1535 GMT: Replacing the Clerics. The names of 12 new Friday Prayer leaders for 12 cities have been published. Each will serve for three years.
Recently 60 Friday Prayer leaders were "retired" by the regime.
NEW Iran-US Special: Obama Extends His Hand “Engagement, Not Conflict”
Iran Feature: Free Speech (and Some Laughs) in the Theatre (Tehran Bureau)
Iran Special: Grenade Attack on Ahmadinejad?
Iran Feature: The Activism of the Women’s Movement (Mouri)
The Latest from Iran (4 August): The President and The Plots
1530 GMT: Keyhan v. Ahmadinejad. More on the feud between the "hard-line" newspaper Keyhan and the President's office....
Keyhan had alleged that one of the those invited to this week's conference of the Iranian diaspora, Hooshang Amirahmadi of the American Iranian Council, was a "CIA associate". Ahmadinejad's chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, denied Amirahmadi had been approached.
So Keyhan has published the official invitation for Amirahmadi.
1450 GMT: The Torture Information. Khodnevis is claiming, from a source close to the Assembly of Experts, that the head of the Assembly, Hashemi Rafsanjani has sent the cases of 22 people who were allegedly tortured to the Supreme Leader. Acccording to the source, Rafsanjani personally delivered details of five cases, including that of editor and university offical Hamzeh Karami, to Ayatollah Khamenei.
(EA reported on the Karami case yesterday but we did not know of the four other claimed cases.)
According to this source, the 22 complaints included allegations against specific officials. One of these is Hossein Taeb, the former commander of the Basij militia and now head of the Intelligence Bureau of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.
1330 GMT: The No-Longer-Missing Lawyer. Human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, who has fled arrest in Iran and is now in Turkey (see 0655 and 1205 GMT), has given an interview to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on his recent experiences and his defense of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death for adultery.
1320 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Activist Ramin Poshtkoohi was arrested in Isfahan on Sunday.
1315 GMT: Twitter and Iran. Dave Siavashi has written a heart-felt, incisive analysis at Iran News Now, "Revisiting what the 'Twitter Revolution' really means".
1310 GMT: Mahmoud's Plans. President Ahmadinejad has declared that "opponents" (in the Green Movement? in Parliament?) are trying to sabotage the introduction of his subsidy reduction plan in October.
1207 GMT: International Front. The Supreme Leader's key advisor on foreign affairs, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, is in Lebanon for talks with Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Lebanese Foreign Minister Ali al-Shami.
1209 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Rah-e-Sabz claims intelligence agents have allegedly called mothers of Evin Prison hunger strikers, threatening them with arrest.
1205 GMT: A Turkish Foreign Ministry official has told CNN that "extradition to Iran is out of question" for Iranian human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei (see 0655 GMT).
1150 GMT: Forget the Grenade, We're Going Into Orbit. Iran's official outlet IRNA highlights a passage from President Ahmadinejad's speech on Thursday in Hamedan, in which he said Tehran would put a man into space by 2017: "The plan is in line with an Iran space agency program to produce and place in orbit a spacecraft at an altitude of more than 35,000 kilometers."
Ahmadinejad has made similar declarations over the last 12 months, including his proclamation of the launch of a rocket which had two turtles, a mouse, and some worms.
1145 GMT: Sanctions Watch. As Iran's Minister of Oil Massoud Mirkazemi visits Beijing, the Chinese Foreign Ministry maintained its careful balancing act on pressure against Tehran: "China's trade with Iran is a normal business exchange, which will not harm the interests of other countries and the international community. As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, China has always observed the council's resolutions."
Earlier this week Robert Einhorn, the special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control at the U.S. State Department, declared that China should live up to the sanctions.
0900 GMT: The Campaign against Jannati. Looks like a development in our ongoing watch on the pressure against Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, and thus indirectly on the Supreme Leader. From the Facebook page supporting Mir Hossein Mousavi:
Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, in reaction to the false accusations made by Ahmad Jannati [a reference to Jannati's speech last accusing opposition leaders of taking $1 billion, with a promise of another $50 billion, from the US and Saudi Arabia to overthrow the regime], have written a joint letter addressed to senior religious figures and Grand Ayatollahs. They have asked them to step in for the sake of “saving the integrity of Islam and religious figures’ statue” and to confront those who pose as clerics and who, obviously and shamelessly, are damaging the stature of Islam and religious figures.
In this joint letter Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi called on the Grand Ayatollahs to confront Ahmad Jannati and ask him to provide his so-called documents regarding the accusations he made that the Green leaders have received $1 billion from the United States Government via Saudi Arabia to overthrow the establishment....Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi stated that these false accusations made by chairman of the Guardian Council are “the most striking example of shameless...insults”.
0845 GMT: We've posted two features. Scott Lucas analyses an important signal from President Obama on Iran policy, "Engagement, Not Conflict". And a Tehran Bureau correspondent moves politics into another arena, "Free Speech (and Some Laughs) in the Theatre".
0720 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. An appellate court has upheld the five-year sentence of Mohammad Davari, editor of Mehdi Karroubi's Saham News.
0655 GMT: The No-Longer-Missing Lawyer. Saeed Kamali Dehghan, writing in The Guardian of London, updates on the case of human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, who fled Iran after authorities tried to detain him and arrested his wife and brother-in-law (his wife is still in prison).
Mostafaei is now in Turkey but there is some confusion over his status: Dehghan says the lawyer was arrested on immigration charges on Monday. According to The Guardian, Norwegian and US officials met Mostafaei in prison and offered him asylum, but he was forced by Turkish officials to claim asylum with the UN authorities in Turkey or face extradition.
0630 GMT: Academic Boycott. Minister of Health Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi has confirmed what EA already knew from experience: new restrictions will be applied on students seeking to study in Britain and the US, since they are hostile and have only "limited relations" with Tehran.
(One beneficiary of the policy is Ireland, an English-speaking country towards which students have been directed for some time.)
0550 GMT: We begin this morning with an analysis by Rasool Nafisi of the possible significance for Ayatollah Khamenei of a fatwa by Grand Ayatollah Sistani, the leading Shia cleric in Iraq, which says clerical authority must come from the affirmation of the people.
Meanwhile, as we look for the political fallout from yesterday's grenade/firecracker attack/non-attack on President Ahmadinejad's motorcade....
Political Prisoner Watch
Activists Zahra Rahnavard and Parvin Fahimi, the mother of the slain demonstrator Sohrab Arabi, have met with the families of the 17 political prisoners on hunger strike.
On Air Soon
Rasa TV, the product of Resaneh Sabze Iran, is now on-line and promising to be on-air in the near-future.
Today's Tough Talk
Brigadier General Mohammad-Hassan Baqeri, a deputy commander of Iran's army, lays it out "Any insane move will bring the US nothing but regret and they will get our final response in the scene of action."