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Entries in Tehran Bus Workers Union (4)


The Latest from Iran (23 May): Is This The People's Month?

1820 GMT: Joined-Up Government? Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, Iran's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Sunday that Iran had not yet delivered a letter outlining the procedure for the uranium swap agreed last week with Brazil and Turkey.

Islamic Republic News Agency reported earlier Sunday that the letter had been delivered (see 1515 GMT). Iranian officials now say it will be submitted on Monday.

1815 GMT: Claimed video of a clashes between protesters and government forces today at Elm-o-Sanat University:


NEW Iran Document: Khatami “Khordaad is the Month of the People”(22 May)
Iran Nuke Analysis: Reading the US-Turkey Discussions
The Latest from Iran (22 May): Karroubi’s Letter, University Protests

1810 GMT: Resistance. Seven opposition websites have issued a joint statement that they will “resist and persevere” in their mission of informing the public until the fall of “despotism” and the moment of “victory”.

Emrooz (Today), Tahavole Sabz (Green Evolution), Jaras/Rah-e-Sabz (Path of the Green Movement), Neday-e Sabz-e Azadi (The Green Voice of Freedom), Raymankojast (Where’s My Vote?), Mizan, and Saham News declared that that “resistance, defending the rights of the citizens, unity and avoidance of all forms of violence” are the pillars of their media activities. They urged the public to contact them with suggestions about “disseminating information” and to “resist and persist in their legal demands to restore the lost principles of the constitution.”

1800 GMT: Nourizad Still Imprisoned? An Iranian activist notifies us that Mohammad Nourizad's daughter has denied the report that he has been released from prison (see 1520 GMT). Pro-Government websites are still carrying the news.

1520 GMT:  Political Prisoner News. Tabnak is reporting from Khabar Online that filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad has been released from prison. The article also denied Nourizad's claim that he was beaten by guards last week.

1515 GMT: The Uranium Dispute. The Islamic Republic News Agency reports that Iran has officially handed a letter to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, setting out the terms for a swap of uranium, based on last week's joint declaration by Iran, Brazil and Turkey.

1510 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Rah-e-Sabz is reporting, from "sources", that film director Jafar Panahi will be freed this evening from Evin Prison.

Iranian activists are writing that student leader Majid Tavakoli has been moved back to solitary confinement.

1230 GMT: Election Manipulation? Further information on the claim (0740 GMT) that entire villages were "resurrected" --- 60 around Tabriz alone --- to provide votes for President Ahmadinejad in the 2009 election: context and details can be found in Ayande News, Tabnak, and other citations in the Green Voice of Freedom article.

1220 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Press TV, drawing from Iranian Students News Agency, writes:
The Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, described the Islamic Republic as "determined" to defend its rights and in particular its nuclear rights on the international stage: "Iran will not give up its rights in the face of such psychological warfare, threats, and intimidation."...

According to the senior Iranian official, the region and the world will pay a heavy price if "hostile and unethical ways" are adopted to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.

ISNA highlights Rafsanjani's remarks about the 28th anniversary of the Iranian defence of Khorramshahr against Iraqi attack. No word, however, about his views on internal matters.

1010 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Iranian Azeri activist Behboud Gholizade, the head of the NGO Yashil, has been arrested.

1000 GMT: Mousavi and Karroubi Meet. Kalemeh, the website of Mir Hossein Mousavi, reports that Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have had a new discussion today. "Further news" is promised later.

0830 GMT: Corruption Corner. Fazel Mousavi of Parliament's Article 90 Commission, has asserted that files  alleging corruption against senior government figures are being investigated.

0825 GMT: Economy Watch. Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghaddam, a leading member of Parliament's Economy Committee, has again urged the Goverernment to declare details of its subsidy cut plans, warning that otherwise there will be negative economic effects.

0815 GMT: Labour Front. Iran Labor Report sets out the regime crackdown on the Tehran and Municipality Bus Workers Labor Syndicate, with detentions, firings, and disciplinary action.

0810 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Writing for Tehran Bureau, "Hana H." has a lengthy profile of Mehdi Hashemi, Hashemi Rafsanjani's son, and the pressure upon him and his family.

Hashemi is living in Britain and has been threatened with criminal prosecution if he returns to Iran.

0745 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Kurdish activist Mohieddin Azadi, detained since March 2008, is reportedly on hunger strike.

85 Iranian filmmakers have urged the judiciary to release detained director Jafar Panahi.

0740 GMT: Remembering the Election (Manipulation)? Green Voice of Freedom claims a new fact from the 2009 Presidential vote for consideraiton: dozens of villages which were recorded in 1976 but had ceased to exist by 2007 suddenly appeared for last year's ballot. The website cites the example of 60 "resurrected" villages around Tabriz.

0735 GMT: Show of Force. Rah-e-Sabz reports heavy security in Khorramshahr in southwestern Iran on the eve of a visit by President Ahmadinejad.

Rooz Online claims two million Basiji militia have been mobilised for 22 Khordaad (12 June).

0715 GMT: Yesterday we began with a defiant statement from Mehdi Karroubi. Today we start with a gentler but pointed call by former President Mohammad Khatami for the Iranian people, leading up to the 12 June anniversary of the 2009 Presidential election, to claim their rights and for the Government to respect that claim. The text is in a separate entry.


Government Spin: Look Away. Far Away....

More emphasis by President Ahmadinejad and his men on events beyond Iran. On Saturday Ahmadinejad spoke with Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, who helped broker last week's agreement on a procedure for Tehran's uranium enrichment. Press TV gives the public line:
Iran's nuclear declaration is the beginning of a new era in the international political arena and offers a great opportunity for interaction and dialogue. Tehran is to create a new atmosphere in international relations based on fair and constructive cooperation with its friend and brother countries.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, meeting UN special representative Staffan de Mistura, settled for calling the US the main perpetrator of radicalism in Afghanistan.

New Green Website

Sabzlink, a new "portal" offering readers the latest in Iran news, has gone on-line.

The Latest from Iran (12 May): Defending the Indefencible?

2100 GMT: The Executions (Arresting the Students Special). RAHANA reports, "At least 15 female and male students have been arrested since Tuesday May 11, in Marivan [in Kurdistan], and taken to unknown locations. The arrests follow two days of rallies at Payam Nour University in Marivan as well as widespread calls for a province-wide strike on May 13 over the execution of 5 political prisoners."

2050 GMT: The Executions. The Iranian Independent Workers Union has issued a statement on the hanging of teacher Farzad Kamangar: "Execution of Farzad and other political prisoners will only add hatred and disgust of workers, teachers, and all Iranian’s towards the current situation more than ever. Freedom seeking shouts of Farzad will turn into screams of million teachers, workers and students to achieve a society free of death penalty."

And the Tehran Bus Workers Union declares, "We are mourning a teacher whose equipment was chalks and pens, one who taught kids, many of whom put their heads hungry on their pillows at night. His crime was standing for human rights."

NEW Iran Update: The Aftermath of the Executions
NEW Iran Document: Maziar Bahari’s Response to His 13-Year (and 74-Lash) Sentence
NEW Iran Special: A Renewal of Protest for 12 June?
The Latest from Iran (11 May): Opposition Surfaces

2040 GMT: Economy Watch. With the Ahmadinejad subsidy cuts imminent, a sign of things to come? Khabar Online reports:

During the last days, some gas stations in Tehran have installed notices saying they lack unsubsidized gasoline. The announcements have caused the bewilderment of customers who can not meet their demands by rationed gasoline.

As the gas stations avoid selling unsubsidized gasoline, the head of Iran's Association of Gas Station Owners declares that the problem is due to the shortage of "special unsubsidized gasoline cards".

Khabar adds the pointed fact, "Lacking sufficient oil refineries, Iran imports 40 percent of its gasoline for local consumption."

2030 GMT: More on the Karroubi Statement (1515 GMT). In his meeting with the family of the imprisoned journalist Ali Malihi, Mehdi Karroubi focused on the Government's loss of legitimacy because of transgressions and abuses: “They have not yet resolved the cases of Kahrizak Prison and the sexual abuses; the ambiguities surrounding that case still exist and they are increasing." Karroubi continued:
Lack of trust it at its lowest point ever, and the regime’s behaviour is such that an unprecedented crack has emerged between the people and the state. I swear to God we never thought country’s fate would turn out to be this way ... The people are moving in one direction and the state in another

1840 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Arsalan Abadi, an engineering student at Qazvin International University, has been sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison.

1830 GMT: Mousavi's Latest. Mir Hossein Mousavi, speaking with Rah-e-Sabz, has emphasised that the Green Movement is a peace movement", supporting the Iranian people's demands for fulfillment of the Constitution.

Mousavi criticised the lack of independence in Iran's judiciary, said that reform depends on a free media, and noted the torture of and forced confessions from detainees.

1740 GMT: The Executions. A reader points us to Fars News' article with further details of the "case of the five terrorists", found guilty of bombing of centres of government and the people of Iranian cities.

1515 GMT: Is Human Life This Cheap? Mehdi Karroubi, visiting the family of a detained journalist, has asked, "Is human life so cheap that one can take it so easily, without the slightest legal consideration and hidden from the public?" He continued, ""When human life becomes so cheap that they [the authorities] open fire on people on the street only because of some civil protest, then such behaviour is not so much out of the norm."

Asked about a statement by Gholam-Hossein Elham, a member of the Guardian Council, that Mir Hossein Mousavi is pursuing "mohareb" (war against God), Karroubi replied: "We should cry for Islam that Elham and his disciples have become its spokesmen. "

1320 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, has declared that those who have to be purified are "those who stand against the law, people and religion, not me".

1315 GMT: Executions. Muhammad Sahimi has a long article in Tehran Bureau, "Capital Punishment, Capital Fear", pulling together the strands of information on Sunday's executions and their aftermath.

1300 GMT: Diversion. Amidst the internal tension and developments, today's Presidential distraction....
"You should know that your resolutions are not worth a penny," Ahmadinejad said in a message to the big powers.

"If you think that by making fuss and propaganda you can force us to withdraw, you are wrong. The Iranian nation will not withdraw even one inch from its stance," he said in a speech to a crowd in southwestern Iran.

1230 GMT: The Family of the Executed. Fereshteh Ghazi updates on alleged regime harassment of the family of Shirin Alamhouli, executed on Sunday (see 1130 GMT). Alamhouli's sister and mother are reportedly out on bail, but Ghazi says her grandfather, uncle, and cousin have now been arrested and are held in the Ministry of Intelligence. The family's phone has been disconnected since yesterday., the house is surrounded, and a curfew is in place.

1215 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Fereshteh Ghazi has a full account of Sunday's trial of Mohammad Davari, the imprisoned editor of Mehdi Karroubi's Saham News, with Davari's statement, “They want to sacrifice someone over the issue of raping detainees, and didn’t find anyone better than me.”

Davari was arrested on 26 September when the headquarters of Karroubi's Etemade Melli party were raided, less than two months after Karroubi publicly raised allegations of abuse and rape of post-election detainees. The Official charges against Davari include “disseminating propaganda against the regime" and "conspiracy to disrupt national security and public order".

Davari's lawyer, Mina Jafari said that her client, who is reportedly in poor health, is under pressure to confess against Mehdi Karroubi but has refused to do so.

According to Jafari, Davari said at his trial on Sunday, "In the past 8 months in prison, I judged my own actions more than you judged them, and I concluded that I didn’t do anything to discredit the regime. In fact, all of my actions added to the regime’s credibility.” The lawyer asked Karroubi to intervene to seek Davari's freedom.

1130 GMT: The Executions. Nazila Fathi of The New York Times follows up this morning on her reporting of Sunday's executions of five Iranians.

The centrepiece is an interview with Khalil Bahramian, lawyer for the three of the five slain prisoners. Bahramian said that authorities are refusing to release the bodies and asserted, in line with reports from the family, that the sister and mother of the executed Shirin Alamhouli, were arrested at their home in northwestern Iran. (They were later reportedly released on bail.) He also said the family was not aware of the execution until Monday afternoon.

Bahramian noted, “They [the authorities] even turned down my request to allow the families to be present while they are burying them [the executed].”

Fathi also draws from Rah-e-Sabz to report that Abdoljabar Karami, member of Parliament for Sanandaj, the capital of Iranian Kurdistan, was threatened by the provincial governor when he tried to stop the executions and was unable to secure the release of the bodies.

1025 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Peyke Iran claims that Hossein Rassayian, physics professor at Qazvin International University and a Mir Hossein Mousavi supporter, has been arrested.

1020 GMT: The Executions. Human Rights Activists News Agency claims that authorities are trying to arrest members of the family of Farzad Kamangar, one of the 5 Iranians put to death on Sunday.

1010 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Rah-e-Sabz offers a round-up amidst summons of bailed protesters to return to the courts. Zahra Jabbari has been acquitted of "mohareb" (war against God), but human rights activist Abolfazl Abedini has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. Emaduddin Baghi, Badressadat Mofidi, and other journalists are seriously ill and need medication.

Baghi's lawyer, Hassan Ali Abutalebi has contrasted the treatment of his client with that of Kayhan editor Hossein Shariatmardari, acquitted of all charges of libel earlier this week.

0945 GMT: President Be Gone? Ezzatollah Sahabi, former minister and member of Parliament, editor of the banned journal Iran-e Farda, and leader of Iran’s Nationalist-Religious political alliance, makes the declaration --- published in both Rah-e-Sabz and Khabar Online --- that the dismissal of President Ahmadinejad is necessary to preserve Iran and the Islamic Republic.

Reformist member of Parliament Darius Ghanbari has said that the prolongation of Ahmadinejad's presidency "is a joke" and the characteristic of his government is that "it doesn't tolerate critique".

0825 GMT: Dealing with Detainees. Writing in The National, Michael Theodoulou draws from our analysis to assess that the three detained US hikers, and the Iranian decision to allow their mothers to see them, are linked to Tehran's manoeuvres with the US over Iran's nuclear programme: "Hikers Seen as Bargaining Chips".

0815 GMT: On the International Front. Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has returned from Turkey and the meeting of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference with the declaration that a Qods Committee on Palestine will be established and assertion of agood relationship with Turkey, but with not a word on uranium enrichment.

Following a pattern, President Ahmadinejad has used a speech to look away from internal matters, asking, "Who is Israel to stand against us?" and declaring, "No one will attack us, there is nobody."

0530 GMT: Responding to the Defence of the Indefencible. I had not posted my response to the latest column of Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett, using an attack on Nazila Fathi of The New York Times to maintain "official justifications" of Sunday's executions, as I did not wish to offer any oxygen for their views. Instead I had commented in a personal capacity on other websites and in discussion with members of Gulf 2000.

I have asked by readers, however, to post my response:
In the spirit of the intellectual honesty that the Leveretts claim, I note that they --- in the guise of an attack on Nazila Fathi's journalistic honesty --- have defended the "official justifications" of Iranian state media over Sunday's execution of 5 Iranians, denying any substantiated claims of the deprivation of human rights.

I therefore offer extracts of and links to only a few of many pieces of evidence for consideration:

"Khalil Bahramian, Kamangar’s lawyer, said: 'Nothing in Kamangar’s judicial files and records demonstrates any links to the charges brought against him.'

Bahramian, who was present during the closed-door court hearing, described it as 'lasting no more than five minutes, with the Judge issuing his sentence without any explanation and then promptly leaving the room'. He added, I have seen absolutely zero evidence presented against Kamangar. In my forty years of legal profession, I have never witnessed such a prosecution.'"

2. "Khalil Bahramian, Kamangar’s attorney, in an interview before knowing about the execution said: 'Mr. Kamangar and his interrogator told me that there are changes in the case and under review by the prosecutor and execution is out of the question. I inquired more than ten times and they told me the case is under review. But the intelligence officer had told Farzad that execution had been revoked.' Later being notified of the execution after the fact, Bahramian said in an interview: 'The rules call for notification of the lawyers on carrying out the death penalty. In case of two of my clients, Farzad Kamangar and Mehdi Eslamian, I was not notified at all.'"

3. "Mehdi Islamian's brother was executed last year, convicted of cooperation with the Monarchist Group. Mehdi was convicted of giving financial aid to his brother before his arrest."

4. The last letter of Farzad Kamangar before his execution

5. The last letter of Shirin Alamhouli before her execution

In the spirit of intellectual honesty, and more importantly in the spirit of respect for human rights, I ask the Leveretts to set aside their diversionary attack on Nazila Fathi and to provide evidence, beyond the official account of Fars News and the Islamic Republic News Agency, that due process was followed from arrest to execution in the case of these five Iranians.

(The Leveretts have subsequently replied on Gulf 2000 --- the first time they have ever engaged with my comments --- without providing any evidence on the case, and I have responded.)

0425 GMT: Culture Corner. Golnaz Esfandiari of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports on "Banned Music Banned":
Rasul Abbasi, the director-general for transportation and traffic coordination of Iran's municipalities, has told the Borna news agency that taxi drivers are not allowed to play banned music in their taxis.

Abbasi said that if they did so, they would be dealt with according to the law, which could lead to the cancellation of their taxi permit and confiscation of their cars.

The Iranian official added that the law in this regard has not been implemented for the past few years. He called on the managers of organizations supervising taxis in Iran to oversee the performance of their drivers.

Moshtaq, a taxi driver in Tehran, commented on the announcement:
It is one of the most important human rights for one to be able to choose what he listens to and no one has the authority to determine that. What would one want to listen to in his free time, for instance, whether banned or not. Who is the one to actually decide what should be banned and what should not? On what basis is this determined?

0420 GMT: While looking for further signs of the political fallout from Sunday's executions of five Iranians, we post an update on the latest developments.

Iran Special: A Renewal of Protest for 12 June?

Just over 24 hours ago, we wrote, "Iranians and activists throughout the world responded with sadness and fury to the Sunday morning news that five Iranians...had been executed....But what will the response be inside Iran? Will the hangings provoke public anger or will any display be muted?"


UPDATED Iran Video: Protest Against Ahmadinejad at Shahid Beheshti University (10 May)
The Latest from Iran (11 May): Opposition Surfaces

We got a partial but vivid answer yesterday. The Tehran Bus Workers Union, as well as labour activists outside Iran, condemned the hangings. Mir Hossein Mousavi issued a statement on "the Judiciary shift[ing] its position from supporting the oppressed toward supporting authorities and those in power....Is this the...justice you were after?"

And then there was the demonstration at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. As news leaked that President Ahmadinejad was coming to the campus to speak, the students gathered. They not only gathered; they chanted defiantly. They proclaimed their readiness to sacrifice; they sang songs of unity; they taunted the President. They did so in the face of the security presence and even as the clashes began.

That protest alone resurrected international coverage of Iran as more than a nuclear issue. The 8-minute clip of the chanting and the confrontation with Iran's security troops gave images to reports which had come out in the press, bringing broadcasters like CNN, which had gone to sleep over the post-election developments, to life.

Defenders of the regime will jump in today and claim this was an isolated incident, even as they redouble the loud pronouncements of foreign intrigue and a malevolent opposition. But consider that yesterday's university protest, even if fueled by the news of Sunday's hangings, was not the first one this month. Students at Tehran University also defied the regime crackdown on 1 May, again "welcoming" the President as he tried to seize publicity with a statement from the campus.

That in turn winds the clock back to November-December 2009 when opposition was marked by a series of university demonstrations before, during, or after National Students Day on 7 December. Publicly this kept demands for justice and rights simmering, leading up to the show of resistance against the Government on Ashura (27 December).

And it should never be forgotten that the public display is not and will not be the sum total of discontent with and challenge to the regime. The simple formula of Greens v. Ahmadinejad ignores the strands of pressure upon the President, coming not only from "reformists" but from other politicians, clerics, and even the "conservative" establishment. While the Green Movement has supposedly crumbled after 11 February, more blows have been thrown against Ahmadinejad over his economic plans, the supposed corruption and mismanagement of allies including his First Vice President and his Chief of Staff, and the handling of the post-election crisis.

The image of a revival of direct opposition to the President, even if it is "only" on a university campus, buttresses the political foundations for that assault upon Mahmoud. Thus the significance of the coincidence that the Shahid Beheshti demonstration occurred as former President Hashemi Rafsanjani was resurfacing with the pointed declaration that his 17 July Friday Prayers, which was accompanied by large demonstrations, still contained the solution for this crisis.

Will it do the same this time, as the clock now ticks toward the 1st anniversary of the Presidential election on 12 June? Too soon to tell. However, I have to raise a bit of a smile that yesterday's events came only hours after an analyst for Al Jazeera English, Massoud Parsi, declared:
Several months on, Ahmadinejad's government appears to have emerged stronger and more self-confident than it was before the contentious elections....

The government and security forces have managed to suppress any serious challenge to the government and what looked like an increasingly popular movement has withered away as a result of a brutal crackdown and political gamesmanship.

This has been greatly assisted by foreign plots against the regime, which made it much easier for the government to rally support in the face of external threats.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong again. The Fat Lady (and Mahmoud) have not sung. This is not over.

The Latest from Iran (1 May): May Day and Mayday

2030 GMT: In the Dark. Shaky journalism from The New York Times: Nazila Fathi, who is usually quite good, relies on unnamed "analysts" rather than a close look at events to make the sweeping claim:
A planned demonstration in which Iranian teachers and workers were to join reformists in an antigovernment protest failed to materialize on Saturday, apparently the result of intimidation and a large police presence.

Two Iranian opposition leaders, Mir Hussein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi, had called Thursday for workers and teachers to join the reformists in a broad-based coalition.

The call went unheeded on Saturday, analysts said, largely because of government intimidation.

The article is inaccurate on a number of key points.

1. There was no call for teachers and workers to join reformists on the streets today; instead there were a series of statements calling for solidarity with the demands of those teachers and workers, highlighting Government repression and Iran's poor economic situation.

2. Mousavi and Karroubi, in particular, did not call for a demonstration today. They are looking towards 12 June, the anniversary of the election, for a public show of dissent.

3. Fathi is quite right about the show of force by the Government to deter protests, but she seems unaware of the incident at Tehran University, with students demonstrating against the visit of President Ahmadinejad, and about the series of smaller, dispersed displays of discontent in Tehran and other cities.

UPDATED Iran Video and Translation: The Mousavi Statement for May Day/Teachers Day (29 April)
NEW Latest Iran Video: Deterring Protests, “Greeting” Ahmadinejad (1 May)
NEW Iran: US Filmmakers Demand “Free Jafar Panahi”
NEW Iran Document: Mehdi Karroubi “The Green Movement is Growing in Society”
UPDATED Iran: Tehran, Defender of Rights (Don’t Mention Boobquake), Joins UN Commission on Status of Women
Latest Iran Video: Shirin Ebadi on the Human Rights Situation (23 April)
The Latest from Iran (30 April): The Heaviness of the Atmosphere

1945 GMT: May Day Updates. We've fixed the coding of today's videos (with the transfer to Disqus comments, our YouTube plug-in is temporarily disabled), and we've posted an updated version of Mir Hossein Mousavi's message, now with English subtitles.

1900 GMT: Your May Day Irony. The top news on Fars News' website for much of the afternoon? May Day Europe, with "hundreds of thousands of workers" protesting economic conditions.

The story was so important to Fars that it must have diverted staff from its domestic bureau to European coverage, for curiously, there is no mention of any May Day demonstration in Iran.

1620 GMT: The scale of the regime crackdown on dissent has been evident in the limited footage coming out of Iran today. What has gotten out has been shaky film shot at odd angles to avoid detection by the authorities.

We've posted severa clips of the security presence and of students allegedly chanting defiantly as President Ahmadinejad came to Tehran University.

1400 GMT: Clashes? Reza Sayah again quotes a Tehran witness, "Security forces clashed with about 200 protesters chanting 'Death to the Dictator' at the Ministry of Labor." An Iranian activist is also reporting this news.

1330 GMT: May Day. CNN's Reza Sayah quotes Tehran witnesses, "Thousands of security personnel from Revolution [Enghelab] Square to Ministry of Labor. No sign of protests."

1310 GMT: Quote of the Day. "For a Government so sure that Green Movement is over and done with, they have a lot of security out on the streets."

A shaky, secretly-shot video offers apparent confirmation.

1300 GMT: Containing Rights. Human rights activist Hassan Assadi Zeidabadi has been banned from leaving Iran.

1230 GMT: Confirmation? Rah-e-Sabz is reporting that "thousands" of workers protested in Qazvin, 100 miles northwest of Tehran. Another story asserts that "hundreds" have demonstrated in Tabriz against unemployment and poverty.

The website also claims that Tehran University students protested when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived unexpectedly on the campus.

1130 GMT: May Day. We are following the stream of stories of protests in Tehran and in other Iranian cities such as Shiraz and Qazvin. At this point, we are treating the reports as unconfirmed.

0945 GMT: May Day. The first claimed picture of a protest comes from Shiraz.

0930 GMT: Rights and Wrongs. We've posted a separate entry on the petitions by US filmmakers, including Stephen Spielberg, Robert Redford, and Martin Scorsese, calling for the released of their detained Iranian colleague Jafar Panahi.

We have an update on Tehran and the UN Commission on the Status of Women, featuring two of the many statements condemning the vote for Iran's membership.

And we note an open letter from 20 journalists and bloggers in Evin Prison, complaining that their conditions worsen day by day.

0810 GMT: May Day Build-Up. Ahead of possible demonstrations this afternoon, Kalemeh is reporting a growing security presence in Tehran, especially at Enghelab and Azadi Squares. Forces are also guarding the Ministry of Labour on Azadi Street and the Ministry of Interior at Fatemi Square.

Kalemeh also reports that many employers have threatened to fire workers who protest.

0735 GMT: May Day Statements. The reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front Participation has issued its statement proclaiming that the workers' and Green movements will open the way to a better future.

An analysis in Rah-e-Sabz connects the seeking of justice with the seeking of freedom through the demands of labour. It does so in part to deny that the Green Movement is based solely on the "middle class" and, in fact, is built on links with workers.

0730 GMT: Economy Watch. Minister of Economy Mehdi Ghazanfari has said that stocks of cooking fat, rice, and meat will be built up to prepare for the implementation of subsidy cuts.

That sounds like sensible preparation, but building up stocks means less goods available for týsale, which in turn means higher prices.

0725 GMT: Rumour of Day. Aftab News --- which is not a reformist outlet --- claims that future elections will be manipulated to exclude Ahmadinejad's "conservative" rivals: Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, Secretary of the Expediency Council (and 2009 Presidential candidate) Mohsen Rezaei, and Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf.

0715 GMT: Mahmoud and Cyrus. President Ahmadinejad's tactics on the eve of May Day? In a speech on Kish Island, he invoked Cyrus, the famous Persian ruler, and said that Iran is waging a fight over "ethics and humanity".

Ahmadinejad added, ethically and humanely, "Today Iran is the world's most powerful nation. We like all nations and are glad to see their prosperity. However, we have a powerful fist that will knock the teeth out of anyone."

0705 GMT: A Deal on Uranium? Reuters dares to go public with the story we've been following for weeks: "Turkey and Brazil are trying to revive a stalled atomic fuel deal with Iran in an attempt to help the Islamic Republic avoid new U.N. sanctions over its nuclear program, Western diplomats said on Friday."

With Turkey Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Brazilian officials both paying visits to Tehran recently, that's not exactly a shocker. The mystery is whether the US Government supports the initiative.

Reuters gives the impression that Washington is opposed, but I'm not so sure. Their big quote is "Nobody's going to stand in the way of serious negotiations. But is Iran serious about this offer? Or is it another attempt to stall for time and avoid sanctions, as has been the case before?" That comes from a "Western diplomat", however, not necessarily an American one and not necessarily one who is close to the discussions.

We'll watch closely and will have an analysis if there are further developments.

0645 GMT: We'll keep eyes open today for rallies and protests on the international day for workers. Indications up to May Day are that, with the tight grip the regime is trying to maintain, demonstrations will be small and diverse, rather than a concentrated gathering.

In recent days, new charges have been brought against Mansour Osanloo, the detained leader of the Tehran and Municipality Vahed Bus Workers Syndicate. Jafar Azim Zadeh, the head of the Free Assembly of Iranian Workers, has been summoned to appear in court, and other activists have been sentenced. Five members of the Iranian Free Workers Association have been summoned to the Intelligence Office in Sanandaj in Iranian Kurdistan. And, on the eve of National Teachers Day, leaders and members including Alireza Hashemi, Ali Akbar Baghani,and Mohammad Beheshti Langarudi, and Tofigh Mortezapour have been detained.

That does not mean, of course, that anger, frustration, and demands have abated. Let the day unfurl.