See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- A Death Sentence, Detaining Activists, Arresting Dogs br>
Iran Feature: "Economic Crisis Shaking Foundations of Social Order" br>
The Latest from Iran (23 April): "We Are the Inspiration for the Arab Spring"
1555 GMT: The Battle Within. MP Hossein Fadaee takes a swing at Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani: "Two brothers heading two powers [in the Iranian system] is not advisable."
Fadaee also threw out the charge that "some MPs supported the Aria Group", the firm at the centre of the $2.6 billion bank fraud.
Ahmadinejad sought Malekzadeh's appointment as Deputy Foreign Minister in June 2011 but had to withdraw the name after MPs threatened to impeach Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi over "the investigation [of Malekzadeh] for financial crimes".
1225 GMT: Parliament v. President. It looks the political tension over the economy is escalating --- an EA correspondent reports that the main issue in today's Parliament session has been a report on the outcome of subsidy cuts, with MPs criticising inflation (see 1220 GMT) and warning against a second phase.
Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has offered this assurance --- or is it a warning to President Ahmadinejad --- "The Majlis is supervised by Ayatollah Khamenei, no one else can control it."
1108 GMT: Oil Watch. A small opening for Tehran for restrictions on movement of its oil --- sources say Indian shipping firms will continue to transport Iranian crude even if limited insurance coverage leaves them financially exposed to a spill or accident.
New European Union sanctions could affect Iran, as 90% of the world's tanker insurance is based in the West, covering shipments to Iran's top Asian buyers China, India, Japan, and South Korea.
Shipping Corp of India, the country's largest shipping firm, Great Eastern, and other Indian tanker companies have asked state insurers to step in and provide up to $50 million in third-party liability coverage per tanker voyage.
That is a fraction of the typical $1 billion coverage that a supertanker carrying around 2 million barrels of crude would have from reinsurers against personal injury and pollution claims.
"To the best of our knowledge, over the last 10 years, none of the Indian shipping companies carrying Iranian crude oil into India has had any major incident relating to pollution or anything," Shipping Corp Chairman S. Hajara said. "Since there have been no claims in 10 years, we felt if we have cover of $50 million as a commercial organization it would be worthwhile for us to continue in that business."
1059 GMT: The House Arrests. Rah-e Sabz reports that opposition figures Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, held under strict house arrest since February 2011, have been cut off from their family with no phone calls in more than two weeks. Menawhile, Iran's intelligence service is spreading rumours abt Mousavi's poor health.
Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker of Pariament Mohammad Reza Bahonar has repeated that the Supreme Leader authorised the house arrests.
1050 GMT: Debt Watch. The head of the staff implementing subsidy cuts says that the Government now owes 63 trillion Toman (about $50 billion at official rate; about $35 billion at open-market rate) to the Central Bank.
0820 GMT: The Battle Within. Looks like former Government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham is in a bit of trouble after he said the Expediency Council was a place for "idle people", implying that politicians were put on the body to prevent them from causing trouble for the regime.
Regime officials have responded that the remarks are an insult to the Council and to each and every member, chosen by the Supreme Leader, adding, "If [Elham] had a strong religious and knowledge foundation, [he] would not have made such silly remarks."
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar jabbed that, if Elham was correct, "he himself would have been in this Council, because he is jobless".
0750 GMT: Criminal Dog Watch. The Iranian Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals claims that police are again detaining pet dogs, with 20 seized in Pardisan Park last week as their owners walked them.
The regime considers keeping dogs un-Islamic, but has usually tolerated the pets.
0741 GMT: Labour Front. Radio Zamaneh reports on the claim from the head of the House of Workers, Alireza Mahjoub, that 100,000 workers have been laid off from 1,000 production units in the past year.
Citing official statistics, Mahjoub said women comprise two-thirds of those laid off: “Women in many large manufacturing units and carpet-weaving are sometimes receiving two-thirds of the approved minimum wage but they refrain from filing complaints for fear of losing their jobs.”
Labour activist Faramarz Tofighi asserted 30% of workers in the manufacturing sector have been laid off since the Iranian New Year began on 20 March. Tofighi said that manufacturers are facing the effects of sanctions, the restructuring of Government subsidies, and the lack of Government-support packages.
Mahjoub called for a halt to the second phase of subsidy cuts and cited the lack of regulations on imported goods as a threat to Iranian manufacturing.
The House of Workers is planning a march for May 1, but the Government has said a permit must be approved. Mahjoub has declared that workers will rally across Iran if the permit is no granted by the Ministry of Interior.
0624 GMT: Nothing to See Here, Move Along. The public-relations section of Qazvin's Revolutionary Guards responds to last week's report that 11 commanders were dismissed --- not true, they were "upgraded" or "retired".
0617 GMT: All is Well at the Book Fair? Press TV proclaims, "Iran to Hold 25th Intl. Book Fair", but others are not so sure of the celebration. Voice of America and Khodnevis report on the leading publishers --- Café Lavasan, Title, Cheshmeh, Sales --- that are restricted. The book-cafés of Sales and some publishers have been shut down, while Cheshmeh and others are banned entirely.
0600 GMT: We open this morning with another problem for the Islamic Republic --- the cyber-attacks that threaten an oil industry already trying to overcome sanctions.
Yesterday Iranian media reported that the "Viper" virus had attacked the computers of Iran's infrastructure, including the Ministry of Oil, the National Iranian Oil Company, and the country's installations. Equipment at Kharg Island, which handles about 90% of Iran's oil exports, and other plants were disconnected from the Internet as a precaution.
The sites of the Ministry of Oil and National Iranian Oil Company have now been restored, with the reassurace that the "main data" has not been compromised, as it was on an internal network of servers not linked to the Internet. This morning State news IRNA headlines with the declaration that "all functional units are active". Quds Online writes that 50 experts from the Tehran Metro have been seconded to the Ministry of Oil to support its IT team.
Still, the source of the attack has not been identified --- Germany's Der Spiegel points at Israel's intelligence service Mossad --- and Iran faces other, continuing problems with its oil. Yesterday it emerged that 56% of the Islamic Republic's tanker capacity was being used for floating storage, for the crude that is no longer being sold on the international market.