See also Iran Feature: Seeking Acceptance as a Single Woman br>#
Remember Iran: An EA Special --- Three Years Ago Today, The Protests Begin br>
Remember Iran Flashback: Text of Mousavi Letter to His Supporters (13 June 2009) br>
Remember Iran Flashback: 13 June 2009 --- EA's Live Coverage Begins br>
The Latest from Iran (12 June): Three Years Ago Today
This does not mean that everybody should think in the same way…but it should be crystal-clear that despite different opinions and tastes, [all] officials are united and are proceeding in the direction of the country’s progress and the realization of the [Islamic] Revolution’s objectives.
1558 GMT: Nuclear Watch. Has Parliament opened the door to Iran giving up 20% uranium enrichment on its soil, settling for Western acceptance of Tehran's production to 5%? Mohammad Davari summarises for Lebanon's Daily Star:
Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani said lawmakers were instructing Iran's negotiators "they don't have the right to make concessions on Iran's rights under the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty)."
"Nevertheless, concerning the level of uranium enrichment, Iran can define it according to its needs and desires, but that cannot be a rule limiting Iran's nuclear activities," he said.
Although several Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Iran nuclear energy chief Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, have all previously said the issue of enriching uranium to 20 percent could be open to negotiation, it was the first time the parliament has done so.
Iran's chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, had told the MPs:
What has ended is the time of illogical pressure strategy, and on the opposite the time for dialogue and cooperation has started and the West should move in the direction of talks and cooperation strategy.
1427 GMT: The Battle Within. Here is why the Supreme Leader may have called for Parliament to stop protests against the Government --- leading MPs have used a debate on the economy to assail President Ahmadinejad.
Ahmad Tavakoli criticised Ahmadinejad's replacement of the head of the National Development Funds. Nader Qazipour sniped at the President's visit to China last week, with its signature of trade agreements, claiming that increased imports of Chinese goods would be the "first shot against national production".
Other MPs berated exchange rate policy, asserting these led to "illegal profits", and said production amid interest rates of up to 30% was impossible.
1337 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Fars suggests that President Ahmadinejad could use a secret list of MPs' names, in the context of the $2.6 billion bank fraud and Fatemi Street insurance fraud cases, as ammunition against his political enemies.
Readers of Khabar Online, linked to Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, are not impressed, however. They have queried Ahmadinejad's lashing-out at the "lies and slanders" of his domestic critics in a speech last Sunday: "Why hasn't he named the 'bigheads' after seven years?"
1322 GMT: National Security Watch. Digarban reports that nine former Revolutionary Guards and three former prison directors are on the new National Security Committee of Parliament.
1015 GMT: Oil Watch. The International Energy Agency reports that Iran's oil exports have fallen by 40% this year, with 1.5 million barrels per day shipped in April-May compared to 2.5 million at the end of 2011.
"In months ahead, Iran may need to shut in production volumes if export markets remain similarly constrained and storage fills up," the IEA said in its monthly report. It said it believed Iran was still producing 3.3 million bpd, down from 3.5 million last year.
0630 GMT: Nuclear Watch. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's statement on Wednesday, as she met Israeli President Shimon Peres, playing up the threat of Tehran before telling a story that, in the country of Georgia on the Black Sea, the last tourists in the disco each night are Israelis and Iranians and handing out an anecdote that Iranians really like Americans --- all to play up the growing "disconnect" between a "diverse society" in Iran and the "military dictatorship" of the regime:
0619 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Human rights attorney Abdolfattah Soltani has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for "propaganda against the system, forming an illegal group, and conspiring against the regime".
Soltani is one of the leading figures in the Center for Defenders of Human Rights, which also includes Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi. Ebadi is now in exile, while other CDHR figures are behind bars.
Soltani was arrested four days after the 2009 Presidential election and again in September 2011. His "crimes" included co-founding the CHDR, giving interviews to the media about his clients, and being awarded the  Nuremberg International Human Rights Award.
Soltani was initially given an 18-year sentence on 4 March 2012.
0555 GMT: Sanctions Watch. An independent panel of experts has recommended that the United Nations Security Council add two Iranian firms to a UN blacklist for violating a ban on arms exports by Tehran.
The recommendation to sanction Iran's Yas Air and SAD Import-Export is included in a confidential report to be released in the near future. The report claims Syria is the top destination for Iranian arms shipments.
0550 GMT: Sanctions Watch. India's envoy to the United Nations, Manjeev Singh Puri has called on Tehran to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency to establish that it is not pursuing nuclear weapons "Iran should fully cooperate with the IAEA to restore the confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme."
Meanwhile, as we watch India's complex position on Iran --- publicly declaring that it will not let US-led sanctions hold back an expanison of trade but privately, from political decision or difficulties with payment arrangements, cutting imports of Tehran's oil --- we note this overview from the Business Standard:Within New Delhi’s strategic elites, India’s relationship with Iran has become a major discussion point. Officials and analysts inclined towards the US point to Iran’s unpredictability; to India’s emerging strategic partnership with the US and Israel; and to Gulf states like Saudi Arabia with whom India has longstanding relations, and to the need to keep the Gulf region stable as it has 6.3 million migrant Indian workers.
The counter view, which is closer aligned to official policy, sees Iran as an influential player in West Asia that opposes Sunni extremism; as a potentially crucial Indian ally in stabilising Afghanistan, and as a country that provides India a gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia through the port of Chabahar.
While many regard the ongoing Iran crisis as a “west-versus-Iran” confrontation, the longer-term Indian security perspective envisions a balancing act between Riyadh and Teheran, both geopolitical rivals in a West Asian power play. They have multiple points of confrontation: civilisational Arab-Persian tension; Shia-Sunni sectarian rivalry; radically different approaches towards the west, and different outlooks to tackling Israel.
0520 GMT: After the disputed Presidential elections of 2009, Iran's reformists have been battered. Most of their leading figures are detained, under house arrest, or intimidated into silence. Their organisations and communications have been broken by regime measures and surveillance. Their official representation in Parliament has been reduced to a token presence.
Yet there are still reformist politicians trying to find a way back within the system. Consider this week's statement to activists by Abdollah Nouri, Minister of Interior in the Khatami Goverment.
Nouri held up the activities of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, both candidates in the 2009 election and both under house arrest since February 2011, as legal while considering the repression by the regime:
It is still not clear to us why, immediately after the Presidential election of 2009, a large group of political, university and media activists, including prominent members of political parties and reformist groups, were arrested through bizarre methods, why an atmosphere of terror was created and security approaches were implemented, and why reform leaders continue to remain behind bars three years after those events.
At the election headquarters of Karroubi and Mousavi --- both reformist candidates approved by the regime -00 these dear people were doing their normal work when suddenly everything changed the day after the elections and the exciting atmosphere of election campaigning turned to a security atmosphere full of tension to the point that both of these two popular and prominent personalities in the Islamic republic were eventually put under house arrest.
Nouri then looked forward, arguing that there was convergence between the Green Movement and the reformists on issues as the central place of changes to the system, work within the framework of the Constitution, the pursuit of people’s rights and freedoms, and the rejection of all forms of violence.
Nouri's remarks follows comments by Mohammad Mousavi Khoeini, a leading member of the Association of Combatant Clerics, who said reformists had not yet discussed the issue of participation in the 2013 Presidential campaign but referred to former President Mohammad Khatami as the “head of the reformers".