Mousavi's latest statement was written by Mossad. And the CIA.
That's that, then. Thanks, guys, for saving me any further need for research. Or reflection. Or sense.
2155 GMT: Another Attack on Mousavi's Organisation. Kalemeh reports that Mohammad Reza Tajik, a senior aide to Mir Hossein Mousavi, has been arrested.
2110 GMT: Larijani's Latest. Ali Larijani, the Speaker of the Parliament, continues his tour of the country and his denunciation of the opposition, telling an audience in northeastern Iran: ""In the parliament we have considered such moves [of unrest] like walking on a minefield which would only cause deep rifts and damage the country's prestige."
Is Larijani playing bad cop to the conservative/principlist not-so-bad-cop (Rezaei, Motahari) in pressing for a resolution? Is he beyond compromise, setting out "they shall not pass" either as his personal position or as the (unacknowledged) representative of the Supreme Leader?
I leave it to others to work through the possibilities. Just wanted to ponder this: how many times have we mentioned Larijani in the updates in last few days? And how many times have we mentioned Ahmadinejad?
NEW Iran: The Non-Violent “Watershed” of the Mousavi Statement (Shahryar)
NEW Iran: A Gut Reaction to Mousavi’s “Martyrdom v. Compromise” Statement (Lucas)
NEW Iran Document: Mousavi’s “5 Stages to Resolution” Statement (1 January)
NEW Iran: 2009’s Year of Living Dangerously (Part 1)
Latest Iran Video: Protests Against and for the Regime (31 December)
1750 GMT: What Say You, Rafsanjani? As both Mir Hossein Mousavi and conservative/principlist factions make their political moves for a resolution, attention has now turned to a statement by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani at today's meeting of the Expediency Council, which he chairs.
Both Mousavi's Kalemeh and the state outlet Islamic Republic News Agency say Rafsanjani called for "unity" and "peace" by strengthening the bonds between Iranian people and the Government and that he praised the demonstrations of Iranians on the streets. IRNA then adds, however, that Rafsanjani said:
The Islamic establishment became victorious and continues its existence by relying on the people. I hope the desecrators will learn a lesson from the meaningful presence of the people on the street.
Press TV then adds the gloss, "Rafsanjani said the Wednesday rally also rendered ineffective the plots against the Islamic establishment."
1745 GMT: The Court of Appeals has upheld the six-year prison sentence of journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi.
1740 GMT: Karroubi and Mousavi Move? Saham News reports that Mehdi Karroubi has met Mir Hossein Mousavi for an hour in the home of Mousavi's nephew Seyed Ali, slain last Sunday by security forces. In addition to paying respects, Karroubi discussed "issues surrounding Mousavi's statement".
1715 GMT: The "Conservative/Principlist" Manoeuvre With Mousavi. OK, here's the political game: conservative and principlist activists within the establishment are going to play up the Mousavi statement as a route to compromise in the post-election conflict. This will fit both the Mohsen Rezaei letter to the Supreme Leader (1050 GMT) and the proposals of MP Ali Motahari (1400 GMT). This is being propelled by Tabnak, which is linked to Rezaei.
Here's the tip-off: the English-language Tehran Times, citing Tabnak, has declared:
Former presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi has issued a statement in which he condemned the disrespect of religious sanctities by some protesters on Ashura day (December 27) and made five proposals for resolving the current issues facing the country....Mousavi’s first and second proposals imply that he has accepted that the election is over, a Tabnak analyst said.
The article makes no reference to the first part of Mousavi's statement, with its denunciation of the Government and its declaration that he is prepared to die in the cause of protest against injustice and denial of the Iranian people's rights.
1710 GMT: The Sane'i Demotion (see 1535 GMT). Rah-e-Sabz has claimed that the Qom Seminary Teachers statement, denouncing Ayatollah Sane'i as failing to meet the standards of a marja, was signed by only one person: fervent Ahmadinejad supporter Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi.
Press TV, however, is playing up the "statement bearing the signature of Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, the former head of Iran's judiciary" as "Ayatollah Sanei no longer qualified: Clerical body" and adds the jibe that Sane'i has "been criticized by millions of Iranians who took part in the demonstration on Wednesday".
1700 GMT: Nemat Ahmadi, whose arrest was reported yesterday, has issued a denial. Ahmadi was at the farm where another activist, Ali Hekmat, was taken by security forces and went to the police station with him.
1535 GMT: Attacking Sane'i. The move against Ayatolllah Yusuf Sane'i continues: the Qom Seminary Teachers Association has announced that he does not meet the conditions to be a marja (eminent cleric, worthy of emulation).
1400 GMT: More on the Move "Within" the Establishment. Earlier today (0740 GMT), Mr Azadi read the Mousavi statement in the context of "unity" calls from clerics, members of Parliament, and high-profile politicians such as Mohsen Rezaei (see 1050 GMT).
Here's more material for the thesis, with the proposals of influential legislator Ali Motahari. Among his seven points:
The leaders of the Green Movement should formally acknowledge the legitimacy of the President, and stop labeling the June election as fraudulent. Furthermore, they should, in the strongest possible terms, distance their positions, slogans, and agenda from anti-Islamic and westernized groups that have infiltrated the Green Movement and seek its leadership....
The President should acknowledge his mistake during the televised debates, and ask for forgiveness from the parties implicated....
Freedom of speech should be established by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and the press should adhere to these standards....
The military atmosphere should be brought to an end, and the national intelligence services must put an end to their unfounded claims against the leadership of the Green movement, accusing them of velvet revolution, soft regime change and months of preparation for regime change based on collaboration with foreigners. They should see the roots of post election developments not in foreign intervention but in our own ambitions, worldly goals, illusions, misjudgments and mismanagements. They should apologize to the nation for their excessive use of force against people....
All the detainees, who have often been arrested for unfounded reasons, should be released as soon as possible , except those who have damaged public properties and have resorted to destroying public buildings, particularly those took part in the riots during Ashura....
The full identify and photos of those guilty of initiating, aiding and carrying out the events that took place in Kahrizak, University of Tehran, and Sobhan Apartment Complex should be revealed to the public, and their sentences should be announced....
The judiciary should not remain indifferent in the face of extremist and sectarian supporters of the government who under the mask of Velayat-e Faghih (Guardian of the Jurisprudence) intend to eliminate all reformist and Principalist political figures and order the disruption of public gatherings.
1330 GMT: And If the Nuclear Distraction Doesn't Work (see 0925 GMT).... Press TV has some more on the interview of Foreign Manouchehr Mottaki on state television. Having put up headlines on Mottaki's "ultimatum" for the West to accept Iran's offers on uranium enrichment within a month, the website now turns to a Mottaki speech on Friday to play the "foreign intervention" card:
Enemies are afraid of the anti-oppression movement Iran has started in the world. So, they are constantly scheming to stop it from spreading in the Muslim world and elsewhere. Vain enemy support for these scattered incidents that have recently occurred in the country on an insignificant scale, will lead to nothing.
Curiously, however, Mottaki located Iran's Number One Enemy not in the great Satanic expanse of the United States but in Britain.
1315 GMT: We've posted our second special analysis of the day on the Mousavi statement: Josh Shahryar assesses the declaration as a non-violent "watershed" for the challenge to the regime.
1105 GMT: Jailing the Activists. Two more members of Iran's Human Rights Reporters, Parisa Kakaei and Mehrdad Rahimi, members of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, were arrested yesterday. All but two of the organisation's central committee are now detained.
1050 GMT: Connection? The Mousavi Statement and the Rezaei Intervention. There is an intriuing dimension --- possibly parallel, possibly intersecting --- to Mir Hossein Mousavi's declaration on martyrdom and compromise.
Before the Mousavi statement emerged, it was being reported that Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei had written to the Supreme Leader urging a political resolution as Mousavi had now allegedly accepted the post-election legitimacy of the Government.
This morning that line is still being pushed by Press TV's website, which quotes Rezaei:
Although he moved later than he should have, Mousavi has retreated from the position of denying the legitimacy of Mr. Ahmadinejad's government. That retreat as well as his constructive proposal about the role that the parliament and judiciary must play in holding the administration accountable can signal the beginning of a new unifying movement from opposing front.
Rezaei has vocally aligned himself with the regime after Ashura, in public statements and in the letter: "Wednesday demonstrations that brought out millions in a magnificent show of national unity will not only make up for the shame of the sacrilegious events of Ashura but will also play a unique role in foiling enemy plots. Once more, it was proven that Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his reviving path will be the savior of the Iranian nation." So it is clear that any accountability, in his eyes, will be limited to officials rather than reaching up to the offices of the Supreme Leader.
Two questions. First, on the nature of a compromise, at least as foretold by Rezaei: does it include an "accountability" that pushes aside President Ahmadinejad?
Second, has Rezaei's intervention been co-ordinated with Mousavi (see Mr Azadi's interpretation below on an interaction between Mousasvi and other "unity" initiatives such as that of Hashemi Rafsanjani)? Alternatively, is it meant to limit and even undermine Mousavi, especially with the Green movement, by emphasising "retreat"? Or is this a parallel initiative by conservatives/principlists which may or may not intersect with Mousavi in coming days?
0925 GMT: No, It's Nukes, Nukes, Nukes. I would not want to suggest in any way that Foreign Minister Manochehr Mottaki is trying to take everyone's eyes away from what is happening inside Iran, but the timing of this "ultimatum" (his word, not mine) on State TV this morning is interesting: the West must accept accept the Iranian counterproposal either to sell 20-percent uranium to Tehran or swap it for Iran's 3.5-percent stock.
Mottaki declared that the international community "has one month left" to accept, or Tehran will enrich uranium to the 20-percent level.
0840 GMT: We've now posted a special analysis, "A Gut Reaction To The Mousavi Statement".
0740 GMT: We awake this morning to continuing discussion of yesterday's post-Ashura statement by Mir Hossein Mousavi. We have posted the English translation, and we are working on an analysis of the political significance of Mousavi's combination of a passionate condemnation of violence and a readiness to accept martyrdom with his 5-point programme for reconciliation and resolution. In the meantime, EA's Mr Azadi offers this interpretation, which can set against my own thoughts in yesterday's updates:
What is clear is that this statement is to some extent different from Mousavi's previous statements.
Last week, we saw that not only a number of senior scholars in Iran such as Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, Makarem- Shirazi, and Mazaheri recommended all parties and groups to pursue dialogue and unity but also that Ayatollah Fadhlullah in Lebanon emphasised the importance of that dialogue and unity. The seven-point plan of [high-profile member of Parliament] Ali Motahari, the speech of Ali Larijani in Friday Prayers at Mashhad, and the request of [Presidential candidate] Mohsen Rezaei to the Supreme Leader to carefully considering Mousavi’s Statement: all show that Iranian intellectuals and scholars from all parities have come to the same conclusion that this crisis has to stop as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, there have been rumours in Iran that some private dialogue between the Leader and Hashemi Rafsanjani has taken place for resolving the current crisis. In this context, I think Mousavi's statement in a way is very similar to Rafsanjani’s plan for exiting from the current crisis.