Iran's judiciary says it has forwarded the cases of sixteen individuals indicted in connection with the Ashura riot in Tehran to the Revolution Court.
The Tehran Prosecutor's office said in a statement that one of the defendants could be charged with being "mohareb" (enemy of God) — a crime punishable by execution.
The fifteen [other] suspects were charged with "conspiring against national security and carrying out acts against the establishment," the statement added.
This is the latest in a series of public set-pieces. A couple of weeks ago, "seven" defendants appeared in Revolutionary Guard. Then there was the announcement that "five" demonstrators would be charged as "mohareb".
All of this, in contrast to the public show of the Tehran trials in August, seems just a bit haphazard.
1840 GMT: Mir Hossein Mousavi has offered condolences to the family of Professor Ali-Mohammadi.
1835 GMT: Payvand has a useful summary of 19 women's rights activists and female journalists who were detained in the days after the Ashura protests.
1825 GMT: Professor Ali-Mohammadi and Sweden. There has been a lot of chatter around the theory that Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was killed by regime loyalists, in part because he was going to take up a fellowship at Stockholm University in Sweden. We've done some checking:
1. We can establish nothing beyond the claim of the physicist's colleagues that "he had been in touch" with Stockholm about a one-year research grant. That's not necessarily "taking up" a fellowship, since in many cases, an application is made to a funding body, e.g., the European Union's research support programmes, for a Visiting Scholar.
The claim, without further evidence, was exaggerated on prominent blogs into Ali-Mohammadi definitely leading the country.
2. It is not necessarily an anti-regime step to take up an overseas fellowship. I personally know academics who support the regime who have held such fellowships.
3. There is nothing to indicate that Ali-Mohammadi's research fellowship would have turned into a defection.
4. There's a contradiction in the theory. If Ali-Mohammadi was in fact a particle physicist who had little or no connection with Iran's nuclear programme, why would there be a risk for the regime in his taking up a fellowship, since he would have no sensitive information to disclose?
NEW Latest Iran Video: The Life, Death, and Funeral of Professor Ali-Mohammadi (14 January)
NEW Latest Iran Video: “A Message to Armed Forces of Iran” (13 January)
NEW Iran Analysis: Political Manoeuvring Around the Professor’s Death
Iran Analysis: Nuclear Myths, Rogue Elements, and Professor Ali-Mohammadi’s Murder
NEW Iran Special: Interpreting the Death of Professor Ali-Mohammadi
NEW Latest Iran Video: The Leverett Line on Killing of Professor Ali-Mohammadi (13 January)
Latest Iran Video: How State Media Frames Killing of “Nuclear” Professor (12 January)
The Latest from Iran (13 January): Speculations and Realities
1800 GMT: Follow-up on Troublesome Clerics. We noted last night that clerics are re-emerging to challenge the Government. Ayande News has the letter of Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeghi Tehrani declaring that any official position for Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, former First Vice President and current Ahmadinejad Chief of Staff, is religiously forbidden. And Persian2English posts the text of Ayatollah Bayat-Zanjani's position on velayat-e-faqih (ultimate clerical authority):
QUESTION: Recently, the slogan "the principle of the supreme leader is part of our religion [Islam]’s principle” was heard and repeatedly broadcast on TV. Are the principles of religion among secondary principles? Can something be added to it or deducted from it? Isn’t this slogan a blasphemy? According to Islam what sentence should be considered for [those who challenge velayat-e-faqih]? What is our responsibility?
ZANJANI: The principle of the supreme leader is a political and juridical principle, and an arguable subject among Faqihs. Although it seems to be the right principle, it’s not the principle of religion and denying it is not infidelity. Those who claim otherwise are innovating and they should be rejected.
1500 GMT: Parleman News reports that Hassan Abedi Jafari, an advisor to Mir Hossein Mousavi, has been released from detention. It is claimed that Jafari's seven-year prison sentence has been overturned.
Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has told Al Jazeera that her sister Noushin has been freed from prison.
1425 GMT: Rah-e-Sabz reports that the chief editor of Aftab-e Yazd has resigned to prevent the closure of the daily newspaper.
1415 GMT: Arrests and Jail Terms. Mohammad Ali Shirzadi, documentary-maker and member of the Committee of Prisoner's Defense was arrested Monday night. His whereabouts are still unknown.
Salman Sima, a member of the Students Policymaking Council, has been given a six-year prison sentence by the Revolutionary Court. SPC senior members Ahmad Zeydabadi and Abdollah Momeni have also received long jail terms.
Peyke Iran is reporting that 100 protesters detained on Ashura (27 December) have been put in the solitary-confinement cells of Gohardasht prison in Karaj.
1405 GMT: Linking Economics and Politics. It might be worthwhile to keep an eye on Khabar Online, which has been poking at the Government. First, there was the rebuff of the official line that Professor Ali-Mohammadi was part of Iran's nuclear programme (see 1025 GMT). Now there is this economic story, which intersects with comments EA readers have been making:
Currently several projects in Iran's rich gas field of South Pars have come to a halt or are to be closed down....Sirous Sazdar, a member of the energy committee of Iranian Parliament (Majlis) emphasized that the gas ventures of the country are not developed in an efficient manner. He referred to the fact that from the last year the capacity of Iran's gas production has not boosted.
"This winter the weather was on the side of Iranian gas officials. The gas production capacity of the country is about 500 million cubic meters per day. This year if the weather had grown so cold like what people experienced in winter 2008, we would need 700 million cubic meters of gas and could face a shortage of 200 million cubic meters a day," he said.
"Although these days the weather is not that much cold, we witness that to provide consumer gas for houses and business places, the officials have dropped the bulk of delivered gas to power stations by 30 million cubic meters," Sazdar pointed out.
The wider significance? Khabar is far from a reformist publication; indeed, it's considered to be close to Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani. So, while Larijani makes his statements promoting the hard line against the Green movement, an allied publication is making trouble for President Ahmadinejad....
1350 GMT: Israel Did It. Pretty much a complete summary of today's comment by President Ahmadinejad on the Ali-Mohammadi killing, although he did dress it up a bit:
The depth of the enemies' grudge can be seen in the university professor's assassination. The manner of bomb planting shows a Zionist style and they want to make sure that Iran would not advance. [Iran's foes] don't want to see thinkers and scientists in Iran and do not want to see its development. The enemies can not take away the concept of genius from Iran by killing geniuses.
1345 GMT: Complementing today's video of the Ali-Mohammadi funeral, we've posted the video of an Al Jazeera debate, featuring Seyed Mohammad Marandi, Siavush Randjbar-Daemi, and Joshua Goodman, over the politics around his death. (See our initial comments on this debate in yesterday's updates.)
1215 GMT: Reliable sources report that Shapour Kazemi, the brother of Mir Hossein Mousavi's wife Zahra Rahnavard, has been released from detention. Kazemi has been in jail, on two separate occasions, for most of the post-election period.
1210 GMT: We have posted two videos of the life and death of Ali-Mohammadi, a report on today's funeral and an interview with his colleague.
1200 GMT: An Eyewitness Account of the Ali-Mohammadi Funeral. An EA correspondent has received the following from a "very reliable" source:
The street in front of Ali-Mohammadi's house was filled to the brim with louts who were bussed in to chant "Death to America". They essentially hijacked the street AND the house of Ali-Mohammadi.
Ali-Mohammadi's family were holed up inside their home by security forces, and they have been threatened since yesterday. His wife was screaming "You finally killed him!" [this detail has also been reported by Rah-e-Sabz]. The students and professors were forced to go into a separate procession. They started shouting religious intonations for the dead and were assaulted by plainclothesmen.
No one has any shred of doubt in Tehran any longer as to who really killed him --- it's the security forces, in one way or another.
Rah-e-Sabz reports the following from another eyewitness:
There was a heavy presence of security forces, with no one was allowed to stand in front of Ali-Mohammadi's home. Police loudspeakers were ordering people out of the street and onto the burial site. The streets around it were packed with plainclothes and ordinary police. Three women photographers working for "foreign news agencies" were arrested by the female division of the police.
A brother of Ali-Mohammadi has claimed that his desktop computer has been taken away from his house, and he and another relative [the Professor's wife] claims the authorities killed him.
A statement which Fars claimed last night to have obtained from Ali-Mohammadi's family was false. According to the same source, the family hasn't made any statements yet.
1035 GMT: OK, I'll Stay for 99% Support. Hojatoleslam Ruhollah Hosseinian, who had threatened to resign as a member of Parliament because there has not been “100% support for Ayatollah Khamenei”, has decided to stay after discussions with President Ahmadinejad's advisors. Hosseinian reportedly presented the revocation of his resignation directly to the Supreme Leader.
1030 GMT: The Ali-Mohammadi Funeral. Peyke Iran has a report on the event, including the observation of a heavy security presence which remains even though the funeral has concluded.
1025 GMT: Khabar Online has challenged the official line on Professor Ali-Mohammadi, highlighting the statement from the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization that the physicist did not work with the nuclear programme.
0945 GMT: We've posted an interesting video --- makers unknown --- calling on Iran's armed forces to join the Green movement.
0930 GMT: Another University Statement on Ali-Mohammadi. Islamic Republic News Agency is featuring a statement from Allameh Tabatabei University, declaring that Iranian scientists are victims of counter-revolutionaries associated with global threats, arrogance, and Zionism.
0910 GMT: We now have confirmation, including photograph in our inset box, of heavy security presence around the funeral of Professor Ali-Mohammadi, as authorities fear that the occasion will bring protests.
0710 GMT: The Move Against Ahmadinejad's Government. Radio Farda returns to a key story beyond the Ali-Mohammadi news: member of Parliament Ali Motahari's ongoing campaign against the President and his allies. Motahari has again called for the removal of the legal immunity of Saeed Mortazavi, former Tehran Prosecutor General and now Presidential aide, in the investigation of detainee abuses.
0640 GMT: And There Will Be Free Cupcakes for All. You cannot accuse President Ahmadinejad of being cautious in his declarations. Here is a nugget from his speech in Khuzestan in southwestern Iran on Wednesday.
Iran is a rich country and if justice is established not even a single person will be unemployed or poor....I have also assured the parliament members that if the plan is implemented by a smooth mechanism, Iran will not have even a single jobless or poor within three years.
0635 GMT: Unsurprisingly, the leading news today continues to be the speculation and political manipulation of the killing of Professor Massoud Ali-Mohammadi. We have posted a latest analysis. We will also post, later today, the video of the discussion on Al Jazeera English's "Inside Story" --- including academics Seyed Mohammad Marandi and Siavush Randjbar-Daemi --- of the case.
Ali-Mohammadi's funeral is today, and we will be watching for any sign of a demonstration around it.