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Entries in Saeed Hajjarian (9)


The Latest from Iran (30 July): Memorial Day

The Latest from Iran (31 July): And Now….?

Latest Iran Video: The "40th Day" Memorial (30 July)
Latest Iran Video: The “40th Day” Memorial (30 July – Part 2)

NEW Media Mischief: The Return of #CNNFail on Iran?
NEW Iran: Ayatollah Montazeri on the Khatami-Mousavi-Karroubi Letter (29 July)
The Latest from Iran (29 July): The Memorial and the Inauguration

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IRAN NEDA MOTHER2115 GMT: Good Night. For us at EA, a thank you to all those who have joined today and a symbolic reminder: pictured at left is Neda Agha Soltan's mother, who was not able to attend the ceremony at her daughter's grave but who lit a candle in a nearby park as her memorial.

2110 GMT: Coming to the close of an eventful day, let's drop in on Press TV's coverage: "Iran's opposition supporters, gathered at a cemetery in Tehran for a memorial service for the victims of the recent post-election unrest, have been met by Iranian police."

The image of a casual "meeting", perhaps for cake and a cup of tea, is dispelled in the next sentence, however, "Police forces on Thursday used tear gas to break up supporters of defeated presidential candidates Mehdi Karroubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi." And the overall report is neutral, even (whisper it) somewhat favourable towards the Green Movement.

That is, except for an obligatory last sentence: "Iranian authorities say foreign agents have fueled the post-vote violence which led to the deaths."

2015 GMT: has posted a range of photographs from Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery.

2010 GMT: Tehran Bureau has an excellent selection of eyewitness accounts, all of which point towards the significance not of a single demonstration (although, if true, 40,000 in Behest-e-Zahra cemetery is impressive) but of numerous demonstrations across the capital. As one demonstrator caught the excitement, "It’s NUTS! I’ve never seen it like this before! It’s still going on, 9 pm now — raging! As I said, it's more like a riot, totally out of control."

1940 GMT: Radio Farda's website reports that hundreds of people demonstrated in Isfahan today.

1755 GMT: Islamic Republic News Agency, going "behind the scenes of the street riots", claims that the leadership of these riots are "political powers" and "retired elements of some security forces", implying that the recent protests are similar to those against the regime in the early 1980s.

1715 GMT: Reports that filmmakers Jafar Panahi, Mahnaz Mohammadi, and Rokhsare Ghaem Maghami released after being arrested earlier at Behest-e-Zahra cemetery.

1645 GMT: State-funded Press TV in Iran apparently covered the protests at Neda's grave site, with a reporter calling in a live update.

1615 GMT: Etemade Melli has an account of Mehdi Karroubi's appearance at the memorial, including the resistance of mourners when security forces accosted him, and of his speech. The English translation, courtesy of Mani:

Karroubi walked towards Neda Agha Soltan's resting place, surrounded by a large group of people. The special forces attacked him and tried to disperse and separate the people from "the reform sheikh" [Karroubi] by beating them with clubs and pepper spray. The police encountered stiff resistance from the people, and Karroubi held his ground and stated strongly that he is staying in this place.
Karroubi sat beside Neda Agha Soltan's  grave and accompanied the people by reading the Fateheh [the prayer for the dead]  for Neda. The Prayer was read with protest intonations. Afterwards Hojjatoleslam Hadi Ghaffari joined Karroubi and spoke to the people for a few minutes. During Karroubi's speech, the security forces had a conflict with the people and arrested some individuals. These forces were confronted with slogans like "let him go, let him go" and flowers by the people [police presumably released those arrested].

Mehdi Karroubi, after spending an hour with the people, moved to the exit and his vehicle, accompanied by a large number of people chanting slogans.

1600 GMT: A reader sends in two other slogans:

"As long as the Supreme Leader isn't dead, our homeland won't be our homeland"
"We don't want crocodile's tears, we don't want the government of Mesbah" [referring to Ahmadinejad's religious mentor, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi)

1552 GMT: Ahmadinejad Flees? On 16 July, the day before Rafsanjani's Friday prayers, the President went to Mashaad. He did so again today, ostensibly to attend a gathering of scientists and faculty members.

1550 GMT: Some of the slogans from today, as reported by Mardomak's live blog:

Our Neda is not dead/the government is dead
Oh Martyred countryman! I will wrest back your vote
Fear not! fear not! we are in this together
Death to dictator
Mojtaba [Khamenei], may you die as you yearn for supreme leadership
The missiles of the basiji have no effect [Mani's Note: This echoes what was said in the 1970s, "The missiles have no effect, the Shah can only kill himself", implying what some think Ahmadinejad and maybe Khamenei must do.]

1545 GMT: Ramin Mostaghim of the Los Angeles Times (see 1345 GMT), who appears to be the best-placed "Western" correspondent in Tehran today, also says 40,000 were in Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery.

1540 GMT: Moments after writing the previous entry, this comes in from the Green Movement website Mowj-e-Sabz: there are clashes in several major streets in Tehran, including Motahari,Vali-e Asr, Beheshti, Hafez and Fatemi, with reports of police using tear gas and batons.

1535 GMT: We are receiving numerous reports of "heavy clashes" across Tehran and now in other cities like Ahwaz and Isfahan. We are refraining from giving details at this point because there is no verification of the extent of the protests and fighting.

1520 GMT: The Iranian pro-reformist website Mardomak has been live-blogging events. It reports that Mir Hossein Mousavi's wife, Zahra Rahnavard, was able to get into the cemetery. Although there were many anti-riot police present, there were no major clashes inside Behesht-e-Zahra.

Here, however, is the striking entry. In contrast to CNN's report, taken up by other Western media, of 3000 mourners, Mardomak claims there were 40,000 in the cemetery.

1445 GMT: Picking up on some earlier news: the "reformist" Islamic Iran Participation Front has issued a strong statement asserting that the only way out of the disgrace of detentions and killings is the fall of the "coup government". Tehran Bureau offers a useful summary.

1440 GMT: A quieter phase in today's events. It appears that some mourners/demonstrators, having been hindered in their attempts at a memorial in Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery, are moving towards the Grand Mosala (the original location for today's gathering). Others are in streets around Tehran: it is report that "Vali Asr from Vali Asr Square to Vanak Square is jampacked and smokefilled".

So it is wait-and-see as to whether there is a Phase II or a series of scattered encounters. Meanwhile, a question: when he was turned away from the cemetery by security forces, where did Mir Hossein Mousavi go?

1405 GMT: Reuters,via Mehr News Agency, reports that Saeed Hajjarian was transferred from prison to a "state-owned" house today. Kazem Jalali, the head of Parliamentary Security Committee, said, "The Tehran prosecutor told me that Hajjarian was transferred today to a state-owned house with proper medical facilities....His relatives can visit him at the new place."

1345 GMT: Borzou Daragahi and Ramin Mostaghim have just filed this report for the Los Angeles Times, "Mourners overwhelm Iran security forces". If true, it is a significant account of a building protest movement. (Much of this information has circulated on Twitter but EA has not run some of the details because we could not verify. It is unclear how much of this article is based on the Twitter traffic and how much on first-hand reporting --- Mostaghim is apparently based in Tehran.)
Thousands and possibly tens of thousands of mourners, many of them black-clad young women carrying roses, overwhelmed security forces today at Tehran's largest cemetery to gather around the grave of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman whose videotaped shooting at a June 20 demonstration stunned the world.

"Death to the dictator," those in the long procession of mourners converging on the burial site chanted, kicking up a storm of dust as they walked. "Neda is not dead. This government is dead."

Uniformed security forces initially clashed violently today with some of the mourners, supporters and leaders of the opposition, who were trying to publicly mourn protesters who died in the recent unrest. Unsuccessful presidential candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi attempted to attend the graveside ceremony marking the religiously significant 40th day since the death of Agha-Soltan and others killed in the fighting.

"Oh, Hossein! Mir-Hossein," the mourners chanted in support of him.

According one witness, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal, Mousavi stepped out of his car only to be surrounded by police, who forced him back into his vehicle and out of the cemetery.

At first mourners were confronted by the security forces, who struck them with truncheons and arrested some in an attempt to bar them from gathering at Tehran's Behesht Zahra cemetery, the country's largest. The tree-lined streets leading to the graves of Agha-Soltan and others were blocked by riot police, the witness said.

The witness said the mourners also identified and violently confronted several plainclothes Basiji militiamen.

"Police, police, support us," the mourners chanted. "God is great!"

But as the numbers mourners poured out of the nearby subway station and taxis along the highway, security forces retreated. One witness said police released detainees and began cooperating with the mourners, directing them to section 257 of the cemetery, where Agha-Soltan and others were buried. Mourners have been denied a permit to hold a ceremony in the city's Grand Mossala mosque later today, but protesters have said they will try to come together near the site of the mosque anyway, and march along nearby streets if they are prevented from entering the site....

1330 GMT: EPersian Radio is claiming that Mehdi Karroubi, 20 minutes ago in Behesht-e-Zahra, told those gathered to move towards the Grand Mosala.

1325 GMT: We've just posted the first video to come out of the memorial at Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery.

1305 GMT: BBC Persian, citing Press TV, says security forces have used tear gas to disperse mourners at Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery. (hat tip to a reader)

1255 GMT: Mohammad Khatami has issued another statement on detentions and interrogations, criticising the closure of Kahrizak Prison as a token move and declaring, "Those who are responsible must be dealt with and those abused must be compensated."

1245 GMT: Revolutionary Road is live-blogging on the memorial with details such as, "Mourners chant: 'Death to Dictator!' Basijis now chanting 'God is Great' too."

1234 GMT: Claim that Mehdi Karroubi has entered Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery.

1228 GMT: Claims of gatherings across Tehran, with largest at Ferdousi Square.

1218 GMT: BBC Persian reports that filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mahnaz Mohammadi have been arrested during today's memorial.

1209 GMT: Deutsche Welle is also reporting (in Farsi) on clashes and arrests at Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery.

Al Jazeera English has just cut to a correspondent in Tehran (on a rooftop far from the cemetery) who is repeating the news provided by Reuters.

1200 GMT: Not a word from "mainstream" media in their headlines but EPersian Radio is claiming to carry reports by cellphone from Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery.

1145 GMT: Witness to Reuters: "Police forced Mousavi to return to his car and leave the cemetery. Police are also warning mourners to leave the place or face the consequences."

1140 GMT: Reuters reports that Mir Hossein Mousavi has entered Behesht-e- Zahra cemetery to pay his respects to those killed in post-election violence. Marchers clung to his car, chanting "Mousavi we support you".

However, there are also UNCONFIRMED reports that he has been forced to leave by security forces.

1130 GMT: And So It Begins. It is now 4 p.m. in Tehran, and Reuters is reporting, via a witness, "Hundreds have gathered around Neda Agha-Soltan's grave to mourn her death and other victims' deaths....Police arrested some of them....Dozens of riot police also arrived and are trying to disperse the crowd."

1125 GMT: Saeed Mortazavi, the prosecutor of the Islamic Revolutionary Court and Prosecutor General of Tehran, has issued a statement announcing the first trials of detained protestors on Saturday and criticising the "enemies" who challenged the Presidential election, a "golden page [in] the book of religious democracy":
Once again we had to witness that the global imperialism lead by America and Britain did not accept one of the world s most democratic election and the will of you free people....Obviously some mercenaries and misled groups within the country were manipulated by foreigners, and by committing illegal and dishonest actions formed a base for the unrest of elements of the enemy.

Charges include "attacking military centres with weapons, firearms, and incendiary bombs", "attacking government centres and setting them on fire", "destroying public property", "creating panic among the people", and "contact with heretic and infidel groups".

1120 GMT: Peykeiran reports that "opposition" newspapers have been removed from the front of kiosks in Tehran since Sunday.

1100 GMT: A reader has pointed towards an Iranian blog on conditions in the Kahrizak prison, whose closure as a "non-standard" facility was ordered by Ayatollah Khamenei earlier this week. The author of the entry, who claimed he/she was detained for almost a month, writes of "200 people in single room, all beaten, bruised and wounded" and names six people who allegedly died in the prison.

1020 GMT: Revolution in Iran, drawing from a variety of sources, is maintain a running list of those who have died in the post-election conflict, adding names where possible. The list, updated yesterday, now has about 180 listed deaths with more than 60 persons identified.

1000 GMT: We've posted a separate entry, half in jest, half as serious comment on "media", on the approach of CNN to today's events: "Media Mischief --- The Return of #CNNFail?"

0753 GMT: Rooz Online breaks the news that Neda Agha Soltan's mother will NOT be at the memorial at her daughter's grave in Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery.

0745 GMT: Reconfirming the Memorial. Ghalam News, Mir Hossein Mousavi's website, still features its story from last night: "Commemoration of Martyrs Movement: Behest-e-Zahra, 1600 Hours on Thursday".

0730 GMT: New Move for Political Front? Rasoul Montajebnia, a deputy of Mehdi Karroubi's Etemad-e-Melli Party, has suggested that reformists form a "leadership assembly" including Mousavi, Karroubi and Khatami to lead all reformist groups in Iran.

0720 GMT: How You Know the Regime is Nervous. Two notable stories from the "conservative" press:

Kayhan has claimed, "We have found documents proving that some of the rioters participating in the Tehran have been killed by some thugs hired by Mousavi and Khatami."

Fars News tops this, asserting that Neda Agha Soltan "is alive and in Greece"!

0715 GMT: Ayatollah Bayat-Zanjani has also responded to the Khatami-Mousavi-Karroubi letter. Summary is in separate entry.

0700 GMT: Summarising News on Detainees. From Parleman News:

Although a lot of publicity has been given to "the release of Said Hajjarian", he has not yet been freed.
Mohammad Tavassoli, the head of the political office of the Freedom Party, was released on Monday.
Journalist Aida Mesbahi has been released on bail.
Shadi Sadr, the attorney, was released on bail.
The families of attorney Abdulfath Soltani and journalist Abdoreza Tajik have been asked to post bail.
Mohammad Atrianfar has spoken with his family and seems to be in good health.
The families of Hengameh Shahidi and Somayeh Tohidlou are concerned because they have heard nothing regarding them.
Jila Bani-yaghoub has met with her mother. Bani-Yaghoub told her mother that she does not expect to be released soon. Her husband Bahman Ahmadi has also met his family.
The families of Saeed Laylez, Ahmad Zobd Abadi and Kaveh Mozaffari have been told that these individuals are quarantined and prohibited from meeting people.

0650 GMT: Ayatollah Montazeri has published a response to the letter from Mohammad Khatami, Mehdi Karroubi, and Mir Hossein Mousavi asking for intervention on the detainees issue. We've posted the English translation, as well as other statements by clerics, in a separate entry.

0530 GMT: The Iranian post-election conflict has been marked by a convergence of complicated, often hard to see, manoeuvres behind the scenes and of high-profile events. Today's planned "40th Day" memorial, set for 4 p.m. local time (1130 GMT) at the grave of Neda Agha Soltan in Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery, is one of those events. It is the most prominent since the 17 July gathering for Friday prayers in Tehran and, arguably, the most significant since the first organised mass demonstration on 15 June, three days after the election.

Put bluntly, if the Green Movement can mobilise thousands of people on the streets of Tehran, whether or not they make it to Behesht-e-Zahra, and if Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi make their planned appearance, this will be the symbolic moment that shows --- seven weeks after the election --- that the Government has not been able to put down opposition. Conversely, if those thousands do not appear and if opposition leaders do not show up, it will be an indication that, while symbolic protests will continue, they will not put the pressure of mass activity upon the regime.

A sign of that importance is the return of some "mainstream" foreign media to the Iran story. The BBC is highlighting, "Iran Opposition Vows to Defy Ban", both in its broadcasts and on its website. Their reports have been bolstered, and indeed prompted, by a message from Neda Agha Soltan's mother expressing gratitude to those remembering her daughter. (Neda's mother will also be at Behesht-e-Zahra today, although it is unclear whether this will be as part of the 4 p.m. ceremony.) In contrast, Time magazine casts an ominous, even negative, shadow as "Tehran Braces for Another Day of Street Battles": "Although tens of thousands are expected to march in silence July 30,...many more will be staying home." (CNN and Al Jazeera English lag behind, with neither referring to today's plans.)

Understandably, the significance of this moment emerged in some confusion and nervousness amongst activists yesterday. The apparent change of plans from the 6 p.m. gathering in the Grand Mosala to the Behest-e-Zahra memorial took time to emerge, and with the Government-imposed difficulties in communication, the opposition feared that many would not get word of today's schedule. This morning there seems to be an easing of those concerns, and attention is turning to the response of the Government to the gatherings. An unconfirmed report last night asserted that the Supreme Leader's office had put out a communiqué ordering no use of force against marchers. If true, that would appear to be an acceptance of large crowds at Behehst-e-Zahra and, indeed, in the streets surrounding the cemetery.

The Latest from Iran (29 July): Challenges Outside and Inside the Government

The Latest from Iran (30 July): Memorial Day

More than “Velvet Revolution”: The Battle Within Iran’s Intelligence Ministry
Iran: The "40th Day" Memorial and the Inauguration
Latest Iran Video: Mousavi Speech, Nighttime Protests (27-29 July)
The Latest from Iran (28 July): The Regime Crumbles

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2105 GMT: Still no confirmation of the release of Saeed Hajjarian from detention, which was supposed to take place today., reporting of behalf of the "Green Wave", says the news should not be trusted.

2025 GMT: Another Arrest. Now it is Khatami advisor Shayesteh Amiri who has been arrested.

2015 GMT: The Latest from the Police. It's not just the Ministry of Intelligence that is being shaken up (see separate story). Three high-ranking officers --- the head of preventive forces, the head of the traffic section, and the head of airport police --- have been replaced.

Meanwhile, the overall head of the security forces, General Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, is adjusting his position. Hours after the Prosecutor General insisted that officers show restraint, Ahmadi-Moghaddam said, "The security forces try to install calm and justice in society.....however no type of provocation must cause the security officers to step out of the law....Some members of the security forces have overreacted."

Ahmadi Moghaddam added, "In response to the complaints of 440 of our countrymen we have compensated 197 of 300 people that have sustained damages....The total amount of compensation paid was $50,000." (Correspondent Mani thinks the General is being a bit of a cheapskate, since the cost of a  car in Iran starts from $8000.)

2005 GMT: Press TV Coverage Meter - Mousavi Up, Mahmoud Down. There is an overload of indicators of the shifting view of state media in this story from Press TV's website, "Amid growing dissension among Iran's ruling elite over the president's conduct, former presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi says the post-vote crisis is the product of undervaluing the will of the people."

Who is the troublemaker now?

2000 GMT: Don't Give Up the Story Now. Press TV may have stopped treating the murder of Neda Agha Soltan as a foreign plot (0720 GMT), but others are not ready to quit. A Revolutionary Guard commander has told an audience that the "accident was completely planned".

1905 GMT: Mahmoud, We Want Our Vote Back. An editorial in Ya Lassarat newspaper, associated with Ansar al Hezbollah activists, has demanded, "Mr. Ahmadinejad, apologize to the nation!” The editorial continued,

We must tell you, Mr. Ahmadinejad, that our criteria in voting for you was your indisputable allegiance to the Leadership. But now we see that you, in the past week, have done things that raise questions about your allegiance to the Leader. The appointment of [First Vice President] Rahim Masha’i, the removal of the ministers, leaves doubts about allegiance to the Leader whose only fault was reminding you to obey the order of the Leadership. Your hesitation in carrying out the Leader’s orders has led us to begin to assume that your love for a person such as Masha’i is far greater than your love for the Leader. Of course we hope that we are mistaken.

We would like you to be aware that in the event you repeat, persist with such behavior, we will have no choice but to ask you to return our votes.

1900 GMT: Some Come Out, Some Go In. Further illustrating that the release of 140 detainees is a limited concession, Iranian authorities have reportedly arrested Saeed Shariati, a leading member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front.

1800 GMT: Press TV's English website reports from Iranian security services: "An underground network providing foreign media outlets with photos and footage of the post-election unrest has been identified and arrested in Iran." No further details of the network, the foreign outlets, or the footage is given.

1755 GMT: Iranian media continue to report that the mother of Neda Agha Soltan will also be at Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery tomorrow.

1745 GMT: Reports that Emad Behavar, leader of the youth wing of the Freedom Party and a prominent member of the pro-Khatami Group 88, has been released from detention.

1730 GMT: Latest News on Thursday's Events (and What It Means). Parleman News has repeated the news from Etemade Melli that Mousavi and Karroubi will attend the 4 p.m. ceremony in Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery at the grave of Neda Agha Soltan. This is also the information on Ghalam News, the official site for news from Mousavi.

Our correspondent Mani interprets all today's news and sorts out what has happened and is likely to happen:
I do not think that Mousavi would make a joint official statement and then undermine it by bringing up the business of a further ceremony at the Grand Mosala at 6 p.m.

Personally I think that the Behesht-e-Zahra plan makes sense. I think that it may be possible that some behind-thscenes negotiations have happened between the different factions. The "conservative" faction, both the pro- and anti-Ahmadinejad members, have made concessions: they have released prisoners, they have started to apologize, members of the judiciary have talked about the rights of individuals, etc. (more or less carrying out the suggestions of Rafsanjani). It is reasonable to expect that Mousavi-Khatami-Karroubi have made concessions by changing the venue from the Grand Mosala, allowing the interior ministry to save face, and putting the ceremonies at the cemetery,which personalises the ceremonies and lowers the political tension and pressure). It is possible that some supporters of Mousavi will go to the Mosala but I doubt that Mousavi himself will be anywhere but at the place where he has officially said that he is attending.

1530 GMT: Mousavi Facebook page posted this message 25 minutes ago: "URGENT: Program tommorow (Thursday) fixed: 6:00 p.m. "Mosalla" in Tehran(+4:30 GMT). Before: Burial site of the Martyrs. After: Martyrs home visit. You are the Media!"

1455 GMT: Etemade Melli restates the information given by the offices of Karroubi and Mousavi on Facebook, "We will play our respects to the Martyrs of June 20th and their families at their site of rest....These ceremonies will occur at the grave of Neda Agha Soltan, tomorrow Thursday at plot number 257 in the cemetery Behesht-e-Zahra".

1445 GMT: An Iranian blogger is claiming, via a source, that a secret communiqué from the Supreme Leader's office to all intelligence and security offices has insisted that there be no forced used against demonstrators tomorrow "even if there are harsh slogans against the regime and the Government".

1410 GMT: Activists are trying to confirm plans for tomorrow. Mousavi Facebook page says, "Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karrubi are going to visit Burial site of the Martyrs of 20th June, in the [Beheshteh Zahra] cemetery tommorow (Thursday) 16:00 o' clock (GMT +4:30)." Norooz News is reporting that the 6 p.m. memorial at the Grand Mosala is being replaced by this gathering. We are trying to confirm.

1155 GMT: First Concession, then Stick. Less than a day after the Government announced the release of 140 detainees, the Islamic Republic News Agency reports that trials of about 20 protesters will begin Sunday on charges of belonging to terrorist groups, carrying weapons and grenades, and "sending images to the media of the enemy". Ominously, in an apparent reference to "reformists" politicians who are still detained (see 0925 GMT), IRNA adds, "Those who ordered the postelection unrest" would be put on trial later.

1150 GMT: We've just posted a separate analysis on the "coup" within the Ministry of Intelligence in which more than 20 officials, including two Vice Ministers, were allegedly dismissed.

0940 GMT: Bringing Security Forces Within the Law? The Prosecutor General of Iran, Ayatollah Dorri-Najafabadi, addressing the special units of the security forces, has stated, "The security forces are obligated to be in control of their behavior." After thanking the security forces for their recent efforts, Najafabadi said
The public must feel that the police are serving them and are not against them. The psychological well being of the public depends upon the discipline and law abidding behavior of the department or section should consider themselves beyond the law....In an Islamic establishment security is not attained via brutal suppression but by the requirements of freedom and human dignity and no justification exists for assaulting human dignity, and the rights of people even the accused must not be ignored....Both law enforcement and the judiciary are not separate from the people but are there to serve the people. This must be shown in deeds so that the psychological security of the public is obtained.

0925 GMT: Amidst the news of the imminent release of Saeed Hajjarian, questions remain over the fate of other detained politicians. Press TV's website reported last night:
When asked about the fate of former deputy interior minister Mostafa Tajzadeh and former deputy speaker of the Parliament Behzad Nabavi, [Farhad Tajari, deputy head of the Parliament Judicial Commission] said that they were in detention for major security charges. The parliamentarian, however, voiced hope that the two veteran political figures would be released on bail as per an earlier order by the Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi.

0920 GMT: Reuters is now reporting, from Iranian state media, that Saeed Hajjarian will be released from detention today.

0900 GMT: We're splitting off our first update today, "The Memorial and the Inauguration", as a separate analysis.

0750 GMT: Apparently We're Wrong. Perhaps President Ahmadinejad read our morning update (0615 GMT) describing "battles within" his Government. He has denounced "media speculation" and the "imaginary scenarios" of an argument in last Wednesday's Cabinet meeting and the subsequent attempted dismissal of four ministers. Ahmadinejad's office adds the reminder that spreading "false news" is "illegal".

0740 GMT: Another Important Memorial Service. The memorial was held for Mohsen Roohulamini, who died in detention after his arrest on 9 July, in the house of Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei. (Roohulamini's father was Rezaei's campaign manager.)

Those who paid respects included the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hassan Abutorabi-Fard; Ayatollah Rasti, a member of the "conservative" Society of Teachers at Qom; Admiral Shamkhani, the Minister of Defense durring the Khatami Government; and General Hossein Alaie, one of the commanders of the Revolutionary Guard durring the Khatami Goverrnment.

0730 GMT: The "conservative" Jahan News reports that politician Saeed Hajjarian has been freed from detention. He will continue to be interrogated in his home.

0720 GMT: Press TV Changes Its Message. On its website last night, Press TV reported the statement of the Political Director-General of the Ministry of Interior that ""no permit has been issued for gathering or rallying for any individual or any political group" on Thursday.

That statement has been overtaken by the claim of the Green Movement that it carried no official authority. What is more interesting is the framing of the story. The headine recognises "post-vote victims". Even more striking is the picture and caption used for the story, "Neda Aqa-Soltan, who was shot dead in Tehran's post-vote protests, became an international icon in the heat of post-election developments."

The acknowledgement, even elevation, of Neda's death is in sharp contrast to Press TV's coverage in late June, when it first ignored the story and then highlighted claims that Neda had been killed by foreign agents as part of a conspiracy to discredit the Iranian Government.

0710 GMT: The funeral of Sefollah Daad, a prominent Iranian film director who has died of cancer, was due to take place this morning. There were unconfirmed reports that members of the Green Movement, including Mir Hossein Mousavi, would be present.

The Latest from Iran (28 July): The Regime Crumbles 

The Latest from Iran (29 July): The Memorial and the Inauguration
NEW Iran: Or Is It the Supreme Leader v. the Revolutionary Guard?
NEW Iran: Will the Supreme Leader Give Up Ahmadinejad?
Iran Video (27 July): The Nighttime Protest
The Latest from Iran (27 July): A President Dangling in the Wind?

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IRAN 40 DAY 22200 GMT: Late Breaking News. The reformist website Mardomak reports that the memorial ceremonies for the fallen protesters will most probably be held this Thursday. The website asserts, "Although a rather low-level official of the ministry has objected to holding these ceremonies...there has not been any official objection... It seems that the government officials know that if they officially object, the government would then have to shoulder the responsibility of preventing these ceremony to happen." Mardomak also stated that if the doors of the Mosala are not opened on Thursday, all participants will sit down in the middle of Beheshti Street and light candles and recite the Koran.

2115 GMT: And so to close where we began this morning, considering the problems for President Ahmadinejad.

1. It is clear that the President will now be opposed by the "Principlist" bloc in Parliament. The vocal criticism of Ali Motahari has now been joined by the Islamic Engineers Society, which has criticised both the appointment of the First Vice President and the sacking of the Minister of Intelligence: "It seems you want to be the sole speaker and do not want to hear other voices… therefore it is our duty to convey to you the voice of the people." (Significantly, this news was reported on Press TV's website.)

Principlist legislator Hamid-Reza Katouzian told Tabnak: “Allegiance to the rule of just jurisprudence is not embracing the Leader and kissing his hand; allegiance must be practical....Putting the incidents of the past 10 days together, whether they were purposeful or carried out unintentionally, only show a confrontation with the Leader, and it is my opinion and that of other Principlists that Mr. Ahmadinejad needs to determine the nature of his relationship with the Leader.”

2. A "conservative" Member of Parliament, Gholam-Reza Mesbahi-Moghaddam, has expressed support for Hashemi Rafsanjani and has advocated compensation to the families of slain protesters. He also considered demonstrators to be "young gullible individuals who can be released".

3. Perhaps in response to this pressure, Ahmadinejad has asked the head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi to deal with the situation of the detainees (which Shahroudi had promised yesterday), hoping that the release of these individuals will coincide with the Birthday of Imam Mahdi. Ahmadinejad claims that most detainees have been "hoodwinked into participating these protests by individuals related to certain internal politicians or the propaganda of foreign enemies".

2045 GMT: Mohammad Tavasoli, a senior member of the Freedom Movement of Iran, has been freed after 43 days in detention.

2030 GMT: Ayatollah Bayat-Zanjani, who has emerged as a vocal critic of the Government, has issued another statement criticising those who have ignored "the vote of the majority".

1945 GMT: The Memorial is On. Despite the denial of a permit from the Ministry of Interior, Mir Hossein Mousavi's Facebook page announces the gathering will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. local time on Thursday at the Grand Mosala in Tehran. The page also puts up a poster for the event (pictured).

1930 GMT: American Perceptions. After the news of the denial of the permit for the Thursday memorial, a quieter phase in Iran news. Meanwhile, in the US there is a discussion of clerical power, political roles, and individual rights under the Iranian Constitution. Francis Fukuyama started it in The Wall Street Journal, and Kevin Sullivan has continued it on Real Clear World. It's a commentary as notable for the American perception of "Islamic Iran" as it is for insight into the Iranian system.

1755 GMT: The head of the political office of the Ministry of the Interior, Abbaszadeh-Meshkini, has told Fars News that no official permission has been given to any individual or group for a "40th Day" gathering on Thursday. Abbaszdeh said, "Memorial ceremonies are considered to be private issues of citizens and any request for such ceremonies from the interior ministry has obvious political overtones".

1710 GMT: Another Ayatollah for Rafsanjani. Following the public support of Assembly of Experts member Ayatollah Zarandi for Hashemi Rafsanjani (see 1205 GMT), Ayatollah Jaleleddin Taheri has also praised the former President and his speech at Friday prayers in Tehran.

1700 GMT: An Iranian website is reporting that politician Saeed Hajjarian will be among the 140 detainees released after a Parliamentary review.

1540 GMT: Ahmadinejad v. Khamenei? Back to our main story today. Parleman News reports that, after the dismissal of Minister of Intelligence Ejeie, President Ahmadinejad has taken direct control of the Ministry by ordering his replacement, Majid Alavi, to report directly to him. The Intelligence Ministry normally is supervised by the Supreme Leader, according to an English-language interpretation of the story.

1530 GMT: Women's rights lawyer Shadi Sadr has been released on bail of about $50,000.

1520 GMT: Fars News confirms that, after review by the Parliamentary Security Committee including a tour of the prisons and a visit to Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani --- see 0750 GMT), 140 prisoners will be released today. Another 150 will continued to be held because, according to an English translation of the report, they had weapons at the time of arrest.

(Question: Are detainees like politician Saeed Hajjarian and former Government advisors like Abdollah Ramezanzadeh being held because they were carrying weapons?)Sa

141o GMT: A steady stream of Internet chatter this afternoon about the death of Amir Javadifar in prison. His body was reportedly returned to his family on Sunday for burial. There are also claims of the death of Ramin Ghahremani two days after his release from detention.

1205 GMT: The political battle amongst the clerics of the Assembly of Experts continues. Ayatollah Hossein Zarandi, the representative of the city of Kermanshah in the Assembly, has defied the letter issued by "hard-liners" last week and supported the Friday prayer address of former President Rafsanjani.

1200 GMT: Rumour of the Day. Some Iranian websites are reporting that some Grand Ayatollahs may move from Qom to Najaf in Iraq. Clerical authorities in Najaf have indicated they would welcome any cleric who joined them.

1155 GMT: Tabnak is reporting that Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Sadegh Larijani, a member of the Guardian Council and the brother of Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani, will succeed Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi as the head of Iran's judiciary on 25 August.

0945 GMT: Foreign Policy gives some attention to Iran with an interview with the former cleric Mehdi Khalaji, who is now a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

0940 GMT: We've reposted our first morning update as a separate entry, "Will the Supreme Leader Give Up on Ahmadinejad?"

0830 GMT: Has the State Media Turned? There is a flurry of comment this morning on whether the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) has changed its line. Tabnak is reporting on IRIB's "severe criticism of Ahmadinejad". Until recently, IRIB had been very supportive of the President but, after the dispute over the First Vice President, the broadcaster has given significant airtime to critics of Ahmadinejad, such as the cleric Hojatoleslam Seyed Mehdi Tabatabai and the "principlist" Member of Parliament Ali Motahari.

Our correspondent Mani makes an important point, however. This is more evidence of a dispute within conservative ranks rather than IRIB sympathy for the Green Movement. No "reformist" critic has made an appearance on the channel.

(Ansar News has also published an editorial which is fiercely critical of the President.)

0820 GMT: As the Supreme Leader considers what to do with his President (see separate entry), the fired Minister of Intelligence, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejeie, has chipped in. He has written a letter, which has not been public, to the Supreme Leader.

0750 GMT: Larijani Does Damage Control. Yesterday we reported how the Speaker of the Parliament, Ali Larijani, stepped in to save the President when Ahmadinejad's attempted firing of four Ministers threatened to cripple the Government.

Now Farda News reports Larijani's attempt to deal with, and limit the damage from, the detainee issue. The chairman of the Parliamentary Security Committee, Kazem Jalali, says that Larijani asked the committee "to study seriously the pathology of these issues and treat all of the detainees (especially the university students and faculty) in a manner compatible with Islamic justice and fairness and kindness tempered with a strong dose of forgiveness2.

According to Jalili, Larijani declared, "Parliament is the refuge of people and as MPs we must listen to the complaints of everyone and try to address and solve the issues....Today society needs peace and calm but foreign media is attempting to inflame our society."

0715 GMT: Preparing for the 40th Day. Mehdi Karroubi has visited the family of Neda Agha-Soltan three days before the "40th Day" memorial/rally on 30 July. Karroubi expressed his sympathy to Neda's mother, "None of us knows our fate or destiny and none can say what events are awaiting us....The dear child that lost her life was the ultimate symbol of being innocent and being wronged, [her death] had a huge effect both inside and outside Iran. Neda's death loudly proclaimed the fact that the Iranian people are being oppressed and at the same time prevented further injustices and hopefully will have great beneficial effects upon the current and future life of [the Iranian] people."

Neda's mother complained about the statements of Ayatollah Seyed Ahmed Khatami, leading Friday prayers in Tehran, and Ezatullah Zarghami, the head of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, "As if the death of Neda was not enough for me, one of these two called my child an actress and claimed that her death was 'generated by a computer', and the other claimed her to be an actress [faking her death]." She concluded, "Neda, like thousands of other young people, cared for the fate of her country, she like other young people protested the results of the election."

0645 GMT: The Meeting of the Ayatollahs. Meanwhile, the negotiations between the Green Movement and the clerics of Qoms are proceeding. BBC Persian reports, via the website of Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri,that he has been discussing "issues regarding religious law and politics " with Grand Ayatollah Mousavi-Ardebili and Grand Ayatollah Mousa Shobeiri-Zanjani.

The details of the meeting, taking place at the summer residence of Montazeri in the village of Khaveh, have not been announced. However, BBC Persian implies that the Grand Ayatollahs are now considering the open letter of Karroubi-Khatami-Mousavi and other reformists for intervention on detainees. (Yesterday we summarised the first open response to the letter, offered by Ayatollah Yousef Sanei.)

The roles of Montazeri and Mousavi-Ardebili, who have both been critical of the Government during the post-election crisis, are not surprising. However, Shobeiri-Zanjani has not stated his position, and he is a long-time friend of the Supreme Leader. Therefore, religious analyst Hassan Shariatmadari speculates on BBC Persian that Shobeiri-Zanjani may be conveying messages from Khamenei asking for a solution to growing problems.

The Latest from Iran (13 July): Challenge Renewed

NEW Iran Video: Sohrab Arabi Funeral (13 July)
Iran Opposition Alert: Friday is the Day?

The Habitat Effect: Twitter, Spammers, and #iranelection
The Latest on Iran (12 July): When Is Normal Not Normal?

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2000 GMT: If Ayatollah Montazeri is suffering from dementia, with his words written by someone else (see 1400 GMT), he's hiding it well. As expected, he has issued a statement criticising the Chinese Government's treatment of Uighur Muslims and adding, "Silence from other governments, particularly Muslim governments has caused great surprise and regret."

1910 GMT: Media Twist of the Day. Kayhan newspaper,  a staunch supporter of the Ahmadinejad Government, has been summoned to court to answer charges of "disseminating lies intended to poison public opinion".

Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mohammad Khatami have also lodged defamation charges against Iran newspaper.

1900 GMT: Catching up with news reported earlier today: about 200 faculty of the medical school of the University of Tehran have protested the arrest of political activists. Dr. Jila Marsoosi, a faculty member and the wife of detained politician Saeed Hajjarian, also a member of this faculty ddressed the crowd.

1800 GMT: Now, This is Intriguing. Part of the intrigue is in the report on Press TV's website. Habibollah Asgaroladi, a senior member of the Islamic Coalition Party, has described the formation of a new political party by Mir Hossein Mousavi as "favorable", saying, "Establishing a party to voice one's ideas and political perceptions is a wise move."

Asgaroadi and his party are "principlists", loosely defined as advancing the principles of the Isamlic Revolution and falling in between the "conservative" and "reformist" camps.

That makes his endorsement of Mousavi eyebrow-raising. But the other part of the intrigue is that the report comes via Press TV. That's right, the same State media outlet that has been anxious to downfall the political legimitacy of a Mousavi-led campaign.


1405 GMT: More jitters. Deutsche Welle reports that Hossein Fadaei Ashtiani, the head of "Society Dedicated to the Islamic Revolution", has said, "One of the results of the elections was a distinction between those who are real fundamentalists and those who claim to be fundamentalists...[it has] been made clear thar some people claiming to be fundamentalists are exhibiting non-fundamentalist behavior". The article links Ashtiani's statement to other "conservative" disquiet, notably Mohsen Rezaei's declaration (which is now being publicised widely) of a six-point programme for electoral resolution.

1400 GMT: The regime is looking very jittery today. A reader sends in this information:
It seems that [Ayatollah] Montazeri [who issued a fatwa on Saturday denouncing the Government] is considered to be a real threat by Ahmadinejad et. al. The pro-Ahmadinejad news site 'Rajanews' has claimed that Montazeri is suffering from some sort of dementia. Rajanews also claims that all fatwas said to be from Montazeri are in fact written by Mohsen Kadivar. The reformist daily Parleman-news has published a statement by Montazeri's son in which categorically denies these charges by asserting that Montazeri is in great health and all Fatwas and statements are issued under his direct supervision. In fact his son concluded that Montazeri is in the process of issueing a statement regarding the plight of the Chinese muslims.

1350 GMT: It is being reported that Mohsen Hajjarian, son of detained politician Saeed Hajjarian, has been released after his arrest yesterday.

1345 GMT: We've now posted video from the funeral of Sohrab Arabi, showing hundreds of demonstrators holding up his photograph and chanting.

1130 GMT: A side story, but an important one. The Iranian Government's effusive support of China's handling of the Uighur crisis in the northwest of the country has been criticised not only by opposition groups but by high-ranking clerics such as Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani and Ayatollah Nasser Makerem-Shirazi, who have objected to the repression of Muslims.

1000 GMT: Unsurprisingly, there is a heated media battle within Iran, one example of which is the rumor (noted in the blog on "Friday is the Day?") that this week's leadership of Tehran prayers will be the last for former President Hashemi Rafsanjani. Pro-Government publications are trying to portray the opposition as weak and divided.

The strategy is not working smoothly, however. At least one important cleric, Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani, has criticised State-run media for issuing statements in his name of support for the Government. He denounced the Islamic Republic News Agency as a purveyor of falsehoods.

0815 GMT: Ferehsteh Ghazi ("iranbaan"), writing for Rooz Online, claims that families of detainees are being threatened by the judiciary. They are told that, if they speak about the plight of their relatives, news will be withheld from them and the detainees "will be held longer".

0810 GMT: We're awaiting news on whether the funeral of Sohrab Arabi, the 19-year-old killed on 15 June by Basiji gunfire but whose body was only released to the family this weekend, was the occasion for public demonstrations.

0800 GMT: One exception to the item below about the absence of the "mainstream" media from the Iran story. The excellent Borzou Daragahi of the Los Angeles Times, now reporting from Beirut, recognises the potential significance of this Friday's Rafsanjani appearance at Tehran prayers. Daragahi has also picked up on the statement of the head of Ayatollah Khamenei's office of university affairs, Mohammad Mohammadian (see 0615 GMT), "We cannot order public opinion to get convinced. Certain individuals are suspicious about the election result, and we have to shed light on the realities and respond to their questions."

0703 GMT: Perhaps needless to say, the Iran story is now one for the "new" media. State-run Press TV prefers the image of legitimacy for the Government, covering the arrival of Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in Egypt for the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement. (President Ahmadinejad has still not been received by a foreign leader since his summit in Moscow days after the election.)

CNN catches up with the story that the family of Shorab Arabi, killed by Basiji gunfire during the mass demonstration on 15 June, only learned of his death in recent days. Al Jazeera English and BBC English, focused on Britain's political and military difficulties in Afghanistan, have disappeared.

0700 GMT: Regime Feel-Good Story of the Day. Javan newspaper, linked to the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, has been explaining that it is very good for detained politician Saeed Hajjarian to be in Evin Prison, as he can get the best medical care there rather than at home.

0615 GMT: After a quiet period since last Thursday's 18 Tir protests, there is a sense this morning --- based on movements from both sides --- that the political challenge is about to resume, with private and public protests converging.

The shift is reflected in two stories. The first, which we put together last evening, is of the linking of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani's re-appearance at Friday prayers in Tehran with a mass march to the site.

The second concerns signs from the regime that it may be looking for some limited compromises to meet the political and legal demands of the opposition. Signals come not only from Friday's call at Tehran prayers by Ayatollah Kashani for a Parliamentary review of the election process but also from a statement by the Supreme Leader's representative for universities that "the recent protests in society are not of a malicious nature", criticism at Friday prayers in Qom by Ayatollah Reza Ostadi of the system's handling of public concerns, and a declaration by the judicial commission that all protesters will be freed within 10 days. It is also worthwhile watching the reaction to Presidential Mohsen Rezaei's six-point proposal for a political settlement, which may (or may not) have emerged after discussions with members of the Iranian leadership.

Beyond these emerging manoeuvres is a fatwa from Ayatollah Montazeri, the one-time successor to Ayatollah Montazeri, calling the Supreme Leader "illegitimate", as he is working against religion, and asking the public to challenge and, if necessary, pay a heavy price to remedy the situation. We briefly reported on the fatwa on Saturday but discussion of it only took off yesterday. We are cautious about the significance, as Montazeri has been ostracised and put under house arrest for many years, but others see vital reinforcement for the opposition movement. Tehran Bureau has a useful summary in English.

With the "mainstream" media now almost silent, the political battle is being played out in the "new" media. One of the weekend flutters was over an alleged "cyber-attack" on Twitter, with the important "hashtag" #iranelection overwhelmed at times by spam messages for products and get-rich-quick schemes. EA's Mike Dunn has untangled the story, which appears to be one more of crass attempts by marketers and schemers to make money rather than deliberate political sabotage.

The Latest on Iran (12 July): When Is Normal Not Normal?

The Latest from Iran (13 July): Challenge Renewed

Iran Opposition Alert: Friday is the Day?
Iran Idiocy of the Day: Bushmen Claim Credit for “Regime Change”
Iran: Tehran's Immediate Response to the G8 Summit

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2210 GMT: Press TV's website is featuring the six-point programme of Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei for a compromise resolution to post-election conflict (see 1510 GMT). It's one of a number of signs, which we'll discuss tomorrow, that the regime may be willing to make some concessions (albeit limited ones) to ease opposition.

2123 GMT: We have posted in a separate entry what we think may be an analysis of a major development in opposition  strategy, the combination of Hashemi Rafsanjani's leadership of Friday prayers in Tehran with a large march including Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mohammad Khatami.

2120 GMT: Reliable websites are now agreeing that Sohrab Arabi was killed by Basiji gunfire on 15 June in Azadi Square.

1800 GMT: Some confusion over the death of Sohrab Arabi (pictured), who was reported to have died in detention in Evin Prison. According to a website, a family member has said that Arabi was among those killed in Azadi Square on 15 June, the day of the largest post-election demonstrations, when Basiji opened fire.

The report continues that Arabi's mother, unaware of her son's death, had prepared the bail money to release him from detention. She spent days outside Evin Prison, holding Sohrab's picture and asking if anyone had seen him.

1700 GMT: We've posted a separate blog entry on a disturbing, and frankly ludicrous, attempt by a Bush Administration official to claim credit, in the name of Dubya, for Iranian "regime change".

1540 GMT: Families of detainees have gathered once more in front of Evin Prison.

1522 GMT: Political Rumour of the Day. Former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, having declined in recent weeks to lead weekly prayers in Tehran, will be making the address this Friday.

1520 GMT: Yet, even as the dispute over detentions succeeds questions over the elections as the touchstone challenge to the regime, the Government presses ahead. Mohsen Hajjarian, the son of detained politician Saeed Hajjarian, has been arrested.

1510 GMT: As we thought, the issues of political activism and detentions are emerging as the key challenges to the regime. Now Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei has written an open letter. While separating legitimate protest from that spurred by foreign influence, Rezaei has emphasized the "duties of state institutions to establish in law the rights of people": "The Islamic Republic without religious freedom and democracy can not exist."

Meanwhile, Etamade Melli has maintained its pressure by publishing a summary of Mehdi Karroubi's meetings last week with the families of detainees.

1500 GMT: A day after he received Mehdi Karroubi's letter about detainees, Ayatollah Shahroudi, the head of the Iranian judiciary, has been addressed by the Iranian Association of Journalists. The association has asked Shahroudi to observe the Iranian Constitution with respect to detentions, confession, and torture. Human rights organisation have claimed that Iran leads the world in the detention of journalists.

1220 GMT: In an interview with Rooz, legal scholar Mohammad Seifzadeh and lawmaker Dariush Ghanbari announced that confessions extracted in prison lack legal validity and only serve political purposes. On the contrary of what is written and broadcasted by pro-government media organisations, Seifzadeh accused officials of defaming detainees.
Moreover, lawmaker Dariush Ghanbari, who is also the spokesperson for the Line of the Imam faction in the Majlis and Emad Hosseini, who is also member of the same faction claimed that the government was "imposing certain views on society." Rooz reports that many members of the judiciary ignored the significance of the situation when asked whether rights of detainees were violated.

1200 GMT: Another young martyr? Twitter users iranriggedelect and iranbaan report on 19 year old Sohrab Arabi, who they say died in Evin prison despite being due for release on Tuesday. Two reports on Rooz (article 1: Persian / English translation; article 2: Persian / English translation) suggest that he was involved in post-election protests, and remained in Evin even after his mother posted bail. Iranbaan also links to a video which she says shows his mother showing his picture to released detainees outside Evin in the hope that they will recognise him.

1145 GMT: CNN reports that, "A top Iranian general said government troops are "ready to sacrifice our lives" rather than back down in the face of protests over June's disputed presidential election." [link via iranrevolution]

0710 GMT: The First Post-election "Reform"? Press TV's website reports that the Expediency Council has ruled that, in future, a member of the President's Cabinet cannot also serve on the Guardian Council. Currently, Justice Minister Gholamhossein Elham, who also serves as President Ahmadinejad's primary spokesman, and Ebrahim Azizi, deputy head of the presidential office for human resources, are also on the Guardian Council.

0655 GMT: An important sign that "uneasy settling" (0615 GMT) does not mean that the situation has been resolved. A reader has confirmed, from Iranian media, yesterday's report of a statement that much of Tehran is a "crisis zone". The claim of police commander Ahmadi-Moghaddam was made in Aftab News.

Blame for the crisis was placed on people using computer software, encouraged by the BBC.

0650 GMT: Josh Shahryar's latest "Green Brief" claims, "Vast weekly protests and the heavy presence of Basiji’s have had a negative impact on Iranian bazaars; they are finding it harder and harder to stay open. As a result, commerce is slowly coming to a standstill."

0615 GMT: On the surface, there is an uneasy settling of the political situation in Iran. For the second day in a row, there were no significant open demonstrations, and statements were limited, with the most significant challenge coming in Mehdi Karroubi's letter to the head of the Iranian judiciary, Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi, calling for the release of detainees (see yesterday's updates). Ayatollah Montazeri also issued a fatwa condemning the Government as "un-Islamic" for its support of violence against demonstrations. Rooz Online offers a summary (in Farsi) of the clerical debate over the political and security issues.

In short, the impression was that both sides were catching their breath before next moves. This, however, should not be mistaken for "calm". As long as the Iranian Government continues to hold hundreds of detainees without charge, including leading politicians and activists, then there will be an immediate cause for protest that could always be the platform for wider criticism of the system. On Saturday, for example, the women’s wing of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s Participation Front wrote an open letter, saying that Iranian mothers were awaiting the release of their loved ones with teary eyes and aching hearts.

That is why a lot of Internet discussion yesterday was about the alleged mistreatment of detainees and poor conditions in Evin Prison. And that is why there has been so much attention to the Basiji and the Revolutionary Guard. We were caught up in the debate over the authenticity of the leaked audio tape of Revolutionary Guard discussions on how to handle protest (although we are still unsure whether the tape is from 1999 or 2009), and much attention was paid to an article in The Wall Street Journal giving inside detail on members of the Basiji, closing with the puzzlement of one Basij over why his fiancee had left him.

There is also discussion on a possible "cyber-attack" on Twitter, with the key topic "#iranelection" being flooded with spam to obscure the latest posts on political, clerical, and security developments.