NEW Iran Election Anniversary Special: The Power of the “Gradual”
NEW Iran Special Report:The Attack on Civil Society (Arseh Sevom)
Iran Analysis: The Unexpected Fight Over “Khomeini”
Iran Analysis: One Year After the Election (Shafaee)
Iran Feature: Music and Resistance (Fathi)
The Latest from Iran (7 June): Mousavi-Karroubi Meeting
1955 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Masoud Nourmohammadi, detained since 20 January, has been sentenced to three years in prison for "assembly and collusion against national security". His brother, reformist activist Saeed Nourmohammadi, is serving a one-year prison sentence, with five years suspended, and a 30-year ban on political activity.
1935 GMT: 22 Khordaad. Still waiting for video to surface of today's press conference by Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. Those present included Advar News, Jaras, Norooz, Saham News, Green Voice of Freedom, Tahavole Sabz, Kalameh, Emrooz, and Mizan.
Meanwhile, Rah-e-Sabz clarifies the latest developments on the requests to march on 12 June. The number of reformist groups seeking permits has risen from 8 to 10. Two parties have already been rejected, while the rest --- meeting a request from the Ministry of Interior for more information --- have said the protest will "be a silent one, with no one carrying any arms. There will be no statement read out and no speech made." Demonstrators will "carry signs asking for free elections and using green as their symbol".
1920 GMT: Parliament v. President (cont.). The most intriguing move, however, comes from "principlist" MP Ali Motahari. Having been warned for saying that the disturbance at last Friday's ceremony for Ayatollah Khomeini was due in part to the President's election, Motahari said that he would welcome his removal from the party. He declared that this would prepare the ground for the establishment of an independent faction composed of moderate reformists and principlists.
1915 GMT: Parliament v. President. A number of intriguing developments in the conflict between the Majlis and the President....
BBC Persian reports that the Supreme Leader has stepped in, calling for more oversight of the work of Parliament but also seeking more collaboration between the Majlis and Ahmadinejad.
A number of MPs have criticised Ahmadinejad's latest power play. Farhad Tajari, deputy chief of the Majlis legal commission, condemned the President’s letter to the Guardian Council questioning the legitimacy of a number of Parliament's bills, and Seyed Reza Akrami maintained that only the Guardian Council can declare Parliamentary measures illegal. Abbas Rejai, the head of Parliament’s agricultural commission, said that as the Guardian Council has approved all legislation in his area, no one can question its validity.
The Parliament also blamed the office of the President for releasing Ahmadinejad's letter, which bore a confidential stamp, with “all its blatant legal equivocations”.
1910 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Kouhyar Goudarzi, member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, has been sentenced to one year in prison.
1740 GMT: Ahmadinejad "All OK. Nothing to See. Move Along." Amidst his rhetoric about the nuclear issue and Israel, President Ahmadinejad did take time today in Turkey to make a passing comment on his own country.
So let it be noted --- because all media hell is going to break loose tomorrow when the UN Security Council adopts a sanctions resolution and the Iranian Government responds, three days ahead of the election anniversary, with defiance and its honourable defence of the country's sovereignty against foreigners --- that Ahmadinejad said:
The Islamic Republic is one of the most stable countries of the world because its foundations are set in the hearts of every single Iranian....People hold the elections, supervise it and participate in it.
1625 GMT: The Complexities Within. Dissected News offers an interesting overview of the tensions not only within the Green Movement but also within the Iranian establishment.
1610 GMT: Jailing the Journalists. Reporters Without Borders posts a lengthy summary of the represssion of journalists in Iran. Some basic statistics:
* At least 170 journalists and bloggers, including 32 women, have been arrested in the past year.
*22 of them have sentenced to jail terms totalling 135 years.
*85 journalists are awaiting trial or sentencing.
* More than 100 journalists have been forced to flee the country.
*23 newspapers have been shut down and thousands of web pages have been blocked.
*With 37 journalists and bloggers currently held, Iran is one of the world’s four biggest prisons for the media, alongside Cuba, Eritrea and North Korea.
1605 GMT: In the Category of Totally Unexpected News. Kalemeh, the website of Mir Hossein Mousavi, is complaining that the Ministry of Interior is stalling over requests for permits to demonstrate on 12 June, the anniversary of the election.
The Ministry has turned down two applications from reformist parties but has asked six other groups for more information.
1345 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Student activist Behzad Bagheri was arrested on Saturday in Isfahan.
1315 GMT: From the Facebook page supporting Mir Hossein Mousavi:
Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi held a joint press conference today on the eve of one year anniversary of rigged presidential election (June 12) and answered to the questions of reporters from all over the world. Details of this press conference as well as the video of it will be published soon.
1300 GMT: I have posted an analysis, for the anniversary of Iran's election, assessing the significance of events that have happened and events to come: "The Power of the Gradual".
The decision to post the piece, which is a draft introduction to a new book, was spurred in part because of my frustration and sorrow at a set of high-profile analyses in Foreign Policy magazine which I think misrepresent the dynamic of post-election developments, especially with respect to information in and out of Iran.
In that context, I have just noted two other, very different reflections. Human rights activist Ahmad Batebi gives a lengthy interview in which he assesses, "People's Movement Will Stay Alive with Knowledge & Information". And Kathy Riordan interviews an activist, "Michi", on the influence of social media in this post-election crisis: "People in many countries outside Iran have established bonds with the Iranian people. Stereotypes and misunderstandings have been stripped away."
1215 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Reports have come in that journalist Zhila Bani Yaghoub has been sentenced to one year in prison and has banned for 30 years from reporting. Her husband, journalist Bahman Amoui, is already serving a five-year sentence in Evin Prison.
1010 GMT: American Detainees. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has said Tehran has no plans to swap three Americans jailed last summer in Iran on spying charges for Iranians held in the Unites States.
The website Free the Hikers offers the latest on the detainees, arrested after walking --- inadvertently, they claim --- across the Iraq-Iran border.
0940 GMT: Evading the Attacks. Writing in The New York Times, Jo Becker illustrates how the state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines evades sanctions through the re-flagging and renaming of ships:
Of the 123 Irisl ships listed [by the US Government], only 46 are still clearly owned by Irisl or its United States-listed subsidiaries, according to an analysis of data from IHS Fairplay, formerly Lloyd’s Register-Fairplay, based in Britain, which issues large merchant vessels their unique identifying numbers and tracks them over their lifetime. Four more were scuttled.
The rest — 73 — are now on record as owned and operated by companies that do not appear on the blacklist. The companies are located far from Iran, in places like Malta, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Germany and the Isle of Man. In all but 10 instances, however, records and interviews established definitive links between the ships’ new registered owners and Irisl.
0725 GMT: 22 Khordaad. The website 12june.org is now listing 68 cities planning events on 12 June for the anniversary of the Presidential election.
0654 GMT: Video of Day. Short and to the point --- "22 Khordaad" (12 June) is inscribed on a railing:
0650 GMT: Where's Mahmoud? President Ahmadinejad is in Turkey, putting the emphasis on foreign affairs. He has told a crowd in Istanbul that last week's raid on the Freedom Flotilla was the "death knell" for the "Zionist regime". He also said the recent Iran-Brazil-Turkey declaration on Tehran's uranium enrichment is the last chance for an agreement on the issue.
0645 GMT: Women's Rights Corner. Ayatollah Abdolnabi Namazi, the leader of Friday Prayers in Kashan has explained that televising women pariticipating in sports is forbidden.
0635 GMT: The Khomeini Fall-Out. Ayatollah Dastgheib, condemning the attack on Hassan Khomeini, asserts that the "only way out" out of the current predicament is the return of Mir Hossein Mousavi to the political scene with the assurance that he will not be threatened.
0555 GMT: We begin the morning with a special report from a new NGO, Arseh Sevom (Third Sphere), "Attacks on Civil Society in Iran, 2005-2010".
Meanwhile, in the current civil society, there are more signs of nervousness as the regime is still trying to deal with the aftermath of the ceremony for Ayatollah Khomeini, that went wrong last Friday and the uncertainty of the election's anniversary (22 Khordaad/12 June) approaches:
A New Anti-Government Coalition?
A sharp poke at Ahmadinejad, in the guise of analysis from Khabar Online, the website connected with Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani: it claims that even a significant number of "hardliners" have joined the reformists in opposition
The analysis projects that "moderate reformists" have a small chance to gain influence within two or three years and advises that hardliners should put themselves in four groups to discuss change, including "idealists", "pragmatists", and those taking the Government line.
Parliament v. President
The head of Iran's judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, has declared that the Parliament should help the judiciary to correct and update laws.
Hmm.... Could Sadegh be taking sides in the evolving dispute between his brother Ali and President Ahmadinejad? After all, it is Ali Larijani and other MPs who are complaining that the Government is implementing "incorrect" measures.
There's the prospect of more pressure on the President, with the claim that the results of an investigation into undocumented spending during Ahmadinejad's Government will be published soon.
"Dorough Online" (Lie Online)
That is new name given to Iran's media by Green Voice of Freedom, which is claiming a "new record" of at least three big lies per day handed down to the Iranian people. Unsurprisingly, Green Voice is offering examples from the ongoing presentation of last Friday's shout-down of Ayatollah Khomeini's grandson, Seyed Hassan Khomeini.
The "hard-line" Kayhan, according to the Green site Rah-e-Sabz, is betraying its nervousness with a series of allegations, inventing foreign supporters, mysterious editors, and a headquarters in London for the opposition publication.
Political Prisoner Watch
Fereshteh Ghazi's posts an interview with the father of Amir Javadifar, who died in detention after he was arrested on 9 July. As Iran holds another court session, ostensibly to punish those who carried out abuses at Kahrizak Prison, Javadifar's father says, "We demand those who gave the orders at Kahrizak to be sentenced."