2015 GMT: Ayatollah JavAdi-Amoli announced, during today's Friday Prayers in Qom, that this was his last sermon. Since June, Javadi-Amoli had expressed his displeasure over post-election events.
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1815 GMT: One More Time --- The Talks Go On (But Time for Tehran to Deal). Here's the White House statement on today's IAEA resolution:
Today's overwhelming vote at the IAEA's Board of Governors demonstrates the resolve and unity of the international community with regard to Iran's nuclear program. It underscores broad consensus in calling upon Iran to live up to its international obligations and offer transparency in its nuclear program. It also underscores a commitment to strengthen the rules of the international system, and to support the ability of the IAEA and UN Security Council to enforce the rules of the road, and to hold Iran accountable to those rules. Indeed, the fact that 25 countries from all parts of the world cast their votes in favor shows the urgent need for Iran to address the growing international deficit of confidence in its intentions.
The United States has strongly supported the Director General’s positive proposal to provide Iran fuel for its Tehran Research Reactor - a proposal intended to help meet the medical and humanitarian needs of the Iranian people while building confidence in Iran’s intentions. The United States has recognized Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy and remains willing to engage Iran to work toward a diplomatic solution to the concerns about its nuclear program, if - and only if - Iran chooses such a course. To date, Iran has refused a follow-on meeting to the October 1 meeting with the P5+1 countries if its nuclear program is included on the agenda. Our patience and that of the international community is limited, and time is running out. If Iran refuses to meet its obligations, then it will be responsible for its own growing isolation and the consequences.
Here's what it means:
1. The second enrichment plant at Fordoo near Qom --- of no relevance except as pretext;
2. The El Baradei statement of a "dead end" on verification --- tangential
3. The Iranian response to the Vienna "third-party enrichment" deal --- the be-all and end-all of this meeting.
In other words, this IAEA meeting has been a two-day setpiece to put Tehran's feet to the fire on the October proposal. If Iran now refuses that plan, and if the "West" decides that the Tehran counter-offer of a "swap" is out of bounds, then and only then will there a move beyond engagement. Even then, it is far from clear if that push for sanctions will have any backing from Russia and China.
1455 GMT: Forgive us for being Nukes, Nukes, Nukes, but little else is breaking at the moment. More posturing, this time from Iran's ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh, but note that this follows script of keeping channel open for discussions --- "jeopardise" is a mild democratic warning not to go farther:
.Adoption of this resolution is not only unhelpful in improving the current situation, but it will jeopardise the conducive environment vitally needed for success in the process of Geneva and Vienna negotiations expected to lead to a common understanding.
1355 GMT: At some point someone is going to figure out that IAEA members have not forced a showdown with Iran and, indeed, that they have not even moved away from talks and towards further sanctions. Here's the latest coded signal, courtesy of British Foreign Secretary David Miliband:
The resolution passed today by the IAEA Board of Governors sends the strongest possible signal to Iran that its actions and intentions remain a matter of grave international concern. As the resolution makes clear, Iran needs to comply with its obligations both to the IAEA and to the UNSC. Unless it does this, it remains impossible for the international community to have any confidence in Iranian intentions.
Britain and the other members of the E3+3 have made it very clear that our hand is stretched out to Iran. We are waiting for Iran to respond meaningfully. But if it is clear that Iran has chosen not to do so, we will have no alternative but to consider further pressure on Iran, in line with the dual track policy we have been pursuing.
And this position is not altered by Prime Minister Gordon Brown's rhetorical blast: "[Iran] should accept the offers that have been made that they can have civil nuclear power with our support, but they've got to renounce nuclear weapons. I believe the next stage will have to be sanctions if Iran does not respond to what is a very clear vote from the world community."
1210 GMT: We've just posted an urgent assessment on the International Atomic Energy Agency's resolution, passed today, on Iran's nuclear programme. The real significance --- and this is being missed by the media, who are just following the original Reuters report (see Al Jazeera English, for example) --- is that it is a very mild rebuke of Iran. That in turn means talks with Tehran on uranium enrichment are still alive.
1120 GMT: Iran's Nobel Prize Response. We saw this one coming yesterday when we reported on the Iranian Government's seizure of the Nobel Peace Prize medal and diploma of lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said today, "Much the same as European countries, tax evasion is a crime in Iran and individuals would face legal penalties should they commit such an act."
Mehman-Parast added that if Norwegian officials really cared about human rights, they would not have abstained in the United Nations vote on the Goldstone Report on the Gaza War.
1023 GMT: Filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf has won the Freedom to Create Prize, donating the $125,000 prize to non-governmental organisations helping victims of Iran's post-election conflict and dedicating the award to Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. A video of the presentation has been posted on YouTube.
0955 GMT: Nuke Update. Nothing yet coming out of the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting in Vienna. The media, as in this CNN report, is just recycling yesterday's leaked soundbite of Mohammad El Baradei's statement that IAEA analysis of Iran's nuclear status is at a "dead end".
0945 GMT: Dutch television has obtained an interview with Mehdi Karroubi. The exchange is in Farsi with Dutch subtitles.
0830 GMT: Morning Media Moment. Emily Landau of The Jerusalem Post gets in a pre-emptive strike of fanciful "analysis" with her claim, "Dangerous Misreading Iran". That "misreading" is any thought that Iran's position in the nuclear talks is affected by internal development and, in particular, the post-12 June tensions:
The confusion emanating from Iran is simply the most recent manifestation of a well-known pattern that has been repeated in different forms for close to seven years. The "yes, no, maybe" answers from Iran are the tactic that serves its overall strategy in the nuclear realm.
Which would be a fair hypothesis if Landau produced a paragraph, a sentence, even a few words setting out this "well-known pattern". She doesn't.
The serious point here is a leading Israeli academic, "the director of the Arms Control and Regional Security Project, Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv University", could show not one scrap of perception about the internal dynamics behind Iran's nuclear programme and foreign policy. Instead, "analysis" rests on the unshakeable position: There Cannot (and Should Not) Be a Deal with Iran.
At least the headline's good: I just suspect it's better applied to the author than to her straw-person targets.
0755 GMT: The international media are likely to be dominated today by speculations and leaks about the second day of discussions at the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran's nuclear programme.
So, before getting drawn into that issue, we've taken the time --- with the help of readers and fellow bloggers --- to post two discussions about the next steps for the Green Wave(s). The use of the plural is deliberate, as you'll soon see in the debate on the evolving nature of the movement(s); the other, equally important discussion is on non-violence as protest moves towards 16 Azar (7 December) . So is our desire in posting them, not for a conclusive answer but for reflection on how and where protest and resistance develop in this marathon conflict.