2020 GMT: Sanctions Watch. For weeks, we have questioned public proclamation of India defying sanctions and increasing oil shipments from Iran, arguing that private discussions were weaning Delhi off Tehran's crude with assurances of alternative supplies.
Confirmation comes today in the report that India's oil imports from Tehran fell about 34% in April compared with March.
Reflecting the Government-to-Government talks between Washington and Delhi, including a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week, State-run buyers are at the forefront of reductions, leaving privately-owned Essar the biggest Indian client of Iran.
India's total oil imports from Iran in April fell to about 269,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 409,000 bpd in March and from about 449,000 bpd in April 2011.
2010 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Catching up after an academic day away....
The President has defended the implementation of the second phase of his subsidy cuts plan as the start of a major economic development
Addressing an audience in Khorasan Razavi Province in northeastern Iran, Ahmadinead asserted that Iran has the potential to be one of the world's major economies.
The Government announced in December that the second phase of the cuts was imminent, but has yet to put the plan into effect. It has been under sustained, heavy criticism from politicians, including a challenge last Friday by Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani claiming the Government was about to raise gasoline prices by up to 200% to finance the cuts.
Ahmadinejad responded in the speech by accusing his critics of “interference and bad decision-making", spreading rumours and “false news”.
Amrabadi was sentenced in October 2010 on a charge of "propaganda against the regime" based on her "interviews and journalistic reports". She later received an additional one-year sentence and a four-year suspended term on charges of "assembly and collusion against national security".
Amrabadi is the wife of imprisoned journalist Masoud Bastani, who is imprisoned for six years. Both were arrested in July 2009 in the aftermath of the disputed Presidential Election.
1645 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Back from an extended academic break to find an allegation from Mohammad Reza Attarzadeh, the Deputy Manager of Energy, responsible for water: President Ahmadinejad sold shares of a petrochemical company to Khatam al-Anbia, the engineering arm of the Revolutionary Guards, without a bid to finance his project to move water from the Caspian Sea to the desert.
Khamenei, a prominent reformist, said Karroubi is "one of those rare figures that will not fear entering dangerous situations and no one can deny his honesty, commitment and responsibility".
Praising Karoubi's wife --- who was also held under house arrest for more than a year before her conditions were eased --- and family, he prayed for the release of Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard.
The Karroubis, Mousavi, and Rahnavard were put under guard in February 2011.
0815 GMT: Ahmadinejad Rumour of Day. Tehran-e-Emrooz, linked to Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, has claimed that the President's camp are planning for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to return to the Tehran mayor's office after his Presidential term ends in 2013.
Ahmadinejad was mayor of the Iranian capital from 2003 to 2005.
The report add that the plan is for "one of Ahmadinejad's close friends" to take over the Presidency.
Without endorsing the rumour, prominent Tehran-based analyst Sadegh Zibakalam has said, "Ahmadinejad is not a person like Hashemi [Rafsanjani] or [Mohammad] Khatami who would just step down after the end of his Presidency".
Zibakalam projected that Ahmadinejad will fight to keep some of the influence and support that he has gathered and gained during the last seven years: "He is logically after creating two types of power, one is to get close to a person who is likely to become the next President and to support that person to win the election; otherwise, it is to keep some of these power and support for himself outside the Presidency."
0725 GMT: Nuclear Watch, Then and Now. In an interview with the monthly Mehrnameh, Iran's former chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani has made a series of interesting claims about past discussions between Tehran and the "West". Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi offers a summary and critique....
Rohani said that an offer was made by the Bush Administration in 2004 for high-level negotiations with Iran. What's more, the Americans allegedly told Mohamed El Baradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, that they were prepared to address not only the nuclear issue, but all outstanding issues with Tehran. Rohani claims the offer was rejected by the Supreme Leader.
The account overturns most conventional wisdom, which is that the Bush Administration dismissed out of hand Iran's 2003 letter, via the Swiss Ambassador, proposing a "grand bargain".
Rohani also speaks of a 2006 meeting in Berlin with former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who said that despite Iran having reached a deal with European countries over the Isfahan enrichment site, the US rejected the negotiations because they were excluded from the process.
So what does this mean for the present? Note first Rohani's comment:
"We had to choose between a bicycle, Peykan [an Iranian car, notoriously unreliable, and here representing Europe] and a Mercedes Benz [the US]. The decision was made not to ride in the Mercedes, so we stayed with the Peykan and the bicycle."
Rohani is very close to former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, the same Rafsanjani who said last month, ---provoking much heated discussion --- that Iran needed to resume discussions and links with the US. About the same time, a story appeared that Rohani, without his clerical robes, visited Vienna --- the implication was that Rohani and others were involved in "backstage" talks accompanying the formal opening of negotiations in Istanbul between Iran and the 5+1 Powers.active behind the scenes during the course of the Istanbul talks.
So the sudden appearance of the interview points to reinforcement of the message that discussions should proceed with the US, as well as the European powers, China, and Russia, in Baghdad on 23 May and in preparatory meetings for that encounter.
But is the Rohani-Rafsanjani line one which has been agreed with the Supreme Leader or one which is trying to push Ayatollah Khamenei further down the road to full and frank talks with the prospect of an agreement?
0445 GMT: We begin with a comment by the Supreme Leader on leading opposition figures Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, held for almost 15 months under strict house arrest along with Mousavi's wife Zahra Rahnavard.
According to Melli-Mazhabi, the website of the Nationalist-Religious Coalition, conservative cleric Ayatollah Ostadi recently met with Ayatollah Khamenei and asked him to release the three.
The Supreme Leader responded, "I do not oppose their release, but can you guarantee that after they are released they will remain silent and will not speak against the interests of the nezaam?"