1400 GMT: The Next Nowruz Message...is reported to have come from Mehdi Karroubi.
1245 GMT: Rumour of Day/Rafsanjani Watch. Two features in one, as news flies that Hossein Marashi, a relative and ally of Hashemi Rafsanjani, will be released
within days of his Thursday sentencing to one year in prison.
Iranian media are speaking of “hidden hands” behind Marashi's release (http://www.khabaronline.ir/news-50341.aspx)
Deutsche Welle argues that this is bad news for the President, given the pressure of the Expediency Council (headed by Rafsanjani) to change electoral laws. Rafsanjani has also apparently managed to gain the support of the Combatant Clergy Assocation, headed by key conservative Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani. Another sign of Rafsanjani’s growing influence is the lifting of the ban on Shargh newspaper, which is meant to restart publication in two weeks.
So was Marashi’s arrest due to Ahmadinejad supporters trying to clip the challenge of Rafsanjani? And have they only succeeded in making that challenge stronger?
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1125 GMT: Another Nowruz Message. A special greeting from Parvin Fahimi, the mother of Sohrab Arabi, who was slain by Government forces on 15 June:
Our dear slain children are not next to us on the New Year’s eve, but their memories shall live forever.
I hope that those prisoners whose empty place is felt strongly by their families are released and returned to the arms of their loved ones.
As a mother with an aching heart, I take refuge in God’s grace. What crime did our children commit that they should be subject to such injustice?
Our youth only demanded to have the same rights every human being is entitled to.
Once again, as a mother, I wish peace, freedom, joy, and health upon everyone. My son wanted the same thing.
0733 GMT: Have a spare moment on Nowruz? Global Freedom Movement has created a"virtual solidarity" protest for those held in Evin Prison.
0725 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. No Nowruz release for Mashhad journalist Sadegh Javadi-Hessar.
0720 GMT: A New Year Approach. And, even before President Obama, was offering his Nowruz greeting, British Foreign Minister David Miliband was signalling the importance of Iran on the "Western" agenda and offering confirmation that "rights" are now going to accompany any nuclear approach:
The past year has been a difficult one for many in Iran but Norouz is a time of new beginnings. I hope that in 1389 the Iranian people will be able to enjoy a year that fulfils their hopes and ambitions, and allows them to express freely their own aspirations for the future. Noh-rooz eh hoob dashteh basheed.
The leader of the French Socialist Party, Martine Aubry, has also posted her best wishes.
0700 GMT: First and foremost, EA wishes everyone the best for Nowruz (Iranian New Year), wherever you might be celebrating. Here is to a fantastic and wonderful 1389.
We are not the only ones offering best wishes this morning. The White House has sent out a press release, now racing through the "Western" media and even on Press TV, offering President Obama's greetings to the Iranian people. Last year, the Nowruz message was of a desired engagement with the Islamic Republic; this year, there is criticism of the Tehran Government on top of the extended hand to Iran's public:
Over the course of the last year, it is the Iranian government that has chosen to isolate itself, and to choose a self-defeating focus on the past over a commitment to build a better future. Even as we continue to have differences with the Iranian government, we will sustain our commitment to a more hopeful future for the Iranian people.
We've just located the video and transcript and will be posting soon.