2045 GMT: The House Arrests. An EA correspondent reports that Mohammad Hossein Karroubi, the son of the detained opposition figure Mehdi Karroubi, has revealed that he met his father for 30 minutes on Saturday afternoon.
The younger Karroubi, writing on Facebook, said that he was joined by his mother Fatemeh, who has also been held under strict house arrest since mid-February. The meeting took place at the family's new home in Jamaran in north Tehran.
Mehdi Karroubi was reportedly in good spirits and improving health, having suffered from respiratory problems this autumn. He now has an entire floor of the house where he is held and is given two daily newspapers, Ettelaat and Jam-e Jam, to read.
1845 GMT: Virtual Diplomacy Watch. The US Government has launched its "Virtual Embassy" to "work as a bridge between the American and Iranian people", with "latest news", visa services, and information on "Study in the USA" and "Open Societies".
1835 GMT: The Supreme Leader's Reach-Out to Reformists. Earlier today (see 0923 GMT), we noted the claim that a high-ranking "security official" had met detained opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi and offered this assessment, "If true, this report underscores the real need felt by at least some parts of the Supreme Leader's camp to ensure maximum participation in the upcoming Parliamentary elections. It also rings true with Ayatollah Khamenei's call for reformists to be let back into the fray if they make amends for past errors."
Now this from Radio Zamaneh:
Iran’s Supreme Leader says reformists can participate in the coming election if they “admit to being in error” in the last presidential election, the head of Iran’s Assembly of Experts has reported.
The Khabar Online website reports that in an interview, Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani [the head of the Assembly of Experts] said: “[Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei] says anyone that comes and says I believe in these principles, the constitution, the Revolution, Islam and the leadership, even if they have different tastes, they should not be churned away from the Revolution.”
Kani added that he had inquired specifically about the reformists and the Supreme Leader had responded: “If they came and admitted that they were in error, then it is not a problem. They can come and say at a certain time, we made a mistake and now we understand and do not want to repeat those errors.”
1805 GMT: For Students Day. Five detained student activists ---including Mostafa Neeli, Seyed Mehdi Khodaei, Peyman Aref, Javad Alikhani, and Arash Sadeghi --- have issued a statement for National Students Day tomorrow.
The signatories call for the release of political prisoners, freedom in elections with no restrictions on political parties, freedom of the press, and compensation for families of victims of violence after the 2009 Presidential election.
1535 GMT: The Embassy Attack. In what appears to be an attempt to re-set the regime line after the backlash over last week's assault on the British Embassy, Pedram Pakayeen, the head of media in the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, has said --- in a statement carried by Fars, reportedly linked to the Revolutionary Guards --- that all media supported the protest outside the Embassy, but they should condemn the raid as prescribed by Iran's leaders.
An EA correspondent comments, "Pakayeen has obviously set the official agenda Pakayeen has obviously set the official agenda of against the Brits but condemn the raid. However, the attack has exposed a major contradiction within the Islamic Republic: 32 years later, a majority silently condemns brutal attacks but both hardliners and reformists are unable to condemn them, as they are central to their "revolutionary" ideology and self-conception."
1505 GMT: Religion Watch. Al Arabiya reports on more than 300 Iranian families forced to leave their homeland in the western province of Khuzestan after discrimination against their faith Sabian Mandaeism, which is not officially acknowledged in the Islamic Republic.
1457 GMT: Bank Fraud Watch. Khabar Online reports that, three months after the revelation of the $2.6 billion embezzlement, uncertainty hovers over Iran's major banks. Some posts at the Central Bank are still vacant, while Bank Saderat and Bank Melli, with their Chief Executive Officers arrested, fired, or fleeing the country, are stagnating.
1407 GMT: The Embassy Attack. Rooz Online has posted an English translation of its article, "Confessions of Attackers on the British Embassy: We Were Used". The summary, parallelling information on EA, is useful in portraying the emerging distance between the protesters and the regime who initially supported their occupation. It concludes:
Just a few days after the attack on the British embassy compounds in Tehran, which some Principlists had originally hailed as the third revolution --- the attack on the US embassy in 1979 which resulted in the hostage taking of the American embassy staff was hailed as the second revolution by Ayatollah Khomeini --- is now questioned and is used by the different power factions inside the regime to attack each other. And all of this is taking place while neither the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, nor President Ahmadinejad has expressly commented on the issue in public. It is international pressure that has forced them to distance themselves from the attack?
1359 GMT: Deviant Current Watch. Prominent cleric Mehdi Taeb --- the brother of a key Revolutionary Guard commander --- has said that the "deviant current" wants to topple the regime. He said that its head, whom he did not name, wants to prevent March's Parliamentary elections.
1353 GMT: Security Watch. Claimed footage of increased secur presence in Tehran today on the religious occasion of Ashura:
0923 GMT: Rumour of the Day. The website of a faction of the National-Religious Coalition claims that an Iranian security official visited opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi, under strict house arrest since mid-February, and told him to be conciliatory, given "rising foreign threats".
Mousavi reportedly reported that it is the regime that has to recognise that he won the most votes in the 2009 Presidential election, rigged in favour of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
An EA correspondent assesses, "If true, this report underscores the real need felt by at least some parts of the Supreme Leader's camp to ensure maximum participation in the upcoming Parliamentary elections. It also rings true with Ayatollah Khamenei's call for reformists to be let back into the fray if they make amends for past errors."
0824 GMT: Picture of the Day. Iranian authorities may be quite hostile toward Britain these days, but that did not stop a marcher in Boroujerd dressing up in the imagined uniform of a 19th-century British soldier.
Then again, this might not be a tribute --- the march, for the religious ceremonies of Ashura, was of the evil army that killed Imam Hussein in the 7th century:
0817 GMT: Sanctions Watch. The Financial Times reports that a senior US official has visited the United Arab Emirates and met bank representatives "to press for further isolation of Iranian institutions,...threaten[ing] to cut off any transgressors from the US financial system".
US measures, though never enforced against UAE institutions, have reduced trade finance between the Emirates and Iran threatening thousands of Iranian-focused merchants; however, UAE-Iran trade is still rising from last year's level of more than $10 billion.
In recent weeks, the US, Canada, France, and Britain have each imposed further restrictions on links with Iran's financial system.
0815 GMT: Hysteria of the Day. The Daily Telegraph of London often runs weakly-supported, panic-stricken articles about Iran, but this morning's supposed revelation by Con Coughlin --- citing the "Western intelligence officials" he always seems to bump into --- goes farther: "Iran's Revolutionary Guards Prepare for War".
0755 GMT: Drone Watch. We have posted an analysis by James Dunne, "Fact and Fiction on the Crash of an Advanced US Drone", but new information is already modifying his incisive critique.
In contrast to our belief that the stricken RQ-170 Sentinel, supervised by the CIA but run in co-operation with the military, would have been in fragments after impact, an unnamed US official has told The Los Angeles Times that the crashed drone was largely intact.
0615 GMT: The mystery over the Iranian military's claim on Sunday that it had brought down, using cyber-warfare, a US drone in the east of the country continues.
After its loud proclamation on Sunday, Iran was silent yesterday, with no further articles in State media. Yet last night, Fox News --- citing "US military sources" --- revived the possibility that there had been an incident. The sources reportedly said that an advanced drone, the RQ-170 Sentinel, was now in Iranian hands. The airplane had been operated by the CIA, who made no comment on the matter.
That development followed scepticism throughout the day of the Iranian military's initial statement. While the US military admitted it had lost a drone, a Pentagon spokesman said, "The one thing I can tell you is we don't have any indications that the UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle], that we know we no longer have, was brought down by hostile activity of any kind." An analyst, James Lewis, added, "Iran hacking into the drone is as likely as an Ayatollah standing on a mountain-top and using thought waves to bring it down."
The Fox story and the earlier statements are not exclusive, of course. Lewis notes, "The most likely explanation is that [the drone] crashed on its own." Still, it is surprising that if the Iranians have the RQ-170 --- even if it is in fragments, rather than "lightly damaged" as Tehran claimed on Sunday --- they have not yet taken propaganda advantage by displaying their prize or making further statements.