What we wrote at 0745 GMT: "Some media were looking forward to today's "5+1" (US, UK, Russia, China, France, Germany) meeting on Iran's nuclear programme. Even if that gathering had significance for the internal situation in Iran, it is unlikely to produce any results: China has declined to send a high-level official, blocking any move towards further sanctions on Tehran."
What Associated Press reported an hour ago: "Top diplomats from six key powers focused on possible new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program at a meeting Saturday, but reached no agreement, Russia's deputy foreign minister said."
NEW Iran Video & Translation: Dr Etaat’s Opposition On State Media (14 January — Part 3)
UPDATED Iran Video & Translation: Dr Etaat’s Opposition On State Media (14 January — Parts 1 and 2)
NEW Iran: The 15 Points of “The Secular Green Movement” (14 January)
NEW Iran Analysis: The “Opposition Within” and the Regime
Latest Iran Video & Translation: Dr Etaat’s Opposition On State Media (14 January)
Iran: Anger, Pain, & Fear — The Funeral of Professor Ali-Mohammadi
Latest Iran Video: Green Protest and the Iran-Belgium Football Match (14 January)
Iran: The Regime Censors the 1979 Revolution
Latest Iran Audio: The Last Lecture of Professor Ali-Mohammadi
The Latest from Iran (15 January): Refreshing?
2205 GMT: Writing in Exile. Nazila Fathi, The New York Times correspondent who fled her native country in June, has written an emotive account of post-election events and her departure. The article, however, also offers a powerful insight into how "new media" has re-shaped both opposition and coverage of it:
Last month, during and after the funeral of the reformist Grand Ayatollah Hossain Ali Montazeri, one of the demonstrators’ most useful tools was the Bluetooth short-range radio signal that Americans use mainly to link a cellphone to an earpiece, or a printer to a laptop. Long ago, Iranian dissidents discovered that Bluetooth can as easily link cellphones to each other in a crowd.
And that made “Bluetooth” a verb in Iran: a way to turn citizen reportage instantly viral. A protester Bluetooths a video clip to others nearby, and they do the same. Suddenly, if the authorities want to keep the image from escaping the scene, they must confiscate hundreds or thousands of phones and cameras.
The authorities have tried to fight back against such techniques and the Internet itself, but have fallen short. In November they announced that a new police unit, the “cyber-army,” would sweep the Web of dissent. It blocked Twitter feeds for a few hours in December, and an opposition Web site. But other blogs and Web sites mushroomed faster than the government could keep up.
2155 GMT: Ayande News continues to poke at the Government. It asks if Iran's police chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, who warned Iranians against using e-mails or text messages to organise protests, has read the Constitution, since it forbids the monitoring of private communications.
2150 GMT: Fars News is reporting that a suicide bomber has been killed in an explosion in Mashhad.
2145 GMT: We have returned from a break to post the video and translation of the third part of Dr Javed Etaat's sustained criticism of the regime on an Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting programme.
1840 GMT: On a fairly quiet day, we'll be on limited service this evening. Do keep sending in information, comments, and ideas.
1650 GMT: Mehdi Khalaji, the US-based journalist and scholar, has written an open letter to the Supreme Leader concerning the arrest of his father, Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Khalaji.
1640 GMT: Atomic Diplomacy. Iran has launched a website to explain and promote its nuclear programme.
1630 GMT:Journalist Nader Karimi, who was arrested in November 2008, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
1550 GMT: A Technical Announcement. The "diversion" attack on Iran Hezbollah, and the counter-attack, are on the Persian landing page www.hizbollah.ir/fa. The main page www.hizbollah.ir is now 100% Hezbollah with no Iranian Cyber-Army/Iranian Green Army/getasexpartner messages.
1520 GMT: Battle of the Cyber-Warriors. A twist in the tale of the hacking of the Iran Hezbollah (Party of God) website (see 0750 GMT). The takeover of the site by the "Iranian Green Army", with a rather rude message and alternate domain name, has been superseded by a counter-takeover by the "Iranian Cyber Army". There is now a smiling Ayatollah Khamenei with the statement, "Site has been returned,and the Hacker(s) Has Been Traced By Iranian Cyber Army , We will catch them as soon possible."
Ahh, yes, the Iranian Cyber Army, the same outfit that claimed the diversion-of-traffic attacks on the opposition website Mowj-e-Sabz and Twitter. Given their service to a group close to the Iranian regime, should we conclude that the ICA is not just a collection of punk kids causing trouble?
(Just a tip, guys. If you are working for Hezbollah and the regime, you might want to check that domain name. The Supreme Leader now appears below the domain "http://www.getasexpartner.com/hiz-bol.htm".)
1510 GMT: Ali-Mohammadi's Protest. Iranian activists have posted a letter, including the signature of Professor Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, asking for a cessation of violence against students.
1500 GMT: Iranian state media is reporting that the trial of French student Clotilde Reiss, arrested this summer, concluded today. There is no further word of verdict or sentencing.
1455 GMT: According to Rah-e-Sabz, Reza Talalei, a member of the Expediency Council, said at the Council session today that “post-election events are a result of the Government’s wrong actions”. He called for freedom of political activity, freedom of speech, and humane treatment of Iranian people, who would “answer such in kind.” A return of peace to society and an opening up of political to all groups was “paramount”.
1445 GMT: Thanks to our friends at The Flying Carpet Institute, we've posted the video and translation of the second part of Dr Javad Etaat's criticisms of the regime, which aired on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting on Thursday.
1420 GMT: Thanks to an EA reader, we've posted the translation of the 15 Points of "The Secular Green Movement" (see 0920 GMT).
1335 GMT: Judiciary Head Denounces Big Liars. Iran’s Head of Judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, has warned the "minority (reformist?) faction of the Parliament" that those those who have “claimed that the elections were rigged, have broken the law....This allegation of fraud was a big lie which became the source of extensive damage.”
All very much in line with Larijani's recent finger-waggings and threats of prosecution, as he said that the lying claims have “hurt the feeling and sentiments of the public and the pious”. This reference, however, is curious, either in translation or in Larijani's intent: the post-election crisis also arose from the “silence of the elite and their lack of foresight”.
1330 GMT: Media Twist of the Day. Press TV's website starts its story, "Former Iranian presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi says Iran's enemies are behind the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Masoud Ali-Mohammadi."
And you're thinking, maybe Iran's state media has been infiltrated or corrupted and switched to the Dark Side of the opposition.
But wait....Here's the last paragraph: "Iran's Foreign Ministry has announced that it has found traces of US and Israeli involvement in the assassination of the Iranian nuclear physics scientist."
You see? One touch-up of the "facts", and Mir Hossein Mousavi believes the US and Israel killed the Professor.
Well played, gentlemen. Very well played.
0930 GMT: The Battle Inside the Regime? Again prompted by EA readers and alongside this morning's analysis, I wonder if this ripple has any significance:
Fars News, considering President Ahmadinejad, linked to a blog "Ahestan" which was not too flattering about close Ahmadinejad ally and aide Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai. Iran Khabar, which noted the item, claims that, with state media now assisting, "criticism of Ahmadinejad has become cheap".
0925 GMT: Setting Up the Greens? A thought, spurred by EA readers, that has been niggling me.
We noted yesterday the statement of member of Parliament Asadollah Badamchian that the opposition was behind the "terrorism" which killed Professor Massoud Ali-Mohammadi. Well, the satirist Ebrahim Nabavi has noted Badamchian's assertion, before the death of Ali-Mohammadi, "Soon explosions and assassinations will start."
So, that thought: did Badamchian know of a scheme to carry out violent acts and blame them on the Greens?
0920 GMT: How Big Will This Ripple Be? As some EA readers noted yesterday, the "Secular Green Movement" has emerged with a statement, signed by Iranians living in North America and Europe, of views and 15 demands for reform, rights, and justice. We are watching carefully for reactions to see if move parallels or intersects with the 10 Demands of 5 Iranian intellectuals living abroad, issued on 3 January, and the 5-point post-Ashura statement of Mir Hossein Mousavi.
0905 GMT: We've posted an analysis from InsideIran.org of the tensions inside the Iranian establishment, "The 'Opposition Within' and the Regime".
0750 GMT: While Friday was a relatively quiet day after the open drama and tensions earlier this week, there were more than enough developments to point to the ripples of continuing conflict and manoeuvre.
Some of the ripples were far away from the central wave. For example, some media were looking forward to today's "5+1" (US, UK, Russia, China, France, Germany) meeting on Iran's nuclear programme. Even if that gathering had significance for the internal situation in Iran, it is unlikely to produce any results: China has declined to send a high-level official, blocking any move towards further sanctions on Tehran.
Some of the ripples bring a smile, such as the latest episode in the cyber-war between the regime and the opposition. Iran's police chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam may have most seriously warned the Green movement(s) not to use e-mail and text messages to plan any protests, but "Iranian Green Army" got last night's last laugh with the attack on the website of Iran's Hezbollah (Party of God). The unsubtle message, "The End is F***ing Near", and the new domain name, www.getasexpartner.com, are still up this morning.
There are the day-in, day-out ripples from the Government. The head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Mohammad-Ali Jafari declared, in a speech in western Iran, "The enemies of the Islamic Revolution have come to the conclusion that they can not achieve their mischievous goals; therefore they do not abandon threats against the Islamic Republic." Israel, "filled with fear and scared of going into war with Iran," got a special shout-out as the force behind economic sanctions.
The biggest ripples on Friday, however, came with yet more challenges to and within the regime. The appearance of dissent, via Dr Javad Etaat, on Iranian state media has brought heated discussion inside and outside Iran, and chatter continues this morning over the criticisms of a former top commander of the Revolutionary Guard, Sardar Safavi.
Safavi, urging respect for senior clerics and avoidance of any extreme actions, has some words for "power seekers" who ran for President but then acted outside the law when their defeat was announced. Then, however, he takes aim at current leaders for their attacks on the "old guard" --- allies of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini --- as "hypocrities". He also pointed to the Government's mismanagement of post-election politics and the economy, warning that this is bringing “unpleasant” deeds by frustrated Iranian youth.
As EA readers noted yesterday, Safavi, in his call for unity, condemned attacks against senior clerics such as Ayatollahs Dastgheib and Sane'i etc.) and the labelling of protesters as “mohareb” (enemies of God). He emphasized that Revolutionary Guard and Basiji should serve the people rather than suppressing them.