston Globe adds, however, that internal company documents establish that Schlumberger, under investigation for possible sanctions violations, has signed contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars that it intends to complete, keeping the company in Iran until at least 2013.
The German automotive firm Daimler has ceased business with Iran, pulling out of a 30% share in Iranian Diesel Engine Manufacturing.
0905 GMT: Execution Watch (African Edition). The Times of London reports that African diplomats have demanded an explanation after a Nigerian and a Ghanaian were executed in Mashhad in northeastern Iran.
Both men were convicted of drug trafficking, but the embassies were never informed that they were to put to death. "We are very concerned. They have told us nothing and not responded to our questions," an attaché at the Ghanaian Embassy, who asked for anonymity, said. "There are other [Ghanaian] men in jail here. We want to make sure the same thing does not happen again. I have booked an appointment with the judiciary to get an explanation." A Nigerian diplomat offered a similar statement.
Human rights sources in Iran claim that Chindo and Akuaba were denied legal representation at their trials, that no translators were present, that they did not realise that they had been sentenced to death, and that they were given no warning of the execution, simply taken to wash and then hanged.
More than 100 prisoners who have been executed in secret at Vakilabad Prison over the past six months, including 23 over two days in October and 46 in a single day some weeks ago.
0900 GMT: A Rights-First Approach? Writing in The Washington Post, Ray Takeyh --- a State Department official in the early months of the Obama Administration --- comes out forcefully for a US policy towards Iran led by support for democracy and rights. He begins:
Despite repression, imprisonment and show trials, the Green Movement continues to thrive and is gradually pressing the society away from state control. The movement is better organized and commands a greater degree of popular support than comparable past political movements in Eastern Europe that - with the assistance of the West - eventually dislodged the intractable communist tyrannies from power. The scale of defections from the state and the disillusionment of many stalwarts of the revolution demonstrate how the Greens have succeeded in sapping the self-confidence and the legitimacy of the system.
Building on this optimism, Takeyh concludes:
An emphasis on human rights today can not only buttress the viability of the Green Movement but also socialize an important segment of the security services, clerical estate and intelligentsia to the norms to which a state must adhere in order to become a member of global society. The successor generation of Iranian leaders would then be more sensitive to their obligations to citizens and the international community. By linking its diplomacy to human rights behavior, the United States could mitigate Iran's nuclear ambitions and pave the way for a peaceful transition from clerical autocracy to a more responsible and humane government.
0845 GMT: Poltical Prisoner Watch. Detained journalist Isa Saharkhiz was reportedly moved to the prison infirmary, having suffered internal bleeding for more than a month, but soon sent back to the ward.
Saharkhiz, detained since July 2009, suffers from heart disease.
0820 GMT: We begin today with a rather unusual story, even in the drama of 17 months of post-election protest.
In Kiev on Thursday, five member of the Ukranian feminist group Femen staged a topless demonstration at an event for "Week of Iranian Culture in Ukraine". The women were protesting the death sentence imposed on Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani for adultery and complicity in the murder of her husband.
The Femen members tore off their clothing and shouted, "Don't kill women!" during the event for hundreds of Ukrainian and Iranian dignitaries at the Ukrainian House convention centre.
Security guards ejected the protesters. A Ukrainian official later apologized to the audience, adding, "At least, we don't have to be ashamed about what we have on display."
Femen is one of Ukraine's best-known political action groups, protesting for equal rights for women and the introduction of a Western-style government in Ukraine.
(And, yes, for those who want to follow up, there are photographs of rather distressed Iranian security guards trying both to get the women out of the centre and to keep them "decent".)