2145 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. We started with babies this morning, we'll close with very adult behaviour. Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi has attacked former President Hashemi Rafsanjani once again, saying religious seditionists and silent elites must be dealt with. Moslehi declared that he had documents of the 2009 sedition to back up his allegations.
2140 GMT: Parliament v. President. Reformist MP Mostafa Kavakebian has invited President Ahmadinejad to a public discussion about his letter to MPs warning that Parliament, the judiciary, and the Expediency Council were acting wrongly to oppose his plans on the budget and the Central Bank.
0547 GMT: Scott Lucas will now be starting our LiveBlog updates for Friday. I will be back in 10 hours or so.
0513 GMT: A small ray of hope emerges in the form of a twitter user from inside Egypt after the massive internet blackout. Amr El Beleidy, co-founder of touringa.com, tweets from Cairo:
How can Russia react? President Medvedev said the “terrorists” will be punished as soon as possible, but to prevent further attacks Moscow may have to elevate military options. Considering the past experience with this approach, such a strategy may lead to further conflicts between Russia, Chechnya, and other North Caucasian regions.
After Israel's Turkel Commission found that the Israel Defense Forces' killing of nine Turkish citizens on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla was "self-defense", Ankara has responded by publishing details of its own report, submitted last September to the United Nations enquiry.
The report asserted that two of the activists were killed before any Israeli soldier descended onto the deck. It claimed Israeli forces had terrorised passengers, abusing them physically and psychologically with strip-searches and sexual humiliation.
The full transcript of the Turkish press release....
Protesters in Cairo Metro Halt Moving Train
Demonstration in Alexandria
I appeared this morning on the BBC World Service's World Today to discuss President Obama's State of the Union address, considering the politics, economics, and (lack of) foreign policy as well as the prospects for Obama in the near-future and in 2012 on the back of this speech.
The item begins at the start of the programme. I join at 4:40 after comments from a California housewife on Obama and the address.
2100 GMT: Nuke Talks. A hat tip to Scott Peterson of the Christian Science Monitor for his article today trying to sort out the details of the failed Istanbul talks on Iran's nuclear programme....
After my initial criticism of the US media's coverage of Istanbul, Peterson followed up with a message, which we noted in our subsequent analysis. And he has continued to consider those points while other US reporters --- most of whom have not noticed the key points at issue in the talks --- have moved on.
Around the world, there is free access before passengers with tickets are checked by security. Anyone can enter lugging a suitcase or wearing a heavy jacket without generating suspicion. There are numerous areas where groups of people congregate, including check-in gates, the arrivals area, and parking lots, before reaching security checkpoint. Any attack in these areas will be easier than one near airplanes but it will still draw attention and have a substantive impact on air travel, even if casualties are lower than in the case of a bombing of an aircraft.
What options do governments have? It certainly would be possible to protect an entire airport by creating a perimeter around the airport and searching the thousands of vehicles and individuals who enter this. But imagine now the cost and resources this would involve and the impact that this would have on air travel. This is why it is impractical and why airports will remain vulnerable to those determined to take lives through terrorism.
0005 GMT: The situation in Suez has become further tense. Reports coming in from Egypt suggest that the city has effectively been cut-off from the rest of the country. Landlines, cell phones and internet are down. People continue to protest in the city and there have been sporadic reports of clashes, injuries and at least 2 deaths which cannot be confirmed yet.
0002 GMT: RNN reports that 5,000 protesters are holding a sit-in in El-Geish Street in Suez.
0000 GMT: Egyptian blogger and activist Rowand Helmii, who has been arrested by police on her way home, has her cell phone and is tweeting from inside a police car in Cairo.
I was arrested around ( 15 mayo ) if it helps I was heading home;#jan25
@Noor1Noor2 I have no idea what my exact location is but here is my full name rowand sameh hassan mohammed helmii
Thank you guys so much for all the support don't worry I'll get out in a bit won't be late and gonna be at the protest tomorrow ;) :) #jan25