Al Alam was also briefly suspended in November. The cited reason was a contractual breach by the Saudi and Egyptian owners of the satellite service, although political tensions between Tehran, Riyadh, and Cairo may also have been involved.
1700 GMT: The German Menace. Oh, dear, it is a slow news day. Media are running with the Iran regime/media baton of the "German plot" behind the Ashura demonstrations (see 1130 GMT). Reuters put it on their newsfeed, and The Los Angeles Times' Babylon and Beyond has devoted a blog entry to the whipped-up story, which goes back to the brief detention of two German diplomats during the protest of 27 December.
At least the LA Times piece has some interesting related information, beyond the silliness of supposed German code names "Yogi" and "Ingo". For example, the Iranian intelligence official pointed to the Facebook page, from which EA often takes information and English translation, supporting Mir Hossein Mousavi: "Through his Facebook page, Mr. Mir-Hossein Mousavi had called for his supporters to turn out. Mr. Mousavi has never denied the page was run by him."
NEW Latest Iran Video: When Karroubi Met Fars (25 January)
NEW Iran & Karroubi: Why This is “Much Ado About Something”
Iran: Rafsanjani Chooses A Side?
Iran Special Analysis: What Karroubi’s Statement on “Mr Khamenei”/”Head of Government” Means
Latest Iran Audio: Hossein Karroubi on His Father’s Statement (25 January)
The Latest from Iran (26 January): Now for the Follow-Up….
(Message to our friends in the regime: in fact, Mir Hossein Mousavi has never had a connection with the page, which was set up by an Iranian in Germany who became enthused about the Mousavi Presidential campaign. That is why EA never cites information from that page as a reflection of Mousavi's views)
The Iranian official also put out the latest "directorate of exiles" supervising regime change: cleric Mohsen Kadivar, journalist Akbar Ganji, former culture minister Ataollah Mohajerani, filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf and former lawmaker Fatemeh Haghighatjoo.
(Message to our friends in the regime: of those 5, exactly 0 are based in Germany --- 4 are in the US and 1 in France. If you're going to keep up this "German plot" thing, may want to find someone who actually has a resident's-eye view of the Brandenburg Gate.)
1445 GMT: Sanctions Spin. A "senior US official" has told media that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will use meetings in London this week, primarily devoted to Afghanistan and Yemen, to press other countries to accept new international sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme.
1345 GMT: On the Economic Front. The story is throughout "Western" media that the German manufacturer Siemens is ending all interests in Iran.
1200 GMT: A Pause in Service. I'm off to Dublin for 24 hours so EA colleagues will keep an eye out for developments. Keep sending in any information --- it's a slow day so far....
1130 GMT: OK, Let's Try Blaming the Germans. Slow day today so nice of the Government and Iranian state media to raise a smile with their latest "findings":
Iran's Intelligence Ministry said Wednesday it has found evidence that German diplomats played a role in last month's "anti-revolution riots" in Tehran.
"Anti-Islamic Revolution agents, networks backed by Western intelligence services" and those who seek to promote sedition in the country had planned the Ashura riots in advance, the Iranian Students News Agency quoted a deputy intelligence minister as saying....
The intelligence official also said an advisor to the defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi had also been arrested.
"Based on documents obtained from this person, he transferred confidential information to foreign countries through the ringleader of intelligence services of a European country," the official said.
1000 GMT: We've posted the video behind the fuss over the Karroubi statement on Monday --- his encounter with Fars News even includes a kiss on the head for the reporter.
0800 GMT: The Economic Front. An EA reader writes:
For what it's worth, spoke with a close family member in Iran today. It seems panic there is building about the economic situation. For one, there is fear about what is going to happen with money in the banks and more generally to the economy if the banks break down.
But that is the lesser fear. Most Iranians I know never fully trusted banks (or the rial) and so put money that they have (if they have it) into land, gold, and other assets. On the other hand, real panic building about the pulling of subsidies. Most Iranians I know live a middle middle-class lifestyle. They will not likely get any "direct payments" from the government, but will see their gas and utility bills quadruple. They don't know how they are going to afford it.
0715 GMT: For the first time in 48 hours, we're drawing breath amidst a lull in breaking news. We have posted a morning analysis, "Much Ado About Something", to go through the latest developments on the Karroubi statement and to draw out its political significance.
And, for those who missed it last night, we have also cast an eye over Hashemi Rafsanjani's latest statement to see if it has any immediate importance.