2019 GMT: Elections Watch. More than seven weeks after the first round of Parliamentary elections --- and 11 days before the second round --- we finally have a claimed breakdown of the affiliation of those elected.
MP Asadollah Badamchian, quoting from a Ministry of Intelligence report, gives these figures for the 225 candidates elected in the first round: 64 are from the Unity Front, only nine from the Islamic Constancy Front headed by Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, 50 are on the lists of both the Unity Front and the Constancy Front, and 14 are from the Steadfastness Front linked to conservative politician Mohsen Rezaei. There are 35 reformists, 39 "independents, and 14 Sunnis.
The other 65 MPs will be elected in the second round on 4 May.
2011 GMT: Abolfazl Qadyani, a senior member of the reformist Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution, has used a court appearance to declare that the Supreme Leader "has dealt the biggest blow to the nezam (system)....He is the true taghout (false idol)."
Qadyani was initially detained on 28 December 2009, a day after the opposition's Ashura rallies. He was given a one-year sentence for "insulting the President" and then, in December 2011, give three more years in prison.
1626 GMT: The House Arrests. A curious story about the strict house arrest, now in 15th month, of opposition figure Mehdi Karroubi....
Earlier this week the hard-line outlet Kayhan put out the story that Karroubi had visited Kashan in central Iran, a curious development given his status as a dangerous "seditionist".
Now Karroubi's Fatemeh, who was also held for more than a year, has put out an explanation. Noting that her sons have not seen their father since 21 March, she has said that Karroubi has been moved to Kashan and remains in detention.
1542 GMT: Reuters, citing "two Iran-based shipping sources", says Tehran has been forced to deploy more than half its fleet of supertankers to store oil at anchorage in the Persian Gulf, as it struggles to retain customers amid sanctions.
Of Iran's 59-million-barrel fleet of Very Large Crude Carriers and Suezmax sized tankers, 33 million barrels of capacity --- or 56% --- are being used to store crude at sea in the Gulf.
The sources, familiar with operations at Iran's main export terminal Kharg Island, said 14 of the National Iranian Tanker Company's (NITC) fleet of 25 VLCCs, each loaded with about 2 million barrels of oil, are now acting as floating storage.
A further five of Iran's nine Suezmax tankers, with capacity of one million barrels, are also parked offshore with oil aboard.
The Iranian shipping sources also said that storage tanks on land at Kharg Island, with capacity of about 23 million barrels, are now full.
1531 GMT: Inspiring the Arab Spring Watch. A photograph of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (centre) with 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi and the Supreme Leader today:
1510 GMT: Washington and the Dissidents. Speaking at the US Holocaust Museum, President Obama has announced sanctions on those helping Syria and Iran acquire technology that lets them target dissidents through cellphone and Internet use.
The executive order freezes U.S. assets linked to people found to have aided satellite, computer, and phone network monitoring. It cites the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate, the Syrian cell phone company Syriatel, Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran's Law Enforcement Forces, and the Iranian Internet provider Datak Telecom, as well as a number of individuals: "The United States condemns the continuing campaigns of violence and human rights abuses against the people of Syria and Iran by their governments and provides a tool to hold accountable those who assist in or enable such abuses through the use of information and communications technology."
1350 GMT: Press TV and the Abuses. We published extracts in last week's Live Coverage of the Justice for Iran dossier on State outlet Press TV's exploitation of the abuses of Iranian Arab detainees by the regime.
The full report has now been published in English, "Cut! Take Press TV Off the Air".
A computer virus reportedly affected the internal computer systems at the Ministry of Oil and the National Iranian Oil Company, leading to disconnection of equipment on Kharg Island, which handles about 90% of Iran's oil exports, and other Iranian oil plants from the Internet as a precaution.
The Ministry of Oil said that the virus ”attempted to delete data on oil ministry servers". The ISNA news agency said the attack had had some success; however, the spokesman reassured, "This cyber attack has not damaged the main data of the oil ministry and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) since the general servers are separate from the main servers, even their cables are not linked to each other and are not linked to internet service."
"Everybody is depressed, it's just the general state of people," said Tehran native Mina Mehrain on the eve of the New Year. She swept the dust from her doorstep, her gol goli -- flowered -- chador tied around her. "It's not just something I feel today. It's everyone, it's all the time." A retired artist in her 50s, she has watched the value of her savings drain away as the cost of living soars. The latest round of sanctions and the impending European oil embargo were among the factors that caused the rial to crash late last year. Mina merely shrugged when asked about the government's recent slew of attempted economic fixes -- cash handouts, higher interest for long-term savings accounts, targeted investments. "It's too late," she said flatly.
Mohandese, 28, a primary school teacher who lives in a modest apartment with her unemployed husband in east Tehran, agrees. She's worried, but reassures herself that she is far from retirement age. She juggles her regular job and two others, tutoring Arabic. "I wonder to myself, if I didn't have these extra jobs, what would I do? Really, I couldn't afford anything." A strained look crosses her face. "I never thought about it until now, but if I didn't work so much, we wouldn't be so far from poverty."
0904 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Syrian Front). Aftab reports that two of the six Iranian pilgrims held in Syria have been released. Negotiations to free the other four, as well as seven engineers seized last autumn, continue.
Mahjoub said the marches would highlight the dismissal of 100,000 employees and labourers over the last year.
0854 GMT: Economy Watch. Economic analyst Hossein Raghfar claims that implementation of the second phase of President Ahmadinejad's subsidy cuts will lead to 60% inflation and destroy domestic production.
Economist Mohammad Bagher Noubakht says the surge in prices has been caused by two faulty policies of the Government: support payments for subsidy cuts to families and failure to give support payments to the production sector.
According to Noubakht, Central Bank data shows a recent jump in prices of 44% for dairy products, 47% for vegetables, 46% for meat, and 34% for chicken.
0845 GMT: Ahmadinejad and Rafsanjani (cont.). Hmm.... Looks like this supposed reconciliation between President Ahmadinejad and former President Hashemi Rafsanjani may be short-lived....
The daily newspaper Iran, run by Ahmadinejad's media advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr, has declared that presentation of the President's attendance at the Expediency Council as "rapprochement" with Rafsanjani is a "big lie". The newspaper said differences are "more than political" and "relate to all realms" in Iranian society.
0735 GMT: All the President's Men. Bultan News claims a major victory for the President's camp --- despite all the pressure on controversial advisor Saeed Mortazavi to give up his recent appointment as head of the Social Security Fund, the "chatter on Majlis corridors" is that he will retain his post.
After a barrage of criticism from MPs and possible prosecution, Mortazavi --- who was Tehran Prosecutor General during the abuses and killings at the Kahrizak detention centre in summer 2009 --- offered his resignation, but it was rejected by President Ahmadinejad.
0700 GMT: Ahmadinejad and Rafsanjani. Prominent Iranian analyst Sadegh Zibakalam has cast his eye on President Ahmadinejad's appearance, his first in three years, at the Expediency Council led by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Zibakalam sees the event as the President's attempt to get Rafsanjani's support against the principlists challenging Ahmadinejad, even though the two men "have nothing in common". Then Zibaklam shrugs, "The Expediency Council has had no say in politics since 2005, so Ahmadinejad's presence there is of no importance."
0645 GMT: Monday starts with regime efforts to display their prominence and leadership, following the Supreme Leader's declaration to Army commanders on Sunday that the Islamic Republic is the inspiration for uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is on the second day of his visit to Tehran. Nothing of substance has emerged from Iranian media, but Sunday meetings with President Ahmadinejad and Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani were opportunities to declare that Iraq-Iran relations were opportunities for the "establishment of stability and peace in the region", standing up against the US and Israel.
Seeking further possibilities, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is leading an Iranian delegation in Tunisia for two days of talks.
Still, Iranian State media may be stretching the rhetoric a bit far. Press TV declares, "UAE Affirms Keenness to Boost Relations with Iran", apparently unaware that the sharp reduction in trade through Dubai --- at one point this year bringing Tehran's empty threat to cut all business --- has been a major factor in Iran's economic and currency difficulties.