Nikahang Kowsar portrays a President Obama tying up Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with the cord of sanctions, "A good boy doesn't play with nukes"
1727 GMT: All the President's Men. Mehr reports that Hamid Pourmohammadi, the former deputy head of the Central Bank, is continuing to attend important meetings of the Ahmadinejad administration even though he is accused of playing a part in the $2.6 billion bank fraud and is currently free on bail.
Mehr published a photo of Pourmohammadi at the recent meeting of the Petrochemical Industry Development Committee with 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi.
Pourmohammadi’s presence at government meetings has also been challenged by leading MP Ahmad Tavakoli on his website Alef.
1723 GMT: The Revolutionary Guards Respond. Revolutionary Guards Commander Ramezan Sharif has hid back at the accusations of conservative MP Ali Motahari (see 1349 GMT) --- Sharif said the Guards had no role in Parliamentary elections and Motahari should present any evidence that he has.
The commander added that prosecution of Motahari for libel was possible.
Akefian had given a car, a present from President Ahmadinejad, to the headquarters of Mir Hossein Mousavi during the 2009 Presidential campaign./p>
Earlier this month, Ayatollah Khamenei's office banned publications and copies of the book were seized from the Tehran International Book Fair.
1349 GMT: Challenging the Revolutionary Guards. Looks like the vocal conservative MP Ali Motahari is making waves again --- he has accused the Revolutionary Guards of intervening in nine Parliamentary contests and "supporting strongly" their candidates in many districts.
1336 GMT: Manoeuvring for Negotiations. Three days before the formal resumption of nuclear talks, Minister of Economy Shamseddin Hosseini is appearing on CNN to declare that oil prices might go as high as $160 per barrel if the European Union proceeds with a cut-off of imports of Iranian crude from 1 July.
“We must pay close attention when we speak of oil revenues and sanctions against oil sales, who are the winners and the losers of such sanctions?” Hosseini said, in an interview airing today. “Indeed, it is difficult. But not just for Iran. And we can all rest assured that there will be a considerable increase in international oil market prices. Now, is this the best approach?”
Hosseini maintained the Islamic Republic has endured sanctions for 33 years: “This really shows that the economy, the economic strength of Iran is in such a way that can withstand these sanctions and will not be the only economy to suffer.”
The price of oil was close to $110 per barrel in February but is now about $92.50.
The Reuters bureau was shut by authorities last month, with 11 staff ordered to hand in press cards, over the agency's coverage of a story about Iranian women pursuing martial arts. Threats of arrest and detention have been made, and a prominent Reuters staffer has been summoned for questioning on at least two occasions.
1118 GMT: Crime Watch. Mehr features a Parliament report on smuggling which says only three of every 1000 cases are exposed. In 2009/2010, an estimated 19 to 24 trillion Toman ($15 to $20 billion at official rate) in goods were smuggled, but only 630 billion Toman (about $500 million) were discovered.
Prominent among the smuggled items were gasoline, clothing, boots, alcohol, rice, tea, and fruits.
1115 GMT: Bad Hijab Watch. Two of a series of photos posted by Mehr of Iran's "fashion police" protecting the country against inappropriate clothing:
There are 85 defendants, including administration officials; however, the name 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, whose name has been linked to the fraud, is not listed.
Arshama 3's Blog has background on the case.
The Ahmadinejad administration had said in December 2011 that the second phase was "imminent", but the plan has faced heavy political criticism and raised fears of even higher inflation.
In my opinion Mir Hossein Mousavi is an innocent and sincere man. I ask God almighty for the freedom of Mir Hossein Mousavi, his honorable wife [Rahnavard], Mehdi Karroubi and all political prisoners, the majority of whom are people of faith, dedicated to prayer, fasting and the reading the holy Quran. I also ask our merciful God to grant all of Mousavi's wishes, for they are inline with our religious laws.
0640 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Kalemeh claims that Mohamad Reza Motamednia, held in the medical clinice of Evin Prison, is on the 42nd day of his hunger strike, despite an effort by opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi --- held under strict house arrest --- to halt the fast.
Motamednia had said that he would only stop the hunger strike on a request by Mousavi, but security officials Motamednia's son from giving him Mousavi’s message.
Motamendia was a special advisor to Mousavi, then Prime Minister, and other senior officials during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s.
0610 GMT: It's not often you see Iranian State media casting President Obama in a good light, but Press TV does so this morning, "World Powers Hopeful about Iran-P5+1 talks in Baghdad: Obama".
The Iranian outlet's optimism is striking when neither The Washington Post nor The New York Times carry any story about the G8 summit, where the US President made his statement, and Iran. (However, it should be noted the the Times was fed the line by Adminstration officials on Friday, "Heading Into Talks With Iran, U.S. Sees Hopeful Signs".)
The reason for Press TV's decision to headline the story is clear in its text, as it cites that Times article, "These incentives may include easing restrictions regarding airplane parts."
Translation: the Islamic Republic is looking for a goodwill sign that the US and European powers will ease sanctions.
Question: does that gesture have to take place before Iran tables any proposal about its uranium enrichment?