See also Syria Audio Feature: Iranian Rappers Sing for the People of Homs br>
Iran Snapshot: The Economy --- "How Am I Going to Live Like This?" br>
The Latest from Iran (19 February): "The Islamic Republic Does Not Need a Supreme Leader"
2225 GMT: Apologies for limited service today, as EA staff have been travelling and giving presentations. We will be back from 0600 GMT with latest news.
Neither European countries nor Iran can disregard the need for mutual cooperation because we are both complementary to each other, Salehi told reporters on the sidelines of a two-day conference on relations between Iran and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Tehran on Monday.
The top Iranian diplomat further said that enhanced economic ties with all countries is among the priorities of Iran's foreign policy, stressing that Tehran attaches importance to bolstering relations with neighboring countries as well as the member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).
1110 GMT: Tough Talk of the Day. Five of Press TV's Top 10 "Iran" stories are declarations of the strength of Tehran's armed forces: "Iran Warships Indicate Naval Might"; "Iranian Ships in Syria Worry Israel; "Iran's Cyber Defense Tough, Deterring"; "Iran to Develop New Military Aircraft"; "IRGC Begins Key Phase of Ground Drills".
None of the website's Top 10 stories are about developments inside Iran.
0655 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Mihan claims that detained physician and blogger Mehdi Khazali has fallen into a coma on the 43rd day of his hunger strike. The website said Khazali has been moved to a hospital under the control of the Revolutionary Guards.
0650 GMT: Campus Watch. Gholam Ali Haddad, a member of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, has insisted that the media "should not be worried" about the situation of the Islamic Azad University, where the camps of current President Ahmadinejad and former President Rafsanjani are fighting for control.
Hamid Mirzadeh, one of the trustees of the University, said that they will meet on Wednesday, although the issue of Farhad Daneshjoo --- appointed by Ahmadinejad to head the university but resisted by Rafsanjani --- is not on the agenda.
0620 GMT: Elections Watch. Yet another list of principlist candidates for the 2 March election has appeared. This one is composed of prominent politicians excluding from the main list of the Unity Front, including Hassan Ghafourifard of the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution and MPs Ali Motahari, Ali Abbaspour, and Hamidreza Katouzian.
The list has 21 names and more are promised.
Motahari, in a long interview with Khabar Online has reiterated that, in an Islamic Government, there should be no limit on criticism of the system and the officials within it.
Meanwhile, Alireza Zakani of the Unity Front is concentrating on the "deviant current" which "is trying to dominate the Parliament". He alleged that the current had tried to paid a bribe of 270 million Toman (about $150,000) to a senior member of Parliament to stand as a candidate.
Hojatoleslam Rasaei praised the pro-Ahmadinejad faction --- “The presence of the candidates of the Resistance Front in the next Parliament would mean a better management than before" --- while swiping at Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani. He said, “Larijani did not take a clear stand towards the 'sedition current'. In fact, with his ambiguous stands, he is giving artificial respiration to the current sedition.”
The Government has been caught between Parliamentary criticism that its subsidy cuts programme, launched in December 2010, is actually losing money and the opposition of wealthier Iranians to a reduction, let alone abolition, of their support payments.
The second phase of cuts was promised at the end of last year but has yet to be put in place.
0530 GMT: Straight into the news with interesting chatter about a meeting which may or may not have taken place --- Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, the head of the Assembly of Experts, has denied news that he had a long discussion with the Supreme Leader.
Reports had claimed that Mahdavi Kani had raised issues such as the criticism of the system and the Leader by some members of the Assembly, President Ahmadinejad's behaviour and "the criticism of him and his administration”, and the case of former Foreign Minister Ebrahim Yazdi, almost 80 years old and serving an eight-year sentence: "he is very old and ill and he might die in prison; if that happens, it will not be good for the Islamic Republic and its reputation".
Mahdavi Kani also reportedly suggested "the positive role that [former President] Hashemi Rafsanjani can play for getting more people to participate" in the Parliamentary election; "it might be a good idea to get Hashemi more involved and bring him into the scene”.
According to the report, Ayatollah Khamenei replied, "This ‘Sir’ (Rafsanjani) sticks to his own views only, and Ahmadinejad does not act wisely; and in such situation it is not good and appropriate that the members of the Assembly start criticising or raise criticisms."
As for Ebrahim Yazdi, the Supreme Leader said, "He is guilty and so he has to face his sentence."