The Supreme Leader casting his vote today
1930 GMT: Elections Watch. There are no clear numbers from today's second Parliamentary elections, but Iranian media are already putting out the message of "impressive turnout".
Mehr emphasises the diversity of those voting, including "Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the late Imam Khomeini; pro-reform figure Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha, who is the secretary general of the Association of Combatant Clerics; and National Confidence Party deputy chief Rasul Montajabnia, who is also a key member of the Association of Combatant Clerics".
And Tehran University academic Seyed Mohammad Marandi offers the inevitable proclamation that the show of domestic support for the regime will bolster it in forthcoming talks over Iran's nuclear programme.
1915 GMT: Human Rights Watch. A panel of United Nations human rights experts have reported that Iran is cracking down on activists and their lawyers, handing down out harsh sentences to quash dissent and calls for rights.
The experts called for the immediate release of human rights defenders such as Narges Mohammadi, who was seized on 21 April to serve a six-year prison sentence for assembly and collusion against national security, membership in the Center for Defenders of Human Rights, and propaganda against the regime.
Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, said, "The conviction and extremely harsh sentencing of human rights defenders is an indication of mounting repression against the legitimate activities of human rights defenders and represents a serious setback for the protection of human rights in Iran."
Gabriela Knaul, special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, said attorneys representing activists face difficulties as they are identified with their clients' causes: "The government has an obligation to ensure that lawyers can perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference and that they do not suffer prosecution for any action taken while carrying out their duties."
However, Larijani gives a higher price --- 2000 Toman (about $1.65 at official rate) per litre --- than has been reported in Iranian media, and he has added the political charge that the increase is to help the Government cover support payments for the second phase of subsidy cuts.
The reports that gas prices would soar have led to a surge in consumption --- at one point, claimed to be 600% in two days --- and long queues at gas stations.
1625 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update. Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami in the pulpit today, and he has been distracted from the Parliamentary elections and the talks over Iran's nuclear programme....
Instead, Khatami was concerned with the burning of the Qur'an by a Florida pastor, Terry Jones ---- the second time the preacher had tried to seize attention with the act --- complaining that American and European governments had been silent about the desecration.
In contrast, the outcome of the 2009 Presidential election was declared by the Supreme Leader three hours after polls closed.
1400 GMT: Elections Watch. Back from a break to find Fars presenting the claim of impressive turnout with a photograph from one of the showcase locations, a mosque in Tehran:
Officials extended voting by one hour to 7 p.m. (1430 GMT).
1045 GMT: Clerics v. Revolutionary Guard. Radio Farda carries a lengthy assessment of the relationship between senior clerics and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, following Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi's complaint about a rift.
Analysts see a catalyst in a purge within the Guards, soon after the 2009 Presidential election, because commanders did not support the Supreme Leader. Ayatollah Khamenei's office and supportive officers tried to restore stability with "ideological education".
Seeing a new phenomenon of "Sepah (Guards) clerics", the analysts claim that the Supreme Leader wants to eliminate the influence of political clergy who did not support him after 2009 and that Makarem Shirazi's complaint is an indirect criticism of Ayatollah Khamenei.
1035 GMT: Nuclear Watch. Ritual announcement of the day comes from Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, who says that Tehran will not accept any demand for shutdown of its second uranium enrichment plant at Fordoo:
When you have a safe place, secure place under IAEA control, then why do you tell me that I should close it? Fordoo is a safe place. We have spent a lot of money and time to have a safe place.
0802 GMT: The Battle Within. A valued EA correspondent reports, "based on trusted sources in Iran":
With the possibility of success in the negotiations between Iran and the West on the nuclear issue, the tension between [President] Ahmadinejad and the principlists has become serious. The critics believe that the Ahmadinejad-Mashai [Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, the President's right-hand man] camp are trying to ruin the negotiation process.
Ahmadi Nejad has raised a harsh tone toward the Parliament, controlled by the Supreme Leader, believing that if the nuclear issue is solved, he’ll be eliminated.
This information matches our analysis from last month that positions have switched on the nuclear issue: Ahmadinejad, once the biggest proponent of talks with the US and Europe, is now the biggest opponent, while the Supreme Leader is now the authority promoting discussions, albeit with no guarantee of success.
0801 GMT: Fraud Watch. An interesting line from the pro-Ahmadinejad MP Mehdi Koochakzadeh, in a debate with Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar, "You talk about the fraud as if there has never been any other corruption before."
0800 GMT: Currency Watch. While Iran's currency problems are no longer headline news, issues remain. Tabnak calculates that, from March to December 2011, $20 billion was spent on currency speculation, almost half of Iran's total figure for imports. That is the highest ratio of speculation to imports in the Islamic Republic's history.
Tabnak claims that fluctuating official policy on currency for travellers and producers "has indirectly forced everyone to go to the black market".
0755 GMT: All the President's Men. Tabnak criticises President Ahmadinejad's efforts to appoint Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh to a Government, given that Malekzadeh still faces trial on charges of financial mismanagement.
Ahmadinejad tried to name Malekzadeh as Deputy Foreign Minister last year, but had to back away after MPs threatened to impeach Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.
0550 GMT: Today is the second round of the Parliamentary election, with the final 65 of the Majlis' 290 seats to be decided among 130 candidates across 33 constituencies. The largest contest will be in Tehran, with 25 of the capital's 30 MPs still to be determined.
In contrast to the first round on 2 March, when there was attention to both the turnout and the battle within the establishment for dominance, there is likely to be little drama. That initial ballot produced a muddled Parliament, with no faction taking control. Today will be unlikely to change the situation, meaning that the Supreme Leader --- who can be assured that the Majlis will not be a significant force to check his authority, even if it wanted to do so --- will be the victor.
As for the question of legitimacy, that will probably conclude today in a shrug of the shoulders. The regime put up the nominal figure of 64% turnout in the first round, a number which --- from a range of other sources, including some within the establishment --- was more likely to be under 40%. However, it could also claim notable psychological wins, such as the reformist former President Mohammad Khatami casting a vote.
Amidst widespread passivity and resignation over Iranian politics, especially given the economic situation, the issue of participation is likely to raise little interest, apart from the ritual declaration of officials --- with whichever number they decide is appropriate --- of a great victory of the Islamic Republic against its foes.