Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in Arjang Davoudi (5)


The Latest from Iran (10 September): Khamenei Takes the Pulpit

1945 GMT: The Detained Americans. We have urgently updated the news and offered a snap anlaysis of the postponement of the release of detained US citizen Sarah Shourd. She was supposed to be freed ina ceremony in Tehran tomorrow morning.

1720 GMT: Eid al-Fitr Round-Up (cont. --- 1519 GMT). Rah-e-Sabz claims that in Najafabad the ceremony of followers of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, who died last December, was much better attended than the Government's gathering.

Green Movement followers also attended Ayatollah Sane'i's ceremony in his office in Qom. The cerlic declared, "Our committment to Eid al-Fitr should be that we should divert from yesterday's wrong path, which dishonoured Islam or its principles, and do everything to compensate. Everyone who took the problematic way yesterday, causing injustice for people, should know that he will be punished on Doomsday."

NEW Iran Urgent Analysis: Judiciary Overrules Ahmadinejad — Release of US Detainee Shourd Delayed
NEW Iran Interview: Fatemeh Hashemi “Every Iranian Seeking Rights is Green”
Iran Exclusive: The Escalating Battle With Ahmadinejad
Iran Special: Abdollah Momeni Writes Supreme Leader About His Detention & Torture
Iran Document: Karroubi on the Siege of His Home and of the Iranian People (8 September)
The Latest from Iran (9 September): US Hiker Shourd to Be Released

Khodnevis, under the headline, "Siege, prohibitions, and Threats", claims that all Sunni ceremonies were forbidden in Tehran. Security forces allegedly hung banners declaring, "The unifying Eid al-Fitr ceremonies will be held at Tehran University, led by Supreme Leader, leader of all Muslims of the world."

1710 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Another major European company --- the Linde Group of Germany, an engineering firm and one of the world’s biggest industrial gas suppliers --- has decided to cut ties. Spokesman Uwe Wolfinger said the company recently decided “to stop our activities in Iran and with Iran completely”.

Dutch-based plastics and chemical firm LyondellBasell said just over two weeks ago that it was ending business in Iran.

1535 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. More on the latest court hearing for journalist and activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi....

Tabarzadi, whose lawyer Nasrine Sotoudeh was detained last Saturday, told the court, "We did not topple the Shah to recreate the same situation. This court has no legal authority to judge accusations against me."

1519 GMT: Eid al-Fitr Round-Up. At the start of today, we wondered if today's Eid al-Fitr ceremonies, marking the end of Ramadan, would be a sign of support for the regime and Government. The results appear to be inconclusive.

Iranian media features photographs of crowds in Tehran. Khabar Online adds details: more than 40,000 security forces and police were mobilised, 700 taxis and 6000 buses and vans  were organised for free fares to the ceremony. Two tons of dates were distributed. About 100 ambulances with 1000 personnel
were on hand.

In Bandar Abbas in southern Iran, the authorities appear to have chosen a dusty dockyard outside town, possibly to avoid Green "interference". probably most of the praying people are poor rustabouts and their wives. Photos show Mashhad's Imam Reza shrine was crowded, but Isfahan's Naghshe Jahan square was half-empty.

Rah-e-Sabz claims that security forces prevented the ceremony in the house of Habibollah Peyman, the leader of an Islamic Socialist party.

Ayatollah Sane'i said in his sermon that  "the evil-doer will be punished on earth as well" and warned, "Whoever took the wrong road yesterday by doing injustice to people, should take a better road today." In what one EA correspondents sees as a tacit apology for acts of the past 31 years, he continued, "If we did injustice yesterday, believing it would help us to stay in power, know that no one will stay with the help of injustice."

In Shiraz, Ayatollah Dastgheyb --- prevented from speaking last Friday by a pro-regime crowd ---  told his audience to "beware of doomsday and the devil" and commanded, "Don't allow anything in the name of Basij [militia] and upholding clerical rule."

1435 GMT: Diplomatic Move? Georges Malbrunot claims at Le Figaro that Hussein Ali Zadeh, a counselor at the Iranian Embassy in Finland, is leaving his post to support the Green Movement. The decision will supposedly be announced in the next few hours.

Earlier this year Iranian diplomats in Norway and Japan resigned their positions in sympathy with the demands of the opposition.

1425 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Protester Nezam Hassanpour has been sentenced to six years in prison.

1350 GMT: Kiss and Make Up? It appears that the imminent release of detained US hiker Sarah Shourd might be the occasion for a reconciliation between President Ahmadinejad and the Foreign Ministry.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that the freeing of Shourd was made possible by the President's efforts.

Tension between Ahmadinejad and his diplomats had risen because of the President's appointment of four special envoys, with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki only withdrawing hisresignation after the intervention of the Supreme Leader's office..

1300 GMT: Execution Watch. Lecturer and author Ahmad Ghabel has been summoned to answer questions in Revolutionary Guard. Ghabel claims this was prompted by his revelation, upon release from Mashhad Prison, of mass executions in that facility.

1120 GMT: Economy Watch. In a jab at the Government, Grand Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi has said that the official statistics for inflation do not match up with what Iran's people are experiencing.

1115 GMT: Today's All-Is-Not-Well Alert. Iran's Minister of Oil Masoud Mirkazemi has been proclaming this week that the country is now self-sufficient in gasoline production.

He may want to have a word with Iran's statisticians. Latest figures indicate that gasoline imports rose 135% in the first five months of the Iranian year (March-August).

0903 GMT: Converting the US message. This was the statement from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday: "It is definitely our policy to support freedom and human rights inside Iran, and we have done so by speaking out. We have done so by trying to equip Iranians with the tools, particularly the technology tools that they need, to be able to communicate with each other to make their views known."

And here is how it is presented in Fars News: "US Confession of Efforts to Support the Insurrection in Iran".

0900 GMT: Unity? Before his sermon, the Supreme Leader met with Iranian officials. An EA correspondent reports two notable absentees: the head of the Guardian Council, Ahmad Jannati, and former President Hashemi Rafsanjani.

0830 GMT: Authority Re-Asserted? The official outlet Islamic Republic News Agency does have wall-to-wall coverage of the Eid al-Fitr ceremonies, but much of the message seems tangential or diversionary.

IRNA carries the official statement from President Ahmadinejad's website to the heads of Islamic countries, calling for the strengthening of unity and friendship amongst all nations based on monotheism.

But any reference to Iran's own affairs has to come indirectly through "All Have Come", a short item and photo noting the attendance of "all authorities", such as Ahmadinejad, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, Guardian Council head Ahmad Jannati, 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, and the head of Iran's armed forces, General Hassan Firouzabadi.

0815 GMT: Authority Re-Asserted? The Supreme Leader has led prayers for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, at Tehran University.

A week ago, the regime tried to establish its leadership of the people through the commemoration of Qods (Palestine) Day. That effort quickly receded into disappointment, with little evidence of a mass response. On that occasion, however, the lead speaker was President Ahmadinejad. So could Ayatollah Khamenei's camp be hoping that the claim of velayat-e-faqih (clerical authority) had a greater influence than that of the current Government's legitimacy?

Press TV's report on the Khamenei sermon focuses on the Supreme Leader's denunciation of  direct Israel-Palestine talks as "a cover-up for Israeli crimes against the Palestinian nation". Khamenei said:
The United States and the West just sit back and watch the suppression of the Palestinian nation, and yet they arrange talks for peace, what peace? Between which people?...Tyrants wish to push the Palestinian issue to a corner however a strong turnout at the annual International Quds Day rallies indicates motivation and hope among Muslims worldwide.

The Supreme Leader also referred to the need to help those suffering from Pakistan's floods.

Hmm, we'll keep reading but the re-assertion of last Friday's message and the denunciation of the US and Zionist does not seem to address the internal issues or even bolster the Government. There is no follow-up coverage of note on Press TV's broadcast.

Meanwhile, there is a shot across the Supreme Leader's bow. Ayatollah Sane'i, a prominent critic of the Government and even Khamenei, has declared that the Iranian people can properly commemorate Eid al-Fitr by remaining at home rather than coming out to hear clerics.

0710 GMT: The US Detainees. We're looking for further developments on yesterday's news that Tehran will release Sarah Shourd, one of three US hikers detained in July 2009 along the Iraq-Iran border, on Saturday.

Meanwhile, James Miller of Dissected News assesses the possible Iranian motives behind the move: "[This] may be the perfect excuse to save face during Iran’s ongoing political limbo."

0605 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Arjang Davoudi, nearing the 60th day of his hunger strike in Rajai Shahr Prison, has vowed to continue it after a meeting with his wife.

Davoudi demanded that phone calls and visits to the prison return to normal, that the position of the prison's head be addressed, andthat his house confiscated by the judiciary be returned to his wife.

Ali Jamali, a member of the alumni organisation Advar-e Tahkim Vahdat, is reported to be in solitary confinement, three weeks after his detention.

The Latest from Iran (6 September): Stresses on Authority

2030 GMT: The Attacks on the Clerics. Rah-e-Sabz posts new details about the Qods Day attack on the Qoba Mosque in Shiraz (see 1655 GMT), claiming that parts were set on fire with gasoline and some Qur'ans were burnt

2005 GMT: Parliament v. President. Speaking of the economy, the Majlis may be drawing the line with Ahmadinejad in the battle over the 5th Development Plan.

Hossein Sobhani-Nia the Deputy Head of the National Security Commission, said that if the administration insisted on its request to withdraw the 5th Plan --- made because of dissatisfaction with Majlis amendments --- the Parliament will extend the 4th Plan of 2005-2010.

NEW Iran Exclusive: FM Mottaki Attempted to Resign over Ahmadinejad Foreign Policy
NEW Iran Witness: Political Prisoner Arjang Davoudi From Evin on Human Rights (2008)
NEW Iran Feature: Inside Rajai Shahr Prison (Bijnen)
Iran Feature: An Open Letter to Detained Activist Shiva Nazar Ahari (Vahidmanesh)

Iran Breaking: Uncertainty if Lawyer Nasrine Sotoudeh Arrested
Iran Special: How Do You Analyse a Non-Event? (Lucas)
The Latest from Iran (5 September): Cracking Down after the Disappointment

1955 GMT: Economy Watch. And in the non-nuclear world, the chairman of the Supreme Audit Court, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, has taken apart the Ahmadinejad Government over its development plans, privatisation, imports, and subsidy reform.

Fazli said in areas such as economic growth and control of inflation the administration had failed to achieve the goals set in its Fourth Plan (2005-2010), and the Fifth Plan (2010-15) is not completely based on the goals set out in plans and major policies endorsed by the Supreme Leader.

Fazli said the handover of the state companies to the private sector has not been carried out according to the requirements set in the Article 44 of the Constitution and that most of the firms have been handed over to semi-official companies, coding for entities such as the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. “The private sector has been involved in at most 15% of the transactions and handovers,” he stated.

The SAC chairman said that Iranian companies could not compete with foreign rivals even in the production of simple products, and he warned that the Ahmadinejad subsidy reform plan "will lead to a rise in prices”.

1939 GMT: Non-Story, Real Story. Prediction: tomorrow's press in the "West" will be full of over-the-top headlines on Iran's nuclear programme, pegged on today's report by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Even though the IAEA's latest findings are pretty much the status quo --- there is no verifiable diversion of nuclear material by Iran to a military programme, but the Agency would like wider access to Tehran's facilities --- the nature of the game over Iran's uranium means there will be ominous headlines restating Nothing New as Very Dangerous.

(Five minutes after I typed the above paragraph, this in from David Sanger and William Broad of The New York Times: "Three months after the United Nations Security Council enacted its harshest sanctions yet against Iran, global nuclear inspectors reported Monday that the country has dug in its heels, refusing to provide inspectors with information and access they need to determine whether the real purpose of Tehran’s program is to produce weapons."

Eight minutes after I typed the paragraph, The Daily Telegraph headlines, "Iran on Brink of Nuclear Weapon, Warns Watchdog".)

Meanwhile, we think we have a far more important story. Through sources in Iran, EA has learned that Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki tried to resign over the President's appointment of four special envoys for international affairs. We put that within the context of new tensions between the Foreign Ministry and Presidency today.

1750 GMT: The Supreme Leader Takes the Podium. The head of the Friday Prayers Committee has said that Ayatollah Khamenei will lead prayers in Tehran this week on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

1740 GMT: Karroubi Watch. A group of prominent political prisoners have reportedly written Mehdi Karroubi to praise his defense of rights and his courage in the face of pressure such as last week's siege of his home.

Those signing the letter included Mehdi Mahmoudian, Isa Saharkhiz, David Soleimani, Ahmad Zeidabadi, Masoud Bastani, and Majid Tavakoli.

The reformist Mojahedin of Islamic Revolution have also written Karroubi to condemn the attack on his home.

1719 GMT: Execution (Sakineh) Watch. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said he is willing to "do anything" to save Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, condemned to execution for adultery conviction.

Kouchner said the initial sentence for death by stoning was "the height of barbarism": "I'm ready to do anything to save her. If I must go to Tehran to save her, I'll go to Tehran."

1715 GMT: Political Prisoner Special. Alongside our feature today on conditions in Rajai Shahr Prison, we have posted a 2008 video message, filmed secretly and smuggled out of jail, from political prisoner Arjang Davoudi.

1710 GMT: Academic Corner. We noted on Sunday that it appeared students were amongst the primary targets of the regime's post-Qods Day crackdown. Advar News, noting the context of threats by Minister of Higher Education Kamran Daneshjoo against universities, offers more on the story.

1655 GMT: The Attack on the Clerics. RAHANA reports that, following last Friday's attack by a pro-regime crowd on the Qoba Mosque of Grand Ayatollah Dastgheib in Shiraz, there have been widespread arrests of those connected with the mosque.

1415 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. The wife of Mohammad Nourizad, detained journalist and filmmaker, claims she is being kept in a complete blackout regarding over news on her husband.

Fatemeh Maleki said, "It is 20 days since my husband has retuned to Evin Prison but we have not been even told where he is being kept.”

1410 GMT: Academic Corner. Alireza Salimi, a member of Parliament's Committee of Education and Research, has expressed concern over the rush of "retirements" of heads of Universities and professors.

About 20 University heads have been replaced by the Government in recent months.

1400 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. The death sentence on teacher Abdolreza Ghanbari has reportedly been commuted to a prison term.

Reformist politician Mohsen Safaei Farahani, who suffered a heart attack last week, has been returned to Evin Prison from Tehran's Cardiac Clinic.

1355 GMT: Transport News. Peyke Iran reports that bus ticket prices from Azadi Square to Tehran Pars have quadrupled, resulting in protests and clashes.

1350 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. President Ahmadinejad has told a Dutch television station that while dual nationality is recognised by Tehran, it has little significance in the case of Zahra Bahrami, a Dutch-Iranian woman detained since last December. "If the person is originally from the Netherlands, the Dutch Embassy obviously represent his or her interests, but an Iranian-born person is excluded."

Dutch officials have not been able to visit Bahrami.

1345 GMT: Propaganda of the Day. Keyhan reveals the truth: the person who masterminded the siege and attack on Mehdi Karroubi's home last week was...

Mehdi Karroubi.

1340 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Azeri civil activist Hassan Balaei was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence agents at his place of business on Saturday.

0945 GMT: We have posted a guest feature from Loes Bijnen, "Inside Rajai Shahr Prison".

0840 GMT: Execution (Sakineh) Watch. Houtan Kian, a lawyer for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, has said that his client is receiving 99 lashes for a photograph of a woman without a headscarf --- mistakenly identified as Ashtiani --- published in The Times of London.

Ashtiani's son, Sajad Ghaderzadeh, has said that he learned from other detainees that his mother --- who is sentenced to death for adultery --- had received the sentence. The claim, however, was disputed by a former lawyer for Ashtiani, Mohammadi Mostafaei, who is now in Norway.

Kian has not seen Ashtiani since 11 August but said a woman who had been held with her brought out the news that Ashtiani was being punished for "indecency".
0650 GMT: What Happened to Mousavi on Qods Day? Regular EA readers know why Mehdi Karroubi could not join Qods Day rallies on Friday, but there was silence on why Mir Hossein Mousavi did not make an appearance.

Tahavole Sabz offers an answer: all the roads around the residence of Mousavi and his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, were blocked.

0615 GMT: The Jannati Rumour (see 0510 GMT). The spokesman of the Guardian Council, Abbasali Kadkhodai, denied that the Council's head, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, has suffered a stroke, blaming the rumour on "counter-revolutionary elements".

0605 GMT: The Regime Line. In this video, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting criticises five detainees, including student activist Majid Tavakoli, journalist Heshmat Tabarzadi, and labour activist Mansur Osanloo, for writing to Carla Bruni, the wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In the letter, the political prisoners expressed gratitude for Bruni's words on behalf of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death for adultery.

0524 GMT: My Favourite Website. Good news that, with its special news and analysis, is catching on: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty posts a profile.

A bit more respect would be nice, however. The article snaps, "Dig a little deeper and the new website, which says it attracted some 100,000 visitors in its first week, begins to sound more like the news parody site than it does a serious forum for discussion."

After all, we like The Onion, too.

0520 GMT: Reviewing the Crackdown. Deutsche Welle features an interview with student activist Said Razavi Faqih on matters from the Karroubi siege to to the attack on Qoba Mosque in Shirzaz to the failure of Ahmadinejad Chief of Staff Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai to appear on Qods Day.

Headline-grabbing claim? "Plainclothes thugs are Khamenei's private army."

0510 GMT: Sunday's Top Rumour. Late Sunday, the website of former President Abolhassan Banisadr claimed that the head of the Guardian Council and long-time mainstay of the regime, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, had had a stroke and was in a coma.

We'll be looking for any confirmation or refutation of the claim.

0455 GMT: Amidst Sunday's continuing and sometimes accelerating intimidations by the regime, there were two interesting signs of a Government struggling for authority.

As the head of the Basij militia, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, was trying to pass off the siege of Mehdi Karroubi's home to Iran's enemies --- the US, Britain, and Zionists --- the Revolutionary Guard was effectively admitting that the criminals were home-grown. Of course, this was a "rogue element" not connected to the Guard or any other regime agency, but the admission still raised the question: given that the siege lasted five nights before culminating in gunfire, Molotov cocktails, injuries, and a direct assault on the Karroubi apartment, what exactly were the Guard and other security forces doing all that time?

On a more mundane but equally important front, the show of "unity" was exposed once more when President Ahmadinejad's representatives boycotted a Parliamentary commission discussing the 5th Budget Plan. The continuing dispute --- Ahmadinejad does not like Majlis amendments to the Plan and would rather withdraw the measures than implement them --- effectively means that, six months into the Iranian year, the Government does not have policies, let alone a strategy, for Iran's building economic problems.

One of the immediate issues is whether Ahmadinejad's subsidy cuts, an important feature of his economic stance, will be put into effect in October --- the latest declared timetable --- and, if so, whether they are related in any way to wider policies.

Iran Witness: Political Prisoner Arjang Davoudi From Evin on Human Rights (2008)

This morning we posted a feature by Loes Bijnen on the conditions inside Rajai Shahr Prison. One of the detainees she mentioned was Arjang Davoudi, an engineer, teacher, and poetwho has been detained since 2003.

Davoudi was given a sentence of 15 years in prison and 74 lashes for speaking to a Canadian reporter about the death of a Canadian-Iranian journalist Zahra Kazemi in detention in Iran. Davoudi is currently on a hunger strike of more than 50 days.

In this video from 2008, supposedly filmed secretly and smuggled out of Evin Prison, Davoudi talks about human rights and democracy:


Iran Feature: Inside Rajai Shahr Prison (Bijnen)


UPDATED Iran Feature: Inside Rajai Shahr Prison (Bijnen)

UPDATE 1725 GMT: Human Rights and Democracy in Iran has posted the letter from Saeed Masouri on conditions inside Rajai Shahr.


Loes Bijnen writes a guest feature for EA:

When I recently read that seven leaders of the Baha'i community in Iran were transferred from the Evin Prison in Tehran to the Rajaï Shahr Prison in Karaj, west of Tehran, my heart forgot to beat for a moment. Do these innocent people have to remain there for twenty years? Amid murderers and rapists? And finally die there?

In the summer of 2005 I wrote an article for Rooz Online about the fate of political prisoners in Rajaï Shahr . I did this at the request of an Iranian contact in the US who urgently wanted to draw attention to some of his friends who were detained in that infamous prison. They were in a bad state, and the circumstances under which these political prisoners, some of them older than 50, were held were said to be gruesome. My acquaintance in the US was in direct contact with one of them, Arjang Davoudi, and he sent me information that came directly from the Rajaï Shahr.

Iran Witness: Political Prisoner Arjang Davoudi From Evin on Human Rights (2008)

I wrote in 2005:

Rajai Shahr is the place where political prisoners who are seen as a nuisance, are stowed away. Going to Karaj is a severe punishment. Once in there one stops to be a human being. One is put out of sight, even of human rights activists and the press. In Rajaï Shahr, political prisoners have to share cells with dangerous criminals like murderers, rapists and drug addicts who don?t hesitate to attack their cell mates. They have nothing to lose: many of them are condemned to death anyway. Murders or unexplained deaths are a regular occurrence.

Two of the detainees I noted were Arjang Davoudi and Amir Saran. Davoudi, an engineer, teacher and poet, was abducted in 2003 and condemned in 2005 by a Revolutionary Court to 15 years in jail, exile to a harsh climate, five years suspension of his civil rights, and 70 lashes of the whip. He spent 100 days in solitary confinement in the Rajaï Shahr prison and was severely tortured. Later he was exiled to the Bandar Abbas prison in the hot south of Iran. [Editor's Note: Davoudi is again in Rajaï Shahr where he reportedly is in critical condition after a hunger strikie of more than 50 days. A new court case against him is being pursued.]

And Amir Saran? In March 2009, he died of a stroke in the gruesome conditions of Rajai Shahr.

Since my piece in 2005 the situation in Iran has worsened. Hundreds if not thousands of innocent Iranians spend their days in prisons in solitary confinement. They are being interrogated for long periods day and night until they are broken down and will sign any document.

However, this reality does not seem to reach the world media. A letter from a prisoner with a life sentence was recently smuggled out of Rajai Shahr:
I want to paint a picture of Rajai Shahr prison. Though large in the eyes of the citizens of Karaj, in reality it is a very small prison because of overcrowding. This is a different world, much like the Hell depicted in movies, full of fire and smoke. A world filled with burnt, black, dishevelled faces, naked bodies covered with sweat and red marks from the sting of lice. A world filled with torn trousers, scraps of which are used as belts; bare and filthy feet; clothes worn inside out and covered with lice; torn, mismatched slippers. A world in which you are exposed to polluted air, the extreme smell of putrid waste, overflowing sewage from toilets, the toxicity of dry vomit, infectious phlegm, and the body odour from bodies in close proximity, rarely given the opportunity to bathe --- all coming to a climax with the smell of urine by those who are unable to control themselves.

All this against the backdrop of the tremendous uproar and cries of prisoners who seem to spend their entire day in lines. Prisoners standing in lines holding plastic bottles that have turned black and serve as tea cups; standing in multiple, long, packed lines to use a bathroom, to take a shower.

It is in this prison that an internationally prominent journalist, Isa Saharkhiz, one of my own acquaintances, has to spend his days. Even more incomprehensible is that seven innocent, civilised and highly-educated Bahá'í leaders have been brought to Rajaï Shahr. They are the voice in Iran of the most peace-loving religion in the world.

How long will they survive there?

What can the world community do to rescue these political prisoners and hundreds of others from the dungeons in Evin in Tehran, Adel Abad in Shiraz, Vakil Abad in Mashhad, Karoun in Ahvaz, Dastgerd in Isfahan, and other, often secret, prisons? Speak out, of course. But first of all the international media has to be awakened. With a SCREAM.

I look at Le Monde, The Washington Post and The New York Times, at El Pais, The Zürcher and the Süddeutsche Zeitung, and at NRC Handelsblad. I look at Obama, at Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy. And also at [Dutch Foreign Minister] Maxime Verhagen. Help the Bahá'ís and all the other hundreds of innocent prisoners in Iranian prisons.

The Latest from Iran (2 September): Karroubi, Mousavi, and Qods Day

2030 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Kalemeh reports that leading reformist politician Mohsen Safaei Farahani, one of seven detainees who recently filed a complaint alleging military interference and manipulation in the 2009 Presidential election, suffered a heart attack three days ago and is in the Evin Prison medical facility.

2025 GMT: We are updating urgently in our separate entry on the siege of Mehdi Karroubi's house. Latest reported developments: a bodyguard in a coma, shots fired at assailants, electricity, water, and phones cut off. Fatemeh Karroubi, Mehdi Karroubi's wife, says the pro-regime crowd is "trying to kill her husband".

1905 GMT: Karroubi (and Qods Day) Alert. A fifth night of the "siege" of Mehdi Karroubi's house has begun, with Molotov cocktails fired and Karroubi's bodyguard firing into the air.

Meanwhile, we have posted the first video of tonight's rooftop "Allahu Akbars" (God is Great) . The chants have been a sign of protest throughout the post-election period.

NEW Latest Iran Video: The Rooftop “Allahu Akbars” (2 September)
NEW Pro-Regime Media Asks, “Which is Worse: Stoning or Prostitution?”
NEW Iran Document: Karroubi-Mousavi Meeting on Eve of Qods Day (31 August)
UPDATED Iran: The Latest on the Karroubi “Siege” and the Qods Day Rally
Iran Special: Thoughts on Protest, Stoning, and Human Rights (Shahryar)
The Latest from Iran (1 September): The Threat of Stoning

1900 GMT: Sports! (and Stoning). Football's Francesco Totti, striker and captain of Roma and star of the Italian national side, has signed the petition for clemency for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death for adultery.

1415 GMT: All is Well Update (cont. --- see 1045 GMT). Video of today's "Control in Tehran" operation, taken "discreetly" by observers, has emerged.

Two pictures from a set in Mehr, via Peyke Iran, of today's "Control in Tehran" operation....

1315 GMT: Video of Day. Human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, forced to leave Iran this summer because of threat of arrest, has been re-united with his wife and daughter in Norway.

Mostafaei's clients include Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death for adultery. His wife was detained when Iranian authorities could not find Mostafaei to arrest him.

1310 GMT: Economy Watch. Trade union activist Mehdi Kouhestani-Nejad tells Deutsche Welle that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps is now the biggest employer in Iran's petrochemical, communications, and services sectors. Kouhestani-Nejad also claims the IRGC has taken over "bankrupt" companies, arresting managers, in areas such as steel.

1253 GMT: No Hysteria at All Statements of Day. Former Minister of Culture Mohammad -Hossein Saffar-Harandi explains that if security forces had not intervened last year, there would have been one million casualties. He added that Green media are "censoring" the good work of the government.

Pro-Ahmadinejad MP Hamid Rasaei declared that the recent remarks of former President Mohammad Khatami are designed to cover up $1 billion that he has received from foreign agencies for "regime change".

The reformist Islamic Iran Participation Front has responded to similar "$1 billion" accusations from Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi with the claim that he is falsifying reality to avoid the truth about the political and security situation. The IIPF adds that the slander of reformists is a pretext for more persecution.

1245 GMT: Bringing Out a Crowd. The Iranian authorities lay out their plan: there will be special traffic restrictions with 1500 buses to carry people and free use of the metro in Tehran.

1150 GMT: All is Well Update (cont.). The completely secure Iranian regime has reportedly blocked the website of Grand Ayatollah Dastgheib.

1145 GMT: Siege. It isn't just Mehdi Karroubi who has been intimidated this week by regime supporters. Zahra Rahnavard, activist and wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi, was accosted by plainclothes forces on a Tehran street.

Kalemeh reports that the incident occurred a few nights ago in an alley close to Rahnavard's residence, as she was surrounded and interrogated about her activities during the Revolution and her commitment to religion. Rahnavard reportedly responded, “I will not respond to a street interrogation but I will be willing to respond to your questions at my office.”

1140 GMT: Picture of the Day. A photograph of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death for adultery, on the facade of a government building in Rome:

1135 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. The wife of activist Arjang Davoudi, who launched a hunger strike in jail 50 days ago, says that he is in grave condition.

1130 GMT: Stopping the Lawyers. Earlier this week we wrote about the raid on the office of defence attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh by Iranian authorities. Sotoudeh has now told Rooz Online that she was given a summons to appear in court within three days on charges of “assembly and conspiracy to disrupt national security and propaganda against the regime".

Sotoudeh's case is the latest in a string of arrests and intimidations. Abdolfatah Soltani and Mohammad Ali Dadkhah spent months in Evin Prison on national security charges. Mohammad Oliyayifard is still detained, while Mohammad Seifzadeh awaited his trial later this summer. Khalil Bahramian has been interrogated at Evin, and Saleh Nikbakht has an open case at the judiciary’s branch in the prison. Mohammad Mostafaei has fled Iran to avoid arrest.

Sotoudeh said, “The gentlemen [of the regime] plan to put so much pressure on lawyers to make legal defense, especially of political defendants, impossible.”

1120 GMT: The Battle Within. Hooman Majd offers an analysis in Foreign Policy which, despite his acknowledgement of "the public feuds between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and seemingly everyone else in the entire country", turns into, "Move Along, Nothing to See Here":
Put simply, now is not the time for petty infighting. And even those conservatives who retain their distaste for Ahmadinejad won't want to jeopardize their good standing with Khamenei -- especially as the 2013 presidential election approaches -- by appeasing Iran's enemies, real or imagined.

1115 GMT: Academic Corner. Writing in Tehran Bureau, Ali Chenar reviews the regime's pressure on universities, considering the resignation of Sharif University head Saeed Sohrabpour and the removal of Zanjan University head Yousef Sobouti.

1045 GMT: All is Well Update. On the eve of Qods (Palestine) Day, the regime is already showing the levels of mass public support it is enjoying. Tehran police have launched the operation "Control in Tehran". Police commander Hossein Sajedi-Nia explained that the heavy presence of security forces on the streets was a regular "exercise" to contain "crimes", occupying all "critical points" of the city to guarantee the people's "safety" on Qods Day.

Saham News claims that disturbance of G-Mail services started hours ago to prevent people from forwarding routes for tomorrow's protests, and ADSL service is also disrupted.

0830 GMT: Thought for the Day. Film director Jafar Panahi, detained earlier this year and barred from leaving Iran, in an interview with Middle East Online:

"There have always been restrictions, but over the past year it was the worst. I cannot be pessimistic though. Limitations have always existed, and this era will eventually come to an end too. It's important to have patience and resistance."

0825 GMT: Talk to Us. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Wednesday that Tehran is still waiting for a response from the Vienna Group (US, France, Russia, International Atomic Energy Agency) on resumption of talks on uranium enrichment: "They have still not officially announced the date and venue for the new round of talks."

0740 GMT: We have posted a feature, "Pro-Regime Media Asks, 'Which is Worse: Stoning or Prostitution?'".

0710 GMT: Academic Corner --- The Counter-Attack. We have been reporting all week on new regime threats against universities. There is news from the other side, however....

An open letter from the "Islamic Association of Democracy", claiming to represent students of Tehran University, asks Minister of Higher Kamran Daneshjoo: "Wasn't it enough to attack the dormitories [after the June 2009 election] and dismiss students and professors? Do you have to u try to destroy free thinking and security at the universities?

A letter to Daneshjoo from 38 professors demands the restitutition of Professor Yousef Sobouti, recently replaced, as head of Zanjan University.

And students of Mehdi Karroubi's campaign committee have asked Green supporters to join Qods Day processions: "come to the streets for your lost rights".

0705 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Peyke Iran claims that the sister of detained journalist Abdolreza Tajik was interrogated for four hours and that Tajik's lawyer Mohammad Sharif has been blocked from meeting him.

0655 GMT: Karroubi Watch. Mehdi Karroubi met with the family of the political prisoner Mostafa Tajzadeh, a prominent reformist politician, yesterday.

0630 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Der Westen claims that up to 100 "front" companies in Germany are moving arms to Iran.

0605 GMT: Flu Alert! EA took great pride in its front-line coverage of the 2009 swine flu crisis. So we have to note the video, posted by Peyke Iran, in which Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami --- who is leading Friday Prayers in Tehran on Qods Day --- declares that swine flu is the outcome of the sins of the West.

0600 GMT: Sports! The US defeated Iran, 88-51, in the qualifying rounds of the World Basketball Championship on Wednesday. We wait to see if Max Fisher's pre-match prediction comes true:
After all the harsh rhetoric and low-level violence, three decades of Iran-U.S. tension will come to a close this afternoon. If the U.S. wins, Iran has agreed it will give up its nuclear program and cede power to the Green Movement. If Iran wins, President Obama says he will implement sharia law, although he was probably going to do that anyway.

0550 GMT: Execution (Ashtiani) Watch. Rooz Online publishes an open letter from the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death for adultery, to "human rights defenders across the universe". Sajad Ghaderzadeh writes:
Why do they extract false confessions from my mother by force and broadcast them? Why have they prevented my mother from seeing her attorney or us since then? Is it not because signs of torture are still visible on her body and they do not want any witnesses? Have they delayed visitations until the signs are healed? Why do they plant false evidence against my mother? Why do they open a case that was previously closed? Why have my father’s murder files gone missing? Why do they not allow my mother’s case to proceed normally like any another case? We are truly disappointed that we were born in the Islamic Republic; and that we were abandoned by our own family after the sham show on the Islamic Republic’s television; and that we are forced to tolerate this life of humiliation.

Life killed us. Death, where are you?

0540 GMT: We open this morning with two features. We have an English translation of Tuesday's meeting between Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, discussing tomorrow's Qods (Palestine) Day and the general state of Iran. The discussion was primarily about economic, political, and legal problems; despite rumours, there was no call for an opposition rally on Friday.

We also post an update on the harassment of Karroubi by pro-regime groups, as his home was surrounded for a fourth consecutive night.

Despite the intimidation, Karroubi remains vocal. Rooz Online summarises his recent remarks on military interference and the "fraud" of the 2009 Presidential election.