There is an important conclusion to be drawn from Friday's outcome, but it is only a reiteration of what we noted after the first round two months ago, not in the overwhelming victory of a faction, but in the lack of one: "While the Islamic Republic's system is far too complex to reduce it to the plaything of the Supreme Leader, "stability" --- if not legitimacy --- lay in an arrangement in which he and his circle could be assured that they would not face trouble from a President, Parliament, or judiciary."
Entries in Mohammad Reza Khabbaz (9)
Even through the reformists have been reduced to a token group of about a dozen in the Majlis --- and even though reformist parties have been suspended or broken up by the regime --- Khabbaz wants a new effort to work within the system. He has said that they can regroup to engage in political activities for the 2013 Presidential election if former President Mohammad Khatami leads the campaign.
Khabbaz said that Khatami's decision to cast a ballot --- a move criticised by many reformists and activists --- had paved the way for his return to the country’s political stage.
Khatami and Neda: Former President Mohammad Khatami is criticised for his "betrayal" in voting in Friday's elections
Today, I spent an hour with Khatami and asked him about his voting. The first thing Khatami said in reply was, "he decision was very hard. I know I have upset a lot of friends and youth, but I had received a number of worrying news in the last two days about extremists having some plans, and I hope I have ruined their plan by my vote."
Khatami has said that on his vote paper, he has written “Islamic Republic”.
Nooraninejad said Khatami will have a "direct dialogue" with people in the near-future to "clear up some of the misunderstanding".
Former Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi has said, "I assure you that Khatami has not voted to make the regime happy because the regime will not do any good to him....The decision of Khatami to vote is one of his wisest decisions. [The reason] will be clear in the near future."
1900 GMT: The Supreme Leader's Son and the "Election Coup". On Friday, we published the WikiLeaks-released cable in which Ayatollah Sayed Salman Safavi, the brother of the Supreme Leader's military advisor, told Western diplomats --- four days after the disputed 2009 Presidential election --- that there had been a "coup" orchestrated by a prison "close to the Supreme Leader".
The story is now in the Persian-language Digarban, with a link to the document and Safavi's assertion that the coup had split the Revolutionary Guards.
1645 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. 1535 GMT: BBC Persian has denied that it employed six people arrested by Iranian authorities (see 0630 GMT) for supposedly working for the service, saying they are independent filmmakers. BBC Persian said, as is common in the industry, that it had paid for the rights to show documentaries and programmes produced by the detainees.
Opposition websites identified the six filmmakers as Naser Saffarian, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Hadi Afarideh, Mohsen Shahrnazdar, Katayoun Shahabi and Mehrdad Zahedian.
A source involved in the arrests said, "This network of anti-Iran people were collaborating with the BBC in a cover-up to fulfil the needs of the British secret service in exchange for big sums of money. The anti-Iran intentions of the channel and its collaborators are clear."
1842 GMT: An EA Correspondent has this assessment of the Supreme Leader's approach to the upcoming Majilis elections.:
Farrokh Negahdar, a Fedayeen member who always defends the IR, commented on Kham's statement on Radio Farda today: apparently the SL prefers "secure" Majlis elections to a massive outcome of voters, i.e. high security measures will be taken to guarantee a fluid "election" for appearances' sake. To me this news is the most obvious evidence for the fact that he has lost all hope in attracting the masses via pro-regime "reformists".
1840 GMT: Al Jazeera English is reporting that Mehdi Karroubi has resided in solitary isolation inside an Iranian prison for the last several weeks. However, they have not provided the source of their report.
"the final goal of the new structure of the Basij is to make 70% of the people in the neighborhood Basij members, 50% participants in group prayer, and 20% participants in Friday prayer."
1441 GMT: "TV Makes Kids Satan" Alert - IRNA is reporting that Ayatollah Mazaheri said today that satellite dishes are far more dangerous than the atomic bomb, because TV is making the youth turn towards moral corruption and prostitution.
The trouble began when the analyst, instead of keeping focus on the problems and errors of the US, said, "Countries in the region, including Pakistan and Iran, don't want a democracy to exist in Afghanistan,... [Iran and Pakistan] have carried out damaging interference in Afghanistan in the past 10 years,"
Claimed footage of frustrated people watching police as they attempt to remove satellite dishes from a neighbourhood in Sarvestan in southern Iran
1840 GMT: The Battle Within. The Supreme Leader has established a "Supreme Board of Arbitration and Adjustment of Relations among the Three Branches of Government" to "regulate the relations between the three branches of government in their interactions and resolve possible disputes".
Ayatollah Khatami appointed Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, former head of Iran's judiciary and current member of the Guardian Council, as the head of the Supreme Board.
2015 GMT: Reformist Watch. MP Mohammad Mehdi Shahryari has given an answer both to ruling principlists and to Mohammad Reza Khabbaz, the reformist who has called for participation in the 2012 Parliamentary elections (see 0545 GMT): "The principlists cannot flee from responsibility for the current situation in country, as they supported it for six years."
1825 GMT: Why Can't We All Just Get Along? Aftab pulls out this highlight from an address by the Supreme Leader to military personnel and their families on Saturday night: "Avoiding differences is a religious duty for political officials and currents."
1855 GMT: Girls and Boys. Ayatollah Alamolhoda, the Friday Prayer leader of Mashhad, has explained that a woman who wears her headscarf back is "more dangerous than any insect". When seen on a bike, she "shatters a boy's faith".
The opposition website Peyke Iran helpfully illustrates the Ayatollah's point with this photograph:
1845 GMT: Banning the Reformists (Confusion Edition). Yesterday we erroneously reported, "Alireza Avayi, the head of the judiciary in Tehran Province, has denied that a banning order has been issued against the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front."
Here's the rather muddled story. The IIPF is claiming that, after it complained about a ban on its activities, an Iranian court cancelled its dissolution and authorised the resumption of its activities.
Avayi has denied the IIPF's claim, saying that the file on the case has merely been transferred to the Tehran Revolutionary Court. The IIPF is still not allowed to engage in any political activity.
Last week, Iran Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said the IIPF and another reformist party, the Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution, were banned.
1815 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Iranian Labor News Agency reports that paint factories are unable to import raw material due to sanctions, and retailers are now out of stock.