2100 GMT: Connection of Day --- Baghi's Detention and the "Killing" of Khomeini's Son. Fatemeh Kamali, the wife of the detained journalist Emadeddin Baghi, in an interview with Iranian Students News Agency, said: "The main charge held against him is that he believed that the death of Seyed Ahmad Khomeini was suspicious." (Ahmad Khomeini, the son of Imam Khomeini, died in 1995,allegedly from a heart attack. There have always been rumours of foul play,however; Khomeini had criticised the regime a month before his demise.)
Kamali produced a letter from Seyed Hassan Khomeini, Ahmad’s son, to Baghi which mentions that a Mr. Niazi, the head of judiciary for Iran's armed force, has confirmed the existence of some evidence of the murder of Ahmad Khomeini.
2045 GMT: Yes, This Parliament v. President Thing is Real. Mehr News Agency's English-language site puts out a summary, but the news is clear: Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani (see 1450 GMT) and his Parliamentary allies are not going to give way on President Ahmadinejad's demand for a reconsideration of their decision on his subsidy reform and spending plans.
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2030 GMT: Back from a long academic break to post the full video and transcript of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Included are remarks on Iran's threat to the Middle East and its nuclear programme.
1450 GMT: Larijani Stands Firm. Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has pointedly rejected President Ahmadinejad's call for a national referendum on the proposed subsidies reductions and spending. Larijani said that Ahmadinejad had been authorised to spend $20 billion extra from the savings from the reductions, and he would not get any more. The Parliament's decision was not up for revision.
1440 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. A reliable EA source confirms that Hasan Lahouti, the grandson of Hashemi Rafsanjani and son of Faezeh Hashemi, was arrested by Iranian authorities at Imam Khomeini airport this morning. While the story broke in Fars, which has been known to post disinformation, it is also being carried in Tabnak and Alef.
Lahouti, who is studying at a British university, was returning to Iran for the Nowruz holidays when he was detained. There has been no comment from Rafsanjani or Faezeh Hashemi.
A few weeks ago, Lahouti was interviewed by BBC Persian, and he criticised the Government's harassment of his mother and grandfather. There is also speculation that Lahouti may have been arrested to put pressure on Mehdi Hashemi, Rafsanjani's son, to return to Iran. Mehdi Hashemi, who was named by Government prosecutors in the Tehran trials as culpable for election manipulation and misuse of funds, remains in Britain --- he has not been to Iran since last summer.
1430 GMT: Economy Watch. We've just posted a new analysis by Kevan Harris of "Politics and Subsidy Reform".
1250 GMT: Communications Battles. Fulfilling an initiative that we noted last week, European Union foreign ministers have declared, "The European Union expresses its grave concern over measures taken by the Iranian authorities to prevent its citizens from freely communicating and receiving information through TV, radio satellite broadcasting and the Internet. The EU is determined to pursue these issues and to act with a view to put an end to this unacceptable situation."
What that action might be was left undefined.
1140 GMT: Holding the Line. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's office is briefing the press that she will tell the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that the US "is taking time to produce these sanctions [against Iran]... but we will not compromise our commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring these weapons".
The surprise here is not Clinton's insistence on "sanctions that will bite" as "the United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons". She has to say this, given the tightrope the US is walking in trying to get the Israeli Government to make a commitment to talks over Palestine.
The surprise is that she is not offering the prospects of tougher sanctions in the near-future: is that because of difficulties in getting international acceptance or because the Obama Administration does not think sanctions --- at least the sweeping version proposed in the US Congress --- are an optimal way of dealing with Tehran?
1120 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Fars News is claiming that Iranian authorities have detained the grandson of Hashemi Rafsanjani. Hasan Lahouti was allegedly arrested in Tehran airport upon arrival from London late Sunday.
0750 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Student Mehdi Kalari has been released from Evin Prison, reportedly after a protest by 2000 candidates at Sharif University last week against the detention of three classmates.
0720 GMT: In Case You're Still Wondering. Continued coverage in media of Ayatollah Khamenei's blasting of the US in his Nowruz speech in Mashhad. Press TV gives the state line: "Sometimes the US government appears as a wolf or a fox and looks violent and arrogant, and sometimes they look different."
For a different perspective, see the video we have just posted of chanting during Khamenei's speech.
0700 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. It is reported that Mohammad Davari, the imprisoned editor-in-chief of Mehdi Karroubi’s website Saham News, has gone on hunger strike.
Davari was arrested at Karroubi’s office on 8 September. Recently he was moved to solitary confinement, allegedly after complaining about harsh prison conditions during a visit by a Deputy Minister of Intelligence. He went on hunger strike a week ago.
0500 GMT: We begin the morning with a special from inside Iran. The friend of a top EA source has written from the Iranian capital to report on the latest political situation: resistance is alive, the Supreme Leader's "honour is broken", and sanctions are necessary.
Elsewhere, we are watching the ongoing Parliament-President battle over the budget, subsidy reform, and revenues. After three leading members of Parliament --- Tavakkoli, Naderan and Mesbahi Moghaddam --- declared Ahmadinejad's suggestion of a referendum is a defiance of the Majlis' authority and the Constitution. Mohammad-Nabi Habibi, the head of the Motalefeh Party, insisted that Ahmadinejad should obey the Majlis and there was no need for a referendum, while another observer noted that if the President wanted a public vote on the budget, there should also be one on his Government.
Economist Fereydoun Khavand, who is based in Paris, assesses that there is an unprecedented turmoil in economic policies, with the fight over the subsidies and possible 50-60% inflation.