2125 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Green Voice of Freedom claims, from a source close to Hengameh Shahidi, that the journalist has been hospitalised following a hunger strike.
A group of political, academic, and human rights activists have issued a statement calling for the release of Ebrahim Yazdi, the 78-year-old former Foreign Minister.
Shahidi was returned to prison on 15 November after a 18-day leave for medical treatment.
2120 GMT: An Appeal for Refugees. Exiled attorney Mohammad Mostafaei has written to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon:
Since there are Iranians living in various countries under deplorable conditions and need support to appeal their request for asylum, with deep concerns I hereby request that the United Nations expeditiously contact all member states in order to review the affairs of asylum seekers. As a result, refugees will be able to relocate to states where they desire to live in security. It is self evident that prolonging the proceedings for the refugees is against the standards of human rights and ought to be considered as torture and punishment.
2110 GMT: Falling Stocks? The Financial Times reports that daily volumes on the Iranian stock market, as high as $50 million in August, have fallen to about $20 million. The newspaper cites sanctions as a cause, quoting Ramin Rabii of large foreign investment fund Turquoise Partners, “While it is natural for Iran’s equity market to stop growing following consistent, strong rallies over 18 months, the main reason behind the index’s decline is investors’ cautiousness because of uncertainty on how the subsidies plan will be implemented.”
2100 GMT: Containing the Opposition. Not only are security forces limiting access to Mir Hossein Mousavi, they are restricting his movements. Kalemeh reports that Mousavi was prevented from attending the funeral of his daughter's father-in-law.
Mousavi was not allowed to enter the mosque for the service. Authorities also reportedly refused to allow the publication a message of condolence.
1930 GMT: Parliament v. President (Ongoing). According to Kalemeh, MP Ali Motahari is claiming that he has the required signatures --- 1/4 of the 290-member Majlis --- to summon Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning.
Meanwhile, the exaggerated account in The Wall Street Journal of the situation is now racing towards the status of "established truth" amongst US commentators. Reza Aslan --- without crediting or linking to the Journal --- offers as revelation, "Now comes word from Iran that the country’s right-leaning parliament did in fact attempt to impeach Ahmadinejad on 14 counts of violating the law." Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish cites Aslan as gospel. And so on....
1855 GMT: Appealing to Khamenei. Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has declared that the Supreme Leader will have the ultimate say in differences between the Majlis and Government.
1740 GMT: Un-Diplomatic Behaviour. Robert Tait of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty --- with a contribution from EA --- tries to explain Gambia's breaking of relations with Iran this week:
In a move few saw coming, the country suddenly announced on November 23 that it was cutting economic ties with Iran and gave Iranian officials 48 hours to leave. The announcement heralds an end to several Iranian-funded projects, including a $2 billion agreement to provide heavy and commercial vehicles.
No explanation was given, but the decision appeared to be linked to Nigeria's interception in October of an Iranian arms cache that officials said was destined for Gambia.
The shipment's discovery has already caused tensions between Iran and Nigeria, with Lagos reluctant to accept the protestations of Manuchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister, that a private company had been behind the arms transaction. Nigeria reported the incident to the UN Security Council amid suggestions that the shipment could be in breach of sanctions passed against Iran over its nuclear program.
1650 GMT: Karroubi Watch. Fereshteh Ghazi interviews Mehdi Karroubi's wife Fatemeh about the attacks on and blockade of the Karroubi residence.
1640 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Former Revolutionary Guard commander and Mir Hossein Mousavi supporter Hossein Farzin has been released on $300,000 bail in Mashhad.
Morteza Komsari, a member of the Tehran Bus Drivers Union, has been arrested.
Two detained members of the Mothers of Mourning, Akram Neqabi and Jila Taramsi, reportedly remain in solitary confinement.
1415 GMT: Parliament v. President (Ongoing). MP Ali Motahari, one of the leaders behind the petition "summoning" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Parliament, has denied that any legislators have withdrawn their signatures.
Pro-Government media claimed, after Sunday's statement that more than 40 MPs had signed ---the assent of 74 of the 290 members is needed to force Ahmadinejad to appear --- that many of them had not agreed. However, Motahari said more than 50 MPs have now endorsed the petition.
1400 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Press TV's website carries Tuesday's announcement by Iranian officials that an arrest warrant has been issued for former President Hashemi Rafsanjani's son Mehdi Hashemi, who is currently living in London.
1042 GMT: Corruption Watch. Elias Naderan, a leading Parliamentary critic of the Government, has renewed his allegation that the Ph.D. of 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi is fraudulent.
1010 GMT: Getting the Parliament v. President Story Right. After the exaggeration and confusion over the interpretation, started by The Wall Street Journal, that Iran's Parliament was close to impeaching Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but had been blocked by the Supreme Leader --- see our separate analysis --- William Yong of The New York Times offers an article which tries to get the story right, both in content and significance:
Iranian Parliament members recently sent a letter detailing a long list of complaints against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Iran’s powerful Guardian Council, Iranian news media have reported, marking a new phase in an effort by traditional conservatives to rein in the administration and reassert the powers of Iran’s legislative body.
The letter, which could theoretically result in the president’s impeachment, was rapidly disavowed by its putative supporters. Many denied having signed the document.
Nevertheless, the uprising is a sign that internal fissures that developed between the Ahmadinejad government and conservatives in Parliament during last year’s wave of protests have yet to be closed.
At the same time, Yong points to further confusion and manoeuvres as some outlets try to play down the significance of the move:
The letter to the Guardian Council was released to the news media by the Parliament’s in-house news agency. It listed 14 “infringements,” including foot-dragging by the administration on the implementation of a variety of laws, as well as financial irregularities.
Those included three years of unauthorized imports of gasoline and diesel worth around $10 billion and the failure to account for up to 40 percent of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s spending on his numerous visits to Iran’s regions.
Subsequent news reports said that the petition had been signed by more than 40 members of Parliament, among them a number of prominent critics of the president. But on Monday, several members who had been named publicly as supporters of the plan distanced themselves from the letter, some issuing stern denials that the plan had been presented to members for their signatures.
“I did not sign this letter and know nothing about it,” one of them, Elias Naderan, was quoted as saying in Jam-e-Jam, a Web site that is linked with Iran’s state broadcaster, IRIB.
Another member, Hamid-Reza Fuladgar, in the same report, said, “There has been no letter to pose questions to the president, let alone have 40 M.P.’s sign it.”
On Tuesday, Ali Motahari, reported to be the architect of the plan to call Mr. Ahmadinejad to account, was criticized by pro-government members of Parliament. Mr. Motahari has not commented on the letter.
0748 GMT: Say It Again, Ahmadinejad Man. In an interview with the Tehran correspondent of The Washington Post, the President's senior advisor Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi declared that sanctions against Iran have had "no noticeable effect". Indeed, he argued that the failure of the sanctions has propelled the West to restart talks.
At the same, Hashemi's chiding of the West was not a rejection of discussions but an opening to them: "The delay in the negotiations has been a good opportunity for the other side to realize the effects of its political decisions. We hope they will make the best use of [it]."
Translation? Both the White House and Ahmadinejad's office now want discussions, but each wants to have the upper hand coming to the table. Thus, the dance of "Sanctions are Pushing Iran to Negotiate/No, They Are Not".
0729 GMT: Nukes and Rights. Eminent Iranian academic Sadegh Zibakalam makes this striking point, even more notable as it appears in the conservative Alef: "Some want to link the nuclear programme to nationalism, but --- in contrast to the nationalisation of oil --- the nuclear case has restricted political freedom in Iran."
0725 GMT: Not-So-Well Alert. The conservative Alef website jabs at continuous mismanagement in Iran.
0710 GMT: More All-is-Well. Commander Hossein Salami, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guard, has told Basiji militia in southern Khorasan that "the Basiji mind has provided us with new nuclear sciences". Salami explained that "Iran will soon become soon one of the progressive and powerful
countries of the world".
Another commander, General Rahim Safavi, says that as Iran's become more complicated, it is the duty of the Basij to get a hold of soft power.
0705 GMT: Today's All-is-Well Alert. It comes from none other than President Ahmadinejad, who assured listeners in Zanjan on Tuesday that 90% of the subsidy cuts plan had been implemented --- which seems a bit curious since there has been no official announcement that subsidies have been removed --- and the rest would follow with no problems.
Ahmadinejad also said "The plan united the hearts of justice against evil."
Still, it looks like the President wants to make super-sure everything is OK: he has postponed his international press conference by 48 hours to Monday.
0655 GMT: The top story for many Iranians today, at least in Tehran, is pollution. There is a lot of it about, so much that officials are talking about extra holidays. The Deputy Governor of Tehran Province says there may be days off next week, and leading MP Habibollah Asgaroladi was indicating that people might even be putting their feet up today.
Then again, MP Hassan Abutorabi-Fard insisted that Parliament would meet today, even if offices,
schools, and universities are closed. And Peyke Iran was writing last night that there would be no extra holidays for workers.
If that's confusing, you should try clearing the smog from the current political situation. The escalating tensions between Parliament and President, with manoeuvres in the Majlis and across the Internet, have led to claims in the Western press that MPs were close to impeaching Ahmadinejad before the Supreme Leader stepped in. We try and sweep away the smoke in a special analysis.