1529 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Forces within the regime, including the Supreme Leader's office, may have blocked the interrogation of President Ahmadinejad last week, but MP Ali Motahari, a leading critic of the Government, is not giving up.
Motahari said he will re-submit the petition to the Board of Parliament, this time with 83 signatures and no possibility of withdrawals.
The drive earlier this month to interrogate Ahmadinejad had 102 signatures, far more than the 74 needed for consideration, but some MPs took back their endorsements as key politicians and allies of Ayatollah Khamenei signalled that the questioning should not proceed.
1520 GMT: Nuclear Watch. It looks like there will be a further delay in Iran's long-postponed nuclear power plant at Bushehr --- Ria Novosti reports that Russian delivery of full operations has been set back another three months.
Bushehr, held back for years by technical problems, was formally launched in September 2010, with promises of full capacity within months.
Kamkar dismissed the Ministry of Culture and Guidance’s promise to bring the National Orchestra of Iran, the Tehran Symphonic Orchestra and its choir all under one umbrella organization to reduce bureaucracy, calling the dismantling of the National Orchestra an “irredeemable loss because it takes away all motivation from our composers.”
1216 GMT: According to Fars News, a senior Egyptian politician, Anwar El Sadat, has suggested that Egypt should side with Iran if any conflict arises with Israel, stating that “the most important [reason] is that Iran, regardless of religious differences, is an Islamic state .
El Sadat, who is a member of Egypt’s Constituent Assembly, is quoted as saying "It is not an expectation but an obligation for us... and any different move by Egypt would be a great mistake."
He also noted that a military confrontation between Iran and Israel would be a "danger to the whole region".
0925 GMT: Bluster of the Day. Reuters is reporting that Esmail Kowsari, chair of parliament's defence committee, has claimed that the Iranian-made Hezbollah drone that was recently downed over Israel managed to transmit images of Israel’s “sensitive bases.”
The story, which appears to be simply your typical regime bluster, originated at PressTV and follows Sunday’s boast that Iran has since developed “far more advanced” technology than that of the downed drone.
0724 GMT: Currency Watch. Mehr defies the regime's restriction on currency news to express concern --- the website says volatility in the curreency market continues, while prices of basic commodities and imports rise.
0508 GMT: The regime is pursuing a balancing-act message on US-led sanctions. On the one hand, it is declaring that the Islamic Republic will triumph over the enemy. Indeed, the Supreme Leader, the President, and other officials have proclaimed that it is the US and Europe who will suffer from the economic restrictions, while Iran prospers.
On the other hand, the regime is announcing that the Iranian people, far from prospering, will suffer from the measures. Press TV offers a notable example this morning, "West Sanctions Jeopardize Lives of Iranian Patients":
“We’ve been faced with several issues about the drugs and medical instruments … We have several patients who have been deprived of drugs needed for the transplant…,” Ali Jafari, a transplant surgeon, said.
Many patients, suffering from diseases such as diabetes, kidney failure, hemophilia, multiple sclerosis, thalassemia, and leukemia, are affected by the sanctions.
“I ask those who have imposed sanctions on Iran: What is the fault of those patients who are losing their lives for your political goals? Why should these people die as a result of a shortage of medicine,” a patient said.