1750 GMT: No Hypocrisy at All Alert. Shayan Ghajar, writing for insideIRAN, summarised what we have been noting for weeks: "Iran Begins Media Campaign to Highlight West’s “Human Rights Abuses".
Press TV's latest contribution is an on-line poll:
About the human rights situation in the United States, do you think………
A) There is the largest number of human rights violation cases in this country?
B) There is the least number of human rights violation cases in this country?
C) There are as many human rights violation cases in this country as in any other country but the international body should exercise constant supervision over it?
(Current position: A --- 50%; B --- 24%; C --- 26%)
1450 GMT: Today's Chest-Puffing. In the midst of Iran's five-day air defence exercise, Brigadier General Mohammad Hassan Mansourian has declared that Tehran has duplicated Russia's S-300 missile: "We have developed the system by upgrading systems like S-200 and we have tested it successfully using all our potential and experience in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the Army and the Defense Ministry."
In September, Moscow suspended the sale of the S-300 to Iran, bringing fierce denunciations from the Iranian regime, including President Ahmadinejad.
1425 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Ebrahim Yazdi, the head of the Freedom Movement on Iran, will be tried on 7 December.
The 78-year-old Yazdi, a former Foreign Minister, was re-arrested at the start of October.
1420 GMT: Subsidy Cuts Watch. Or possibly non-subsidy cuts: Kalemeh is claiming that there is chatter the cuts, which were originally supposed to begin in September, will be delayed yet another month.
1320 GMT: I Shake My Other Finger at You. President Ahmadinejad is doing his best to take over the news cycle today. As well as declaring in a speech that Western powers "should stop thinking as aggressors" (see 0750 GMT), Ahmadinejad pronounced, "Plotters of the September 11 incident should be brought to trial. While regional nations knew nothing about the event, yet countries were occupied [because of it]. A fact-finding committee which is trusted by nations should investigate the 9/11 event."
The President also had a few kind words for NATO and its backing of US plans for missile defence: "We regard NATO decision-makers as politically backwarded and their decisions are of no significance to us because they are incapable of playing a role in future developments. Experience shows that NATO leaders have had a wrong interpretation of international events and all their decisions are based on false information."
1310 GMT: CyberWar. The "Iranian Cyber Army", which made a mark for itself --- whomever it may be --- by attacking Iranian reformist websites and Twitter last year, is back. It took over the homepage of the Farsi1 television station, yesterday with a "Happy Eid Ghorban" and the message, ”Rupert Murdoch, the Moby company, the Mohseni family, and the Zionists partners should know that they will take the wish to destroy the structure of Iranian families with them to the grave.”
Farsi1 is co-owned by the mogul Rupert Murdoch, Afghanistan’s Moby Media Group, run by Saad Mohseni, and Hong Kong-based Star TV. Its primary content is Latin American soap operas dubbed into Persian.
0800 GMT: Shutting Down the Lawyers. And now to the more important story....
Another regime move to break defence attorneys --- see EA's coverage throughout this week --- as the trial of Khalil Bahramian has been set for 8 December.
Bahramian has been the lawyer for many political prisoners, including Farzad Kamanger and Shirin Alamhouli, both of whom were executed in May. He is charged with anti-regime propaganda and acting against national security.
0750 GMT: I'm Going to Shake My Finger at You Now. Speaking in Baku, President Ahmadinejad has declared:
If [world powers] want to achieve positive results they should stop thinking as aggressors. There are those among them who think as aggressors, and they think they can achieve positive results by putting pressure on us and threatening us.They should change the old methods, otherwise the results will be the same. No embargoes can change the Iranian people.
At least the President had a twist in his rhetoric this morning. He pronounced that Iran was in a prominent position as an exporter of natural gas --- thus, the message that sanctions are not crippling Tehran's energy sector --- but that if Europe had problems getting supplies, it needed to get its house in order (i.e., be nice to Iran, withdraw sanctions, etc.).
Yeah, yeah. Bottom line is still the same: Ahmadinejad's tough talk is a set-up for Iran's return to discussions with the 5+1 (US, UK, Germany, Russia, China, France) on Tehran's nuclear programme.
0530 GMT: The morning's first headline comes on the international front. Asian media are reporting that President Ahmadinejad will have a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev today on the sidelines of the five-nation Caspian Sea summit in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The two men have met once since Iran's June 2009 election, at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in summer 2009. There has been recent friction between Tehran and Moscow, notably over Russia's accession to United Nations sanctions and suspension of delivery of S-300 missiles and other weapons. Ahmadinejad accused Russia of falling "under the influence of Satan" and selling out "to our enemies".
Medvedev's top foreign policy aide Sergei Prikhodko said, "We are convinced that under the sanctions it is necessary to look for new incentives which will ensure greater cooperativity, constant cooperation with Iran including on nuclear issues and dialogue with it."
Meanwhile, Michael Theodoulou of The National profiles Ahmadinejad, claiming, "He views himself as nothing less than an historic leader who will restore Iran to the ranks of a world superpower as it was during the Persian Empire, even as it spreads the message of Islam worldwide."