1400 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Another statement from Hashemi Rafsanjani to decode. Meeting with a group of journalists and young political activists, he said:
Promoting awareness in people is the main and fundamental element of any progressive movement....Today all the people in any corner of the country have become more aware, cautious and knowledgable. Don’t doubt it, the growth of awareness among the different classes of the people will reform the society....
Wrong management of the resources and wealth of the country will cause under-development for future generations....Giving space for criticism and review at all levels should not be abandoned in the country....Be sure that honest efforts for the high principles of the revolution won’t be in vain and will have effective outcomes.
NEW Mahmoud’s Iran Wonderland: Ahmadinejad Says “I’m in Favour of Protestors”
NEW Iran Snap Analysis: Ahmadinejad’s Nuclear Roadtrip
Iran Follow-Up: Ahmadinejad “Bin Laden Lives in Washington DC!”
A Female Detainee in Iran: “Stripped by the Basiji”
The Latest from Iran (5 May): “Protest is Not Provocation”
0915 GMT: The Reformist Front. Speaking with the family of student activist Milan Asadi, detained since 1 December, Mehdi Karroubi claimed that the pressure on Iranian people had arisen because of the lack of independence of Iran's judiciary.
Former President Mohammad Khatami has written an open letter to Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, the "hard-line" leader of Tehran Friday Prayers, suggesting that he should not sacrifice his salvation for the well-being of others.
Reformist member of Parliament Mohammad Reza Tabesh has complained to Speaker of Parlaiment Ali Larijani over attacks on reformists' offices in several cities, alleging that Iranian authorities have not guaranteed security.
0910 GMT: Watch Your Back, Mahmoud. While President Ahmadinejad has been away, conservative member of Parliament Ali Motahari has been making big noises about the need for major reforms in the Iranian system (see yesterday's updates).
Motahari has now restated his case in Khabar Online, calling on First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi --- who, far from coincidentally, has been pressed by MPs over corruption allegations --- to answer the claims of Government mismanagement of the post-election crisis.
0855 GMT: Brazil Denies Role in Uranium Talks. It may be just for public show --- a mediator doesn't necessarily want to be known as a mediator --- but Brazilian officials have popped Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that Brasilia is acting as a broker for a possible deal on Iran's uranium enrichment:
A Brazilian foreign ministry spokesman told AFP [Agence France Presse] that no such plan had been proposed during a visit to Tehran last month by Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.
"We were informed that an official Iranian government website mentioned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad supported a Brazilian 'program'. But there was no presentation of a formal program during the foreign minister's visit," the spokesman said.
Even more interesting, however, is the confusion demonstrated by the denial from Ahmadinejad's Chief of Staff, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai that Brazil was acting as a go-between. Since the original report of Brazil's involvement came from the President's office, one has the sense that Ahmadinejad's advisors aren't quite sure what they are supposed to be saying.
0840 GMT: Fantastic Interviews. Proof that, if you put the President and his advisors under pressure, you get answers that verge on fantasy.
In a separate entry, we've posted Ahmadinejad's declaration to The Boston Globe, "I'm in Favour of Protestors". Then there is the commentfrom Ahmadinejad's Chief of Staff, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, in conversation with Laura Secor of The New Yorker that "there are actually not too many people in the prisons" before he proceeds to tie himself up in illogical knots.
0630 GMT: We've started the morning by dealing in a separate feature with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's US Nuclear Roadshow: "Will it get him enough political space to bolster Iran’s position abroad and his authority at home?"
Now to the important matters:
Head of Judiciary is Not Happy
If the regime is feeling secure about its suppression of post-election opposition, Sadegh Larijani, the head of Iran's judiciary, sure isn't showing it.
Speaking to clergy in Hamadan, Larijani declared that some of the confidants of Ayatollah Khomeini have acted even worse than the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, the political wing of the "terrorist" Mojahedin-e-Khalq.
Larijani added that the “seditious movement” has not ended, and it has caused confusion amongst the “pious”.
The Resurgence of the Labour Movement
Iran Labor Report has a powerful analysis/polemic of the state of the labour movement --- past, present, and future. The article concludes:
Fortunately, some in the labor movement have belatedly come to change their anti-Green approach somewhat, and this is welcome. Clearly, only with Green-labor unity can we stand up to the tyranny of the regime and free the country of its despotic rule. The popular struggle in Iran isn’t going away. The street demonstrations may have dwindled – for now – but a luta continua. Which side are you on?
Shutting Away Ayatollah Beheshti
Rah-e-Sabz claims that the organisers of the Tehran Book Fair removed the booth devoted to the works of the late Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti.
Beheshti is one of the heroes of the Islamic Revolution. leading the new Iranian judicial system until he was killed in the mass 7 Tir assassination by the Mojahedin-e-Khalq in June 1981. However, his son, Alireza Beheshti, was Mir Hossein Mousavi's chief advisor during and after the Presidential election, possibly putting the Beheshti name beyond the acceptable for the regime.
Another UK Deportation Case
The deportation of Bita Ghaedi from Britain was postponed by British and European courts on Tuesday, but another case reaches a critical point today.
Nadia Arzane and Bashir Foris, a married couple in their early 20s, are scheduled for forced removal on a Thursday afternoon flight from London Gatwick. Arzane is a Christian human rights activist who participated in protests in Iran in July; her father was allegedly detained and tortured for two months by Iranian authorities.