We're being careful about this. Our perception is that the announcement is merely the restatement of death sentences which have already been announced by the Tehran Prosecutor General's office, rather than --- as the NYT piece indicates --- a new set of capital punishments.
2130 GMT: We've posted a separate entry on the developing story of the ban on the Islamic Iran Participation Front.
1945 GMT: Resisting the Empire of Lies. Responding to the Government's assertion that it has been banned (see 1650 GMT), the reformist party Islamic Iran Participation Front calls on all political and social activists to continue their social struggles and not to “give in to the empire of lies”. The IIPF claimed that the attempted ban reveals the “weakness of the government” and that civil institutions and activists will “grow and expand" their activities.
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1940 GMT: Power, Money, and Oil. The engineering firm owned by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has been awarded an $850 million oil pipeline contract.
1935 GMT: Denying the Propaganda. The Center for Defense of Human Rights, connected with Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, has rejected the allegation of Fars that it receives financial aid from the US Government. CDHR announced that it intends to sue the news agency for libel.
1930 GMT: Have a Happy Great Satan, Off-the-Streets Fire Festival. An activist reports that Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting is showing 11 movies on Tuesday, including District 9 andUP on Charshanbeh Suri. I'm sure this has nothing to do with a wish to keep people inside their homes and off the streets during the Fire Festival.
1650 GMT: Barring the Reformists? Deputy Interior Minister Solat Mortazavi says the Islamic Iran Participation Front, Iran's largest reformist party, has been stripped by the judiciary of its authorization to conduct political activity.
The judiciary has not confirmed the ban, and the IIPF said it was only barred from holding its annual meeting, scheduled for 11 March.
1545 GMT: Compromise Resolution? Iran's Parliament, after a skirmish with President Ahmadinejad, has given final approval to a $368 billion budget for the year to March 2011.
The Majlis originally passed a $347 billion plan, but Ahmadinejad wanted an extra $40 billion from anticipated subsidy reductions. The Parliament agreed to grant $20 billion but held out against the President's full request, despite an unusual appearance by Ahmadinejad to deliver a speech during voting.
1430 GMT: You asked for it, you've got it --- our readers have found the perfect photo for an Iran caption contest. Let the fun begin....
1245 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Prominent human rights lawyer Mohammad Oliyaifard has been released from detention.
1240 GMT: Showing Support. Mir Hossein Mousavi has met with members of the reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front.
1145 GMT: Ahmadinejad Embraces Non-Violence? Iran's latest get-tough pose loses something in translation. From Press TV:
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has named the country's team tasked with minimizing the effects of damage on the country should it be attacked by foreign forces.
The occupant of the presidential palace in downtown Tehran on Monday appointed Chief-of-Staff of Iran's Joint Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi as the head of the Permanent Passive Defense Committee.
A statement from the President's office also identified Davud Ahmadinejad as the President's special representative and the country's ministers of interior, defense and science as members of the committee.
0940 GMT: Gender and the Green Movement. Speaking to BBC Persian, Shadi Sadr has declared that the women's movement has managed to gather forces from different camps, from the religious (Azam Taleghani) to the secular (publisher Shahla Lahiji) to press its demands and influence politics at all levels. She complained that the women's movement has no political representative in the Green Movement. [A reader comments: Could Sadr fill that role?]
0930 GMT: Question of Day. Why was Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi meeting marjas (senior clerics) in Qom?
0640 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Iran Gender Equality is maintaining two important lists: one on the status of women political prisoners and one on the status of detained journalists.
0615 GMT: The National Iranian American Council has published its summary of the US-Iran panel at last week's hearings in the US Senate. It's a fair reflection of a "realism" amongst American experts which is focused on nukes, nukes, nukes.
As NIAC notes, that issue was set within a call for a "broader strategic outlook" to deal with US-Iran tensions, bringing in discussion of Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East, and Iranian security. Questions of rights and justice in Iran, however, were barely mentioned by the panel, in contrast to the first session at the hearings.
0550 GMT: Ripples from the regime's latest strategy --- we've broken the journalists, now let's get the human rights activists --- continue. Among those named as agents for terrorist/US-backed cyber-war is Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, the man behind the Babak Khoramdin blog, who was arrested two months ago on accusations of spying for the CIA.
The attention to human rights campaigners does not mean that others have escaped attention. Among weekend arrests, that of Emad Bahavar of the Freedom Movement of Iran was notable. He was arrested and released recently but broke the condition of his freedom by continuing to publish incisive articles and protests against intrusions by Iranian security services.
Then there are claims that Basiji militia harassed Mehdi Karroubi's family on Sunday, surrounding and vandalising his house.
Understandably, in the face of the intense regime pressure, overt opposition moves are limited at the moment. Chatter continues about demonstrations tomorrow during the Chahrshanbeh Suri (Fire Festival) celebrations, but no substantial plans are being put forward.