1955 GMT: The House Arrests. This just in from Saham News, translated by Banooye Sabz:
A few hours ago, Mohammad Taghi Karroubi, Mehdi Karroubi's second son published a short note on his personal site indicating that a close family friend has visited with his parents.
The following is an excerpt of the note on Mohammad Taghi Karroubi's site:
"A dear clergyman trusted both by the family and the ruling government contacted me today by phone stating that he had met with my mother and father last night in a friendly setting. This beloved person informed me that they are doing well, are in good health and peaceful."
Note the curiosity in the story: the clergyman did not meet the Karroubis in their residence, where they are supposedly under house arrest, but in "a friendly setting". (The same situation occurred last week with Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard when they met their daughters in a building "near their home".) That leaves open the question of the exact status of the Karroubis --- strict house arrest or detention? And it also leaves open the question of when the Karroubis will next be able to speak to someone.
1540 GMT: The Proper System. Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, a key supporter of President Ahmadinejad, has declared that the cooperation between the howzeh (religious seminaries) and Sepah (Revolutionary Guards) is necessary to safeguard the Islamic Revolution.
1535 GMT: Parliament v. Government. The Iranian Labor News Agency reports that the Parliamentary interrogation (istizah) of Minister of Oil Masoud Mirkazemi, over mismanagement of projects, is planned for next month.
1530 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Mahsa Amrabadi, a reformist journalist and wife of the detained reporter Masoud Bastani, has been released.
1510 GMT: Good Polls and Bad Polls. The Government has declared that a survey by the Parliament's Research Center of public opinion on subsidy cuts and economic policy and management is "not scientifically authentic".
The poll showed that almost half of Iranians foresaw public discontent over subsidy cuts, with a much smaller figure expressing satisfaction, and that a majority thought the Government's performance was "mediocre" or "weak".
1500 GMT: Nothing to See Here. Iran Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei has declared that "nothing has happened" on Chahrshanbeh Suri (Fire Festival) and no one has responded to the calls by opposition for "uproar".
1215 GMT: Patrolling the Web. Mardomak reports that there were restrictions on the Internet last night in Tehran and other cities.
1200 GMT: Containing the Students. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty summarises the recent crackdown on students after the renewal of public protests. Part of the article:
A former student activist of Tehran's Sharif University of Technology told Radio Farda on March 13 that 16-18 students of that university have been detained since mid-February.
But she said the total number could be higher as their families have been warned against publicizing their plights. She added that the university's Islamic Association has been barred from issuing statements or engaging in any other activities.
Meanwhile, Sajjad Rezaie, head of the Islamic Association of Tehran University's art faculty, has been suspended from his teaching duties pending a ruling by the university's disciplinary committee.
Rezaie had told the media that student Sanee Zhaleh, who was shot dead during a February 14 rally in Tehran, was a member of Mir Hossein Musavi's presidential campaign team in the June 2009 election. The government identified Zhaleh as a member of the Basij militia.
Arzhang Alipour, a student of architecture at Shiraz University who has been summoned three times to appear before the university's disciplinary committee, was arrested on March 12.
Alipour had given interviews to media describing how fellow student Hamed Nour-Mohammadi was killed during protests in the southwestern city of Shiraz on February 20.
In northern Iran, Zia Nabavi, a jailed student of Babol Noushirvani University of Technology, has been under pressure to appear in a televised interview.
Ali Nazari, former executive secretary of the Islamic Association at Mazandaran University, told Radio Farda that Nabavi had been asked to deny before a TV camera the existence of "starred students," meaning those barred from continuing their higher education because of their political activities.
Nabavi, a cofounder and spokesman of the Council to Defend the Right to Education, was arrested during the post-presidential election unrest in June 2009. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
1030 GMT: Fire Festival. Tehran police say they arrested 467 people last night for "harassment, disturbing the security, and production and distribution of igneous materials".
0650 GMT: No reports of organised protests in Iran last night, on the eve of Chahrshanbeh Suri (the Fire Festival), but plenty of video of people celebrating with bonfires and fireworks. There were also some political messages, as in this claimed footage from Babol in northern Iran --- "Death to the Dictator":
And then this four-minute clip from Tehran:
Coming to America!
Another sign of the promotion of President Ahmadinejad's controversial right-hand man, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai --- he is heading to the US on Friday for ceremonies for Iranian New Year.
Someone Didn't Get the Message
Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani may have suffered a political setback when he was forced out of the leadership of the Assembly of Experts, but he is still the Political Figure of the Year, at least in a Khabar Online poll. He has 60% of the votes from more than 240,000 people who have responded.
Political Prisoner Watch
Pan-Iranist Party member Gholamreza Naser has been detained in Ahvaz.