2155 GMT: And Now For Something Completely Different. I was interviewed this evening by the international service of Iranian State radio.
The topic? The closure of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper News of the World, first printed in 1843, because of a scandal over the hacking of private mobile phones, including the families of murder victims, those slain in the 2005 London bombing, and British troops killed in action.
2145 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Mansoura Behkish, human rights activist and member of the Mothers of Mourning, has been released from detention.
The reason for Behkish's arrest and the charges against her are still unknown.
2120 GMT: The Battle Within. Digarban summarises this week's dispute over gender separation in universities --- by ordering a halt to implementation, President Ahmadinejad has opposed parts of the clergy, including the Supreme Leader.
2100 GMT: A Middle Way on the Elections (Corrected)? Prominent reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh, speaking on the debate amongst reformists and Green activists on whether to participate in the 2012 Parliamentary elections, has suggested that there is no "middle way", insisting on fulfilment of the Constitution and a free and fair electoral process.
Tajzadeh, assessing the situation more than two years after the Presidential election --- and after his arrest and detention --- said, "I know time is in favour of the [reform/Green] movement. The authorities are faced with multiple crises and are in a position of weakness."
Tajzadeh has been serving a nine-year sentence for actions against national security.
2030 GMT: Hidden Imam Watch. An interesting comment from the Supreme Leader to university professors, authors, and graduate students on the subject of "Mahdism", the Hidden Imam who is one day supposed to return, according to Shi'a Islam....
Ayatollah Khamenei advised against the dissemination of erroneous information about Mahdism, saying this would marginalise the true concept of the doctrine. He said everyone should refrain from taking “unwise” measures because this would set the stage for the emergence of false claimants.
Iran has been embroiled in political and religious dispute for months over claims that advisors of President Ahmadinejad are supporting belief in the imminent return of the Hidden Imam. Some, including the prayer leader in the President's office, have even been arrested.
2025 GMT: Oil Watch. The daily newspaper Arman reports that about 75% of the wells in Phases 9 and 10 of Iran’s South Pars natural gas field, inaugurated more than two years ago, are still not operational.
The failure has led to a loss of about $6 billion in potential revenue.
The 24 wells in the two phases were forecast to produce about 50 million cubic meters of gas a day.
1820 GMT: Diplomatic Front. Hassan Qashqawi, the Parliament Deputy to the Foreign Minister, has admitted that 10 Iranian diplomats have sought asylum and 40 more have emigrated.
Qashqawi insisted, however, that these numbers were "statistically insignificant" amongst the total number of Foreign Ministry employees.
1605 GMT: Reformist Watch. Hojatoleslam Hossein Ebrahimi, a member of Parliament's National Security Committee, has asserted that former President Mohammad Khatami and his supporters cannot return to power. Only those who remained silent during the conflict after the 2009 Presidential election are acceptable.
1200 GMT: Technical Announcement. Apologies for limited service today because of weekend commitments --- we'll be back late afternoon with latest news.
1155 GMT: Crimewatch. Iran Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi Moghaddam has said that police will establish a website for people to post films from their mobile phone about the "vice" and immorality that they witness in Iran's streets.
1150 GMT: A Villa for Every Family. President Ahmadinejad has continued his campaign of a new home for every Iranian family. Having said last week that a free 1000 square-meter plot of land should be given to each family, he has now declared that a villa on that plot will cost $60,000.
1140 GMT: Protest Watch. Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi declares, in an interview for CNN's Global Public Square:
We have to continue our peaceful route of resistance. This will be the way Iranians will be successful. Right now, the power struggle between the leadership shows that they are getting weaker. This can even be seen in the current struggle between the leadership and fundamentalists in Iran. Because of this, the Iranian people’s resistance is getting stronger and the leadership is getting weaker.
Ebadi also opposed sanctions that "hurt the people" but supported restrictions on arms and increasing the "number of people on the list of Iranian officials who are politically sanctioned".
1135 GMT: CyberWatch. Yet another declaration from Iranian officials that they are ready for any cyber-war....
Farzad Ismaili, the commander of the Khatam al-Anbiya military base, declared that his personnel are able to detect and counter any cyber-attack against the country, "Today we use secure and stable internet systems with coding systems....Iran can nip any attack in the bud."
1130 GMT: Back from a weekend break to find that journalist and blogger Babak Dad has criticised the "moderate reformists" in Iran. In an interview with the Voice of America programme Parazit --- a rough equivalent to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart --- Dad said former President Mohammad Khatami had "tried to repair the broken house of the Islamic Republic with a tiny hammer".
0545 GMT: The prize for journalistic restraint today goes to Voice of America, which headlines, "Political Instability in Iran Leaves Future Somewhat Uncertain".
You've got to love that qualifier "somewhat" --- given the recent months of conflict in the Iranian establishment, it's sort of like "a little bit pregnant".
The entire article hedges its bets, "Some analysts believe that while the president’s position has been weakened, it does not mean a fatal split in the hardline Iranian hierarchy," but there are some assertions as starting points for thought.
For example, there's this declaration: "Analysts say that the clerical establishment, at least for now, likely will allow the president to serve out his term in the interest of stability." What this misses is 1) this is far more than "the clerical establishment", given the involvement of high-profile political actors, say, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and 2) Ahmadinejad is not being allowed to "serve out his term" because of stability but because of the fear of instability and the reality of much-more-than-somewhat uncertainty.
Former British Ambassador Richard Dalton, a first-rate analyst, evaluates, “You will see somebody [selected for President in 2013], I think, who is less populist in his approach, more of a conventional manager of the economy and society, and somebody who is less bombastic, who makes less wide-sounding promises that turn out to be unfulfillable."
That's probably right, but it offers no idea whom that person might be. And before the Iranian establishment (or, if you prefer, the Supreme Leader trying to hold together the Iranian establishment) can tap someone on the shoulder for the Presidency, there's the small matter of the 2012 Parliamentary elections to get through. Or the Ahmadinejad advisors whom many would like to see arrested. Or the current economic issues.