After the apparent confusion, the Bits weblog went back to Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, Opera's CEO, to clear up the misunderstandings. As it turns out, Opera never submitted Opera Mini to Apple. Opera Mini for the iPhone was an internal project at Opera Software, and not something they were seriously planning on bringing to market - due to the license restrictions. "We stopped the work because of the prohibitive license," Opera's CEO told the Bits weblog.
Another point - which is now moot seeing Opera Mini will not find its way to the iPhone anyway - is whether or not the browser would require Java in order to work. Stephenson von Tetzchner assured that the company has created a version of Opera Mini that was fully native, and didn't require Java.
If this little episode tells us anything, it's that Apple's policies towards the iPhone and its developers is a hot iron, and it most likely will be for the foreseeable future.