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Entries in Mir Hossein Mousavi (35)


The Latest from Iran (27 May): Cooperation and Feuds

1915 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. The families of detainees Kouhyar Goudarzi and Majid Tavakoli report that both men have been transferred to hospital days after they started hunger strikes.

The mother of Goudarzi, a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, said her son passed out in prison: “When I went to visit Kouhyar, the officials told me that he cannot be visited because he has been transferred to solitary confinement but one of the prisoners informed me through a phone call that he has been taken to Evin Prison infirmary.”

Majid Tavakoli’s brother said the family received a call from a friend in prison reporting that Majid had lost his speech and was taken to the infirmary.

Goudarzi quit eating on 20 May to protest transfer to solitary confinement. Tavakoli started his strike when he was returned to solitary four days ago for protesting against “the sub-standard conditions of the prison and the illegal restrictions enforced against prisoners rights”.

NEW Iran Analysis: When Allies Co-ordinate (Mousavi & Karroubi)
NEW Iran Analysis: When Allies Fight (Tehran and Moscow)
Iran Document: Mousavi “On the Importance of Political Parties” (26 May)
Iran Document: Karroubi “Aligning the Green Movement Inside and Outside Country”
The Latest from Iran (26 May): Panahi Out But 100s Still Imprisoned

1410 GMT: Azad University Invaded? A curious report on Parleman News that, late last night, more than 20 armed plainclothes militia entered the Office of Board of Trustees and Founders of Islamic Azad University and the office of the Center for Advanced Science and Technology. The story claims that the militia threatened and handcuffed security personnel, entered offices and vandalized them, and took documents, computers and other objects..

A statement by the Office of Board of Trustees and Founders of Islamic Azad University said the attack was a continuation of recent hostile activities against the university and illegal changes made to the runiversity's rules, along with the introduction of new members to the Board of Trustees by the Ahmadinejad Government.

Islamic Azad University, Iran's largest private chain of universities, was launched during Hashemi Rafsanjani’s Presidency (1989-1997). Until recently Rafsanjani's son, Mehdi Hashemi, was the President; he is now in Britain, under threat of prosecution if he returns to Iran.

1400 GMT: Today's All-is-Well Moment. Press TV, which had avoided any reference to President Ahmadinejad's criticism of Russia in his speech on Wednesday (see EA's special analysis), now decides it can consider the story:
Russia has pledged to "actively support" the Tehran Nuclear Declaration on condition that the landmark fuel swap proposal is fully implemented.

"If it (Iran) strictly abides by them, Russia will actively support the scheme proposed by Brazil and Turkey," AFP quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Thursday

"We welcome this deal. If fully implemented, it will create very important preconditions not just for the solution of the concrete problem… but for improving the atmosphere for the renewal of negotiations," Lavrov added.

The remarks come one day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized Russia for conceding to a US campaign for tougher UN sanctions against the country, calling on Moscow to "resolutely" support the May 17 declaration issued by Iran, Turkey and Brazil.

Of course, Lavrov's statement is about the 4357th instance of Russia playing its balancing game on the nuclear issue --- you'll notice that he did not distance Moscow from sanctions until a deal on uranium enrichment is completed.

And, hmm, looks like Press TV missed this portion of Lavrov's statement: "To our great regret, during years --- not just months ---Iran's response to these efforts has been unsatisfactory, mildly speaking."

1025 GMT: Don't Criticise Me (Cuz I'm Close to the Edge). An interesting story from President Ahmadinejad's visit to Kerman yesterday....

According to the Iranian Labor News Agency, Ahmadinejad met provincial administrators. He told them that, while the Government respects all groups and parties, they have no right to interfere in the state's governance and to pressure it. Ahmadinejad also turned the criticism on his audience, citing corruption and clannishness in the provinces and saying that local officials should work for the people.

Significance? Well, at the start of this week, the President came under public fire from an audience heckling him over unemployment in Khorramshahr. This looks like his response: I hear you, but you don't have any standing to challenge me. And, before you think of such a challenge, take a hard look at local and provincial officials.

0750 GMT: The Executions. RAHANA reports that the body of Farzad Kamangar, one of five Iranians hung on 9 May,  still has not been returned to his family but remains in a prison morgue.

0740 GMT: Economy Watch. The head of the Supreme Audit Court, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, has criticized Iran's slow pace of development and insatiable consumption of natural resources, especially oil.

Declaring that it is “shameful” for Tehran to import vegetables like onion and garlic , Fazli continued, “It is not reasonable for the country to insatiably consume oil revenues yet the government pays subsidies for gasoline, fertilizer, and human resources to plant vegetables like orange, garlic, onion and….Iran is a poor country from the standpoint that it is unable to enhance its assets and properly take use of its abundant human resources."

Fazli warned that growth was far below the 8% projected by the Government for its 5th Development Plan.

0735 GMT: The "Political" Revolutionary Guard. Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari has proclaimed that the IRGC is foremost an intelligence and political organisation, then a military establishment.

0725 GMT: The Rumbles Within. A group of "hardline" politicians have criticised Government supporters for abstaining, rather than voting No, in the vote for the re-election of Ali Larijani as  Speaker of Parliament.

0720 GMT: That Russia (Non-)Story. Following up Press TV's disappearance of President Ahmadinejad's criticism of Russia (see 0715 GMT), a quick glance shows that Tabnak highlighted the challenge to Moscow but that Fars set it aside.

0710 GMT: A later start this morning, as we focused on two analyses. The international front was marked on Tuesday by the sudden emergence of President Ahmadinejad's anger with Russia and Moscow's response: why now? But inside Iran, the story was of both Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi making tactical moves to forge opposition.

As we catch up on the news, an intriguing signal on the Iran-Russia dispute: Press TV's report on the Ahmadinejad speech in Kerman proclaims, "No Isolation on the Cards", and leads:
The Iranian president has slammed what he described as the tyrannical policies of the West, saying no bullying power or corporate structure can isolate the Iranian nation.

The Iranian president further pointed out that comments about the isolation of the Islamic Republic and Western efforts for the imposition of sanctions on Iran were solely face-saving measures aimed at protecting the Western community from its downfall.

"It is the Iranian nation that will isolate many of such countries," he added.

Number of references to Russia in the story? Zero.

Iran Document: Mousavi "On the Importance of Political Parties" (26 May)

From the Facebook page supporting Mir Hossein Mousavi:

Mir Hossein Mousavi, in a meeting with a group of members of the Central Council of the Youth and Academic Branch of the National Trust party (Etemade Melli --- Mehdi Karroubi’s party) emphasized the importance of political parties at this time and warned about the influence of superstitions in the general management of the country.

The courage and the unveiling of issues by Mr. Karroubi have been very effective in spreading awareness

Mousavi, at the beginning of the meeting, thanked Karroubi for his role in this national movement and said: “Karroubi’s courage and the unveiling of issues by him have very effective role in spreading awareness and the movement. I hope that this role strongly continues. Karroubi’s resistance has vital importance for the continuation of the Green Movement.”

The Latest from Iran (26 May): Panahi Out But 100s Still Imprisoned
Iran Document: Karroubi “Aligning the Green Movement Inside and Outside Country”

Mousavi then discussed the role of political parties after the revolution and said: “From the very first days of the revolution there has been a strand of thought that was against political parties and organizations. People’s bad experience with regards to political parties in the Constitutional era exacerbated this cynicism.”

One of the characteristics of Martyr Ayatollah Beheshti was his opposition against monologue and one-party system

Mousavi added: “Alongside these cynical views there were positive thoughts, led by Martyr Ayatollah Beheshti’s view [Ayatollah Beheshti was one of the leaders of the Islamic Revolution; he was assassinated in 1981]. He believed in partisan and organized activities and strived for this. There were impressive results as an outcome . One of Martyr Ayatollah Beheshti’s characteristics was his opposition against monologue and a one-party system.”

Mousavi, expressing sorrow for negative views toward political parties and organizations and even small grassroots organizations in recent years, emphasized: “ The recent actions against the two main reformist parties of the country (Islamic Iran Participation Front and Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution) has roots in the same negative view toward political parties. Of course these days following the enforced suppression, the importance of political parties and organizations is being felt more than before.”

Standing for the right of forming and maintaining political parties is more vital than ever

Mousavi said: “Standing for the right of forming and maintaining political parties is more vital than ever. When the discussion of full and comprehensive implementation of the constitution is raised one of the principles is the clear view on the freedom of political parties and organizations, for wither political parties or unions....The political parties must be advocates for freedom and right of all the people and if possible should merge together to create a more comprehensive organization.”

Today superstitions are being used for organized political and economical corruptions

Mousavi pointed to the issue of superstitions and said, “Today superstitions are being used for organized political and economic corruption. Dissolving the Management and Planning and Organization, the sensitivity to the key phrase of “Development”, and putting aside the five-year development programs are signs of the spread of superstitious thoughts.”

Charity-type economy has created immense chaos in developing rational processes

Mousavi iterated, “A true Shia is always and everyday awaiting the return of Imam Mehdi but also at the same time plans for the next thousand years. Today the charity-type economy and arbitrary actions have created immense chaos in developing rational processes.”

According to Mousavi, the elimination of a vast group of experienced managers who believed in planning and scientific management is related to this radical superstitious ideology.

Mousavi pointed out how the comments [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad made are linked to superstitions and said, “According to this view, the US has come to Iraq not because of oil or geopolitical or strategic reasons but rather has come to prevent Imam Mahdi’s return. What kind of disaster in the foreign policy, governing with this ideology can create? Won’t Turkmenchay-style treaties [an 1828 treaty in which Persia made significant concessions to Russia] be the inevitable result of such a view?”

At the end of his remarks, Mousavi spoke of the role of Imam Khomeini in ending 2500 years of monarchy and said, “In a time whre there was unprecedented pressure to prevent women from participating in elections, he (Imam Khomeini) bluntly and clearly confronted this and asked, 'How could it be possible to deprive half of the population from being involved in their own destiny?'"

The Latest from Iran (26 May): Panahi Out But 100s Still Imprisoned

1503 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Peyke Iran reports that detainees in Evin Prison have joined student leader Majid Tavakoli (see 1425 GMT) on hunger strike.

An EA reader notifies us that a Facebook campaign for a three-day hunger strike, starting today, in sympathy with Tavakoli has been launched.

1459 GMT: Ahmadinejad "Something's Not Right with Russia". Radio Zamaneh has extracts from the President's speech today in Kerman (see 0940 GMT), and he is sounding more than worried about Moscow's position on nuclear issues: "“Today, explaining the actions of the Russian President [Dmitry Medvedev] to the Iranian people has become difficult. The people wonder whether they are our friends, whether they are beside us and with us or if they have other objectives.”

1455 GMT: M0usavi on Political Parties. We've posted, in a separate entry, Mir Hossein Mousavi's comments made today to youth and student activists in Mehdi Karroubi's Etemade Melli party.

NEW Iran Document: Mousavi “On the Importance of Political Parties” (26 May)
NEW Iran Document: Karroubi “Aligning the Green Movement Inside and Outside Country”
Middle East/Iran (& Beyond) Revealed: US to Expand Covert Activities (Mazzetti)
NEW Turkey’s Diplomatic Dance: The Nuclear Two-Step Between Iran & the US (Yenidunya)
Iran Analysis: Towards the Final Battle? (Zahra)
The Latest from Iran (25 May): Panahi Freed; Will There Be a 12 June Protest?

1425 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Lots of internet chatter about an interview with the mother of detained student leader Majid Tavakoli, as she calls on all Iranians abroad to help him. 

Ali Tavakoli has spoken with Human Rights Activists News Agency about his brother's condition and hunger strike and revealed that his mother is also refusing food.

1400 GMT: Mousavi, Rahnavard, and the Students. Back from an academic break to find news Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard met student activists from Tehran's Amir Kabir University this morning to share "views and concerns". We are keeping eyes open for more details.
0940 GMT: Where's Mahmoud? (Nuclear Special Edition). President Ahmadinejad has delivered his speech in Kerman.

Press TV's article features standard rhetoric on the uranium enrichment deal, such as "[President Obama] should bear in mind that if he does not use this opportunity, Iranians are unlikely to give him a new chance....Arrogant and tyrant powers should either give up or be obliterated."

There are interesting revelations, however. Ahmadinejad tipped off his worry over Russia's position on sanctions, urging President Dmitry Medvedev to support the Iranian nuclear programme.

And Ahmadinejad actually pointed to Tehran's weakness rather than strength in the manoeuvres over uranium:
We have a reactor in Tehran which produces radio medicines. Around 800,000 people annually use radio medicines. Twenty five years ago Iran bought nuclear fuel enriched up to the level of 20 percent from Argentina for use in Tehran Research Reactor. It is currently running out of fuel.

No clue in the story whether Ahmadinejad mentioned unemployment, which is what his crowd in Khorramshahr wanted to address on Monday, or indeed any internal issue apart from uranium.
0840 GMT: We have posted an extract, in a separate entry, from Mehdi Karroubi's interview with Rah-e-Sabz (see 0715 GMT), “Aligning the Green Movement Inside and Outside Country”.

And our colleague James Miller has written for The Huffington Post, "A Year of Blood and Promise in Iran", using the review of events to conclude with a look forward:
It's been a long, interesting, and tumultuous year in Iran, but the Green Movement is far from dead, or even asleep. Rather, it has been waiting for June 2010 to pounce. We'll have to wait to see who is the Caspian Tiger in Iran, the government or the people. If I were a betting man, I'd say that the next year may give us the answer.

0815 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. RAHANA reports on female detainees facing charges of "mohareb" (war against God), with its death sentence, including Maryam Akbari-Monfared, the mother of three children, and the youngest female prisoner, 22-year-old Parvin Javanzadeh.

0810 GMT: Economy Watch. Fararu claims that growth in 2009 was about 0.5 % --- that compares with a Government projection of 8% in its 5th Plan.

Not that this will necesarily trouble the Revolutionary Guard. Rah-e-Sabz has another article on the millions (billions?) of dollars in oil and gas projects being picked up by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (see 0710 GMT).

0800 GMT: The Challenge to Ahmadinejad. Fatemeh Badaghi, the President''s legal advisor, has said that if necessary, lawsuits will be filed against members of Parliament for criticising the Government.

Badeghi might be quite busy. Ali Larijani has easily retained his seat as Speaker by a 214-44 vote with 32 abstentions; the suggestion of some Ahmadinejad supporters that Larijani could and should be challenged soon fizzled out.

And as the Iranian judiciary claims that it is investigating the corruption allegations against First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, MP Gholamreza  Mesbahi Moghaddam has criticised the Guardian Council blocking a law on  money laundering.

0730 GMT: Where's Mahmoud? After his appearance in Khorramshahr on Monday, distinguished by heckling from the crowd over unemployment, President Ahmadinejad is on his way to Kerman Province in central Iran.

0715 GMT: Karroubi and the Green Movement, One Year Later. Rah-e-Sabz features an interview with Mehdi Karroubi, with the cleric's responses to questions such as "Entering the second year of the Green Movement, where do you think you were wrong and what do you think are the strengths and successes of the movement?"

0710 GMT: Revealing the Revolutionary Guard. Peyke Iran features an article by Jaleh Vafa claiming the devleopment of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps into a military and financial "mafia" over the past 30 years

0640 GMT: News of One Still Detained. Speaking of imprisoned journalists....

Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi has said that Emaduddin Baghi will be relocated in a general ward. Baghi's family have claimed that the journalist has been held in solitary confinement and in poor conditions during his 5 months behind bars.

0630 GMT: Those Who Are Not Free. Arshama3's blog, which has maintained a list of journalists in prison (reposted on Enduring America last month), adds two more names:

Ramin Jabbari, Blogger and Journalist, Bayram, Nedaye Moghan, Yashil Moghan, Detained 17 May 2010

Mostafa Jamshidi, Journalist, Redaktion Yashil Moghan, Nedaye Moghan, Detained 18 May 2010

Up to 102 journalists are still imprisoned or restricted by bail conditions.

0555 GMT: A Call for Reflection. An EA correspondent sends us the translation of an open letter from Saeedeh Montazeri, the daughter of the late Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, to Mir Hossein Mousavi. An extract....
After your reaction to recent political executions, [Tehran Prosecutor General] Jafari Doulatabadi [said]: "How could those who claim to follow the line of Imam forget his teaching of standing up to dissident groups?....In the same years that the executions were carried out against the hypocrites by the order of Imam Khomeini (RA), Mousavi] was Prime Minister. If we consider his present claim, how did he serve then?"

Mr. Mir Hossein Mousavi! I do not intend to confirm what he [Mr. Jaafari Dowlatabadi] said, but it is fair to conclude from his words that we need to be critical according to society’s needs. Why do we all virtually have history safeguard our deeds, so that the future generation can criticize us?! This is our collective duty, to criticize our past; and if we have made any mistakes, we should attempt to compensate for it. This is especially important for politicians. Before the future generation criticizes them, politicians should attempt to criticise their deeds themselves. You must know well how this criticism can be helpful to the Green Movement.

This point must be made that the critical principle is that no one is immune from error, and our affairs should be based on this hadith that the Prophet said: "All of Adam’s children are fallible, and the best would recant."

0545 GMT: Ironic Headline of Day. Press TV writes with a straight face, "Protesters Silenced before Queen's Speech".

0500 GMT: Tuesday's late news outside Iran was dominated by the emerging information of the release of film director Jafar Panahi on $200,000 bail. Panahi, gaunt after almost three months in detention and a reported hunger strike, was freed after a meeting last week with Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi. (A question to consider: was Panahi's silence on political issues and abandonment of plans to film about the post-election situation a condition for his release?)

Because of Panahi's high profile --- and because a photograph was released to the international media --- the news was picked up by international media. Some noted that another director, Mohammad Nourizad, had been freed a day earlier --- in fact, that news on state media has still not been confirmed (t0 our knowledge) by Nourizad's family.

The essential context was provided, however, by those who circulate news on social media. One activist reminded, "Let's not forget the other filmmakers who was jailed with Jafar Panahi. Mohammad Ali Shirzadi is still detained at Even prison." Others put out the information that blogger Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki (Babak Khoramdin) has been placed in solitary confinement and is the third day of a hunger strike.

And, of course, it's not directors and journalists who languish, sometimes without formal charges, sometimes in isolation, sometimes with lengthy sentences from closed trials and little known evidence, in Iran's prisons during the post-election crisis. There are doctors, lawyers, politicians, students, human rights activists, woman's rights activists, housewives....

So another day begins....

The Latest from Iran (25 May): Panahi Freed; Will There Be a 12 June Protest?

1645 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Claimed photographs of Jafar Panahi after his release from Evin Prison today:

1435 GMT: A Government of Fake Doctors? According to Tabnak, Kamran Daneshjoo, the Minister of Science and Higher Education, has said that 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi's claim of a Ph.D. is false.

Ironically, Daneshjoo has also been accused of presenting incorrect information that he has a doctorate from a British university.

NEW Iran Analysis: Towards the Final Battle? (Zahra)
Iran Document: The Mousavi-Karroubi Meeting (23 May)
Latest Iran Video: Ahmadinejad Heckled During Speech (24 Ma
The Latest from Iran (24 May): Rahnavard’s Statement, Ahmadinejad Heckled

1420 GMT: Panahi is Free. Tahareh Saeedi has told Agence France Presse that her husband, film director Jafar Panahi, is out of Evin Prison (see 1145 GMT): "Yes, he has been freed. He is fine. We are taking him to the doctor...[who will] prescribe a diet [for him]."

1335 GMT: Rahnavard on Resistance. Zahra Rahnavard, activist and wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi, has posted another statement on her Facebook site: "Women Will Resist Until Their Demands Are Fulfilled".

1145 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. After 24 hours of uncertainty (see 0735 GMT), film director Jafar Panahi has been released from Evin Prison on $200,000 bail.

0945 GMT: Government Not Worried at All. Really. Which is why Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedi has declared that  security forces will put down any protests on 12 June, the anniversary of the 2009 election: "Police will confront any illegal gatherings ... police are vigilant and in charge of public order and security."

0815 GMT: A Promise to March? Peyke Iran claims that youths leaving a football match in Tehran's Azadi Stadium shouted a message for President Ahmadinejad: "Football is a pretence/Khordaad will be an uproar".

0810 GMT: Assault. Rah-e-Sabz claims that reformist politician Ali Shakouri-Rad was attacked and insulted by Basiji students after his lecture at Elm-o-Sanat University in Tehran.

0800 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Daneshjoo News has posted a list of more than 80 imprisoned students.

Journalist and human rights activist Kaveh Ghasemi Kermanshahi, released on Sunday on bail after more than 100 days in detention, has spoken to Rooz Online about prison conditions and his hunger strike.

RAHANA reports that Kurdish artist Mokhtar Houshmand was arrested at his home on Sunday.

0745 GMT: The Revolutionary Guard and Oil. Peyke Iran claims that the sell-off of Iranian resources to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps continues. The IRGC has allegedly acquired several large projects in the South Pars oil and gas fields, pipelines, and the Ilam refinery.

Meanwhile Rahmani Fazli, chief of Iran's audit office, says that daily oil production must rise to 7 million barrels per day for the Government's 5th Plan to be feasible. Current production is 3,9 million barrel per day.

0735 GMT: Waiting For/Protesting About Panahi. Still no confirmation that film director Jafar Panahi has been freed from Evin Prison, despite the assurance of the Tehran Prosecutor General that the Iranian bureaucracy is processing the release on bail.

Meanwhile Juliette Binoche, winning Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in Abbas Kiarostami's A Certified Copy, makes a simple statement:

0655 GMT: Culture Wars. In her analysis this morning, Ms Zahra notes sharply, "Even a “cultural” step such as using hijab as a new cause for oppression attests to the weakness of this regime."

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has a complementary article, "Iran has launched a new drive to enforce the obligatory Islamic hijab. Hijab and women who are considered as being badly or improperly veiled and their alleged threat to society is again among the main themes of speeches and comments by Friday Prayer leaders and other state officials."

Most striking, however, is not the summary of the state's intimidation but the snapshot of reaction from Iranian women. While most in a recent report on Iranian television supported the hijab, the video also had this vignette:
At the beginning the reporter interviews two women considered "badly veiled" who seem to be opposed to the enforcement of the dress code. Such women are usually never given a platform on state television.

The first woman says she dresses the way she wants. "I think that's more important than what others might think about how I dress," she says.

The second woman, whose face is blurred like the first (apparently because they didn't want to be identified), makes similar comments. "I wear what I want and I don't listen to what others say," she says.

0645 GMT: Power and Resistance. Looking at but going beyond 22 Khordaad (12 June), we have a special analysis from Ms Zahra, assessing the political situation and asking if a "final battle" is looming for the Government.

Meanwhile, a single incident has sparked attention from the global media to internal developments in Iran: the video of workers heckling President Ahmadinejad, during his speech in Khorramshahr yesterday, has been picked up by most international broadcasters and websites.

0630 GMT: We open this morning with continued discussion of the significance and even the exact wording of the statement from the meeting between Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi on Sunday. My initial reading of their declaration, as translated and posted by the Facebook page supporting Mousavi, was that the two men had set down a limit: they were calling on the Green Movement to march if a permit was granted but, if it was denied they would not take to the streets but would seek to extend awareness and present demands in other ways.

An EA correspondent put the emphasis on those "other ways": "[Mousavi and Karroubi] will not stand idle if, as expected, the permission is not granted." Then a reader brought out this information:
A friend in Tehran...tells me that what the original article in Farsi, on, says is that if the permit is not given, then instructions for the march will be disseminated via Twitter, Facebooks, SMS, etc., not that the rally/march/demo will not be held. On the contrary...both Mousavi and Karroubi state that the demonstration will be held regardless.

So more watching and listening for signals today. What may be significant, while we're looking for resolution, is that there is even a discussion of how far the opposition will go on 12 June.

That is not a discussion that you have if the Green Movement is dead or dying....

The Latest from Iran (24 May): Rahnavard's Statement, Ahmadinejad Heckled

1910 GMT: Panahi to be Freed? Iranian Students News Agency is reporting a statement from Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi that the decree ordering the release of film director Jafar Panahi from Evin Prison has been signed.

Panahi has not been freed yet, however. Dowlatabadi said he met Panahi last Thursday in jail and agreed to the director's request of freedom before his trial, subject to payment of bail. According to Dowlatabadi, "bureaucratic procedures are now proceeding".

1745 GMT: No Permit, No 12 June March? Readers have picked up on this passage from the English translation of Sunday's meeting between Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi:

[They] decided to invite people to participate in a national rally on theanniversary of the rigged presidential election on 22 Khordaad if permission for holding a rally is issued by the Interior Ministry, but if this constitutional right is denied by Ahmadinejad’s administration, they proposed to peacefully continue promoting awareness through the various and numerous social networks.

I asked an EA correspondent, "Does that mean that, if no permit is given, neither will take to the streets and call out the Green Movement to demonstrate?"

The correspondent's reply:
I take it to read that while they may not march, they will not stand idle if, as expected, the permission is not granted.

We should emphasise that the 12 June rally, if it takes place, is something relatively new, as it is the very first "homegrown" event for the Green wave, i.e., one that does not "piggyback" on an existing regime commemoration event. This is potentially a vulnerability, as it leaves the Green people exposed (everyone out on the streets that day is Green). It is worth nothing that Kalemeh indicates that Mousavi and Karroubi have also discussed events pertaining to the June 15 anniversary of the mass rally and the June 20 commemoration too. All this means that these days shall be an important litmus test for everyone, the regime and the Greens.

NEW Iran Document: The Mousavi-Karroubi Meeting (23 May)
NEW Latest Iran Video: Ahmadinejad Heckled During Speech (24 May)
Iran Document: Khatami “Khordaad is the Month of the People”(22 May)
The Latest from Iran (23 May): Is This The People’s Month?

1650 GMT: The Iran Uranium Letter. Reuters has posted the text of Iran's formal note, based on the Iran-Brazil-Turkey agreement on a uranium fuel swap, to the International Atomic Energy Agency. An extract:

The nuclear fuel exchange is a starting point to begin cooperation and a positive constructive move forward among nations. Such a move should lead to positive interaction and cooperation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities, replacing and avoiding all kinds of confrontation through refraining from measures, actions and rhetorical statements that would jeopardize Iran's rights and obligations under the NPT.

Based on the above, in order to facilitate the nuclear cooperation mentioned above, the Islamic Republic of Iran agrees to deposit 1200 kg LEU in Turkey. While in Turkey the LEU will continue to be the property of Iran. Iran and the IAEA may station observers to monitor the safekeeping of the LEU in Turkey.

In return, we expect the Agency, also in accordance with paragraph 6 of this declaration, to notify the Vienna Group (USA, Russia, France and the IAEA) of its content, and consequently inform us of the Group's positive response. Such action, according to this declaration, will pave the way to commence negotiation for elaboration on further details of the exchange leading to conclusion of a written agreement and as well as making proper arrangements between Iran and the Vienna Group.

1425 GMT: We have posted the English translation of the summary of the Mir Hossein Mousavi-Mehdi Karroubi meeting on Sunday.

1330 GMT: The Crackdown (and a Video Game). Writing for The National, Michael Theodoulou opens his story with the tale of the video game, "Fighting the Leaders of Sedition", where players can use fighter jets to kill Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and Mohammad Khatami. He then moves to the real-life stories of jail sentences, alleged beatings, e.g., of former Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi, and the detention of film director Jafar Panahi.

1310 GMT: What the Crowd Said to Ahmadinejad. HomyLafayette interprets the video, from Iranian state television, of an audience shouting at the President in Khorramshahr today:
Ahmadinejad attempted to shout over the cries of the population, but even his promises to stem unemployment in the southwestern province failed to trigger applause or to calm the people's loud refrain of "bikari, bikari!" (unemployment, unemployment!).

"The government is at your service," said the beleaguered Ahmadinejad. "With broad projects, with the efforts of the dear youth of Khorramshahr and Khuzestan province, it will uproot unemployment from Khuzestan, god willing."

1300 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. According to an Iranian activist, Azad University student Sina Golchin has been sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison by an appeals court for participating in the protest on Ashura (27 December).

1135 GMT: Sunday's Karroubi-Mousavi Meeting. Saham News, the website connected with Mehdi Karroubi, has posted a summary of the discussion between Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi. The two men agreed to call for a march on 12 June, the anniversary of the election, and to seek ways to expand the awareness of the Green Movement despite Government restrictions.

1040 GMT: Ahmadinejad Heckled. An EA correspondent, who watched the President's television speech this morning, sends us two audio clips of crowd noise. He comments:
You can clearly hear people shouting 'Azadi' (freedom) in the second clip. In the first clip, near the beginning, the TV obviously tried to remove something, but it's not clear what that was.

(We've now posted a video of the incident.)

1025 GMT: Still Keeping Score on Uranium? After Sunday's confusion, Tehran has submitted a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency, outlining last week's Iran-Brazil-Turkey agreement on procedure for talks on a uranium swap outside Iran.

1020 GMT: Tough Crowd for Ahmadinejad? Nasser Karimi of the Associated Press reports:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech in a southern port town has been marred by shouts from disenchanted Iranians demanding jobs.

Ahmadinejad on Monday addressed hundreds gathered in Khorramshahr — about 625 miles (1,000 kilometers) southwest of Tehran — when scores from the crowd interrupted his speech with shouts: "We are unemployed!"

The President was speaking on the 28th anniversary of the liberation of Khorramshahr from Iraqi forces in the Persian Gulf War.
0945 GMT: Rahnavard's Green Movement Warriors. An English translation of the remarks of Zahra Rahnavard, activist and wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi, speaking to Iranian war veterans on the 28th anniversary of the liberation of Khorramshahr from Iraq, has been posted:
Today the Green movement is seeking the same great values and is continuing the [real] goals of the revolution and the holy defence [against Iraq]; and the martyrs of the Green movement and the warriors and woundees of this movement are the followers of the martyrs of the holly defence era [against the Iraqi occupying forces] especially in the liberation of Abadan and Khorramshar.

Today, the martyrs of the Green movement are carrying the same flag of the martyrs of the holy defence era and revive the memories of the devoted mothers that sang lullaby for the children of martyrs, soldiers and veterans. Today those children have risen from their cradles and each has become a warrior and a devotee. This is why the role of women, daughters and wives in the houses of martyrs as the flag bearers for purity, justice and freedom is truly unforgettable and will be our guide.

I would like to say to you that each has been the witness of the values of your martyrs that if this regime does not try to fulfill the demands and the transcendental and value-based expectations of the Green movement, then it will definitely fall by its own hands. The government should know that the nature of reform is to reform and not to overthrow. But it is possible that this regime with the path that it has chosen, overthrow itself. The government today has not turned 90 degrees but rather 180 degrees from the transcendental values of Islam, revolution and the holy defence era....

Our great Islamic Revolution put an end to 2500 years of monarchy and joined to the movement of prophets. These demands will never fail but if the current government does not reform itself and does not respond to the people’s demands, the Green movement will not overthrow it but rather the very own government will overthrow itself. We hope this will not happen. We would like everything to be reformed in the best way. We hope the regime itself becomes the pioneer for these demands and fulfill them but if it remains ignorant to people’s demands, then it is destroying itself.

0740 GMT: MediaWatch. Since we've chided CNN for its nuclear obsession, it's only fair to give a shout-out to Scherezade Faramarzi of the Associated Press, who posted on Sunday, "With Death Sentences, Iran Seeks to Cow Opposition".

0545 GMT: Execution. Islamic Republic News Agency reports that Abdul Hameed Rigi was hung this morning. He is the brother of Abdul Malek Rigi, the detained leader of the Baluch insurgent group Jundullah.

0525 GMT: Slowly but steadily, the opposition is building up to 12 June. In the last 72 hours, there have been statements from Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and Mohammad Khatami. Mousavi and Karroubi met on Sunday, although there are still no details of the discussion.
Seven opposition websites issued a statement declaring their goals as “resistance, defending the rights of the citizens, unity and avoidance of all forms of violence” and urging the public to “resist and persist in their legal demands to restore the lost principles of the constitution”.

How and even whether these signals will translate into a challenge to the regime on the anniversary of the Presidential election is the big, unanswered question. But at least that question is being posed.

Not that this matter much, so far, to CNN. It is preoccupied with the state of play on the Iran-Brazil-Turkey proposal for talks on uranium enrichment. Iran has said --- amidst some confusion amongst its state media --- that it will formally present the proposal to the International Atomic Energy Agency today, and CNN International is already pursing it lips: ""But can the Iranians be taken at their word?"


Political Prisoner Watch

We are still chasing confirmation of the status of filmmakers Mohammad Nourizad and Jafar Panahi. There were reports, amidst meetings by Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi with prisoners and their families, that the two would be freed --- pro-Government media were saying that Nourizad had been released, a report denied by Nourizad's daughter.

Student leader Majid Tavakoli has reportedly been taken back to solitary confinement and has threatened that he will go on hunger strike.

Amnesty International has posted a statement requesting "urgent action" over detainees Shiva Nazar Ahari and Kouhyar Goudarzi of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR).

Sanctions Dance

In the continued manoeuvring over the Iran-Brazil-Turkey proposal and the US-led push for more sanctions, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday, "If I was in the place of Russian officials, I would adopt a more careful stance."

Russia has been on a non-stop balancing act since last week's moves, with Washington insisting that it has Russian support for a UN Security Council resolution punishing Tehran but Moscow also declaring that it will open Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant by August.