Head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, and President Ahmadinejad at Sunday's ceremonies for the anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini's death
Najafi has been targeted by clerics, politicians, and pro-regime activists since he released "Naqi", a song critiquing Iranian politics and society, in May. His critics claim Najafi has dishonoured the name of Naqi, Shi'a's 10th Imam.
Meanwhile, Najafi, who lives in exile in Germany, has given an interview to German broadcaster ARD.
1940 GMT: Surveillance Watch. MTN Irancell, a joint venture between MTN Group Ltd of South Africa and an Iranian government-controlled consortium, has obtained sophisticated U.S. computer equipment despite sanctions.
MTN Irancell sourced equipment from Sun Microsystems Inc, Hewlett Packard Co, and Cisco Systems Inc through a network of technology companies in Iran and the Middle East.
Reuters reported in March and April that ZTE Corp, a Chinese telecom-equipment maker, had sold or agreed to ship millions of dollars worth of U.S. hardware and software since 2010 to Iran's largest telecom carrier, Telecommunication Co of Iran.
Paul Norman, MTN Group's chief corporate affairs officer, said: "To the best of our knowledge, MTN personnel, directly or indirectly, did not acquire or seek to acquire equipment for use in Irancell's operations in a manner that was intended to avoid or circumvent U.S. sanctions. MTN is committed to compliance with U.S. sanctions, and is working with the U.S. government and its international legal counsel to remain compliant. MTN owns a non-controlling 49% share in Irancell."
1700 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. President Ahmadinejad, at a meeting with Egyptian journalists, has said the Islamic Republic and Egypt must unite for a global rule of Islam based on Ayatollah Khomeini's principles.
1630 GMT: Nuclear Watch. During a slow day for news, the headline this afternoon is the announcement of the International Atomic Energy Agency that its head, Yukiya Amano, will return to Tehran on 8 June 2012.
Amano was in Iran two weeks ago for talks about a protocol for IAEA inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities. He was optimistic afterwards, saying a deal was imminent; however, it never materialised amidst the Baghdad talks between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China) a few days later. Critics of Tehran subsequently claimed that the Islamic Republic was not only blocking IAEA access to the Parchin military site but was clearing it of evidence of activity for a militarised nuclear effort.
1040 GMT: Loyalty Watch. Seyed Abbas Nabavi, the head of the Islamic Civilisation Institute, has said that the "third generation", those Iranians born after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, must ease their pressure on the Supreme Leader.
Ayatollah Mamdouhi, who represents Kermanshah in the Assembly of Experts, explains that the law has a "strong backer called velayat-e faqih (clerical supremacy). Velayat-e faqih is the guide in all conflicts and guarantees the endurance of the nezam (system)."
David Cohen, the US Treasury's Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, told Ha'aretz, "If we don't get a breakthrough in [nuclear talks in mid-June in] Moscow, there is no question we will continue to ratchet up the pressure....We have today and over the past years had very close cooperation with the Israeli government across a range of our sanctions programs," he said. "They are creative. They are supportive and we will continue to consult with the Israelis."
0910 GMT: No Afghans, Please. Following our note yesterday of the university degrees which are prohibited to Afghans in Iran, Digarban posts a list of 31 provinces and cities where Afghans cannot live, as well as a list of the banned academic courses.
0710 GMT: We opened yesterday with the projection of a regime attempt to show unity and rally public support, on the occasion of the anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini's death.
That was an easy prediction to make, and the Supreme Leader obliged with a speech that proclaimed the West was scared of an Islamic Iran, rather than the spectre of the "nuclear Iran" it held up to the world. Ayatollah Khamenei backed up his "We're Winning" proclamation with the assurance that, while Tehran did not have and would not pursue nuclear attacks, its response to any Israeli attack would bring "thunder" upon West Jerusalem.
Still, amid the Supreme Leader's projection of strength beyond Iran, there were ripples on the domestic front. Khamenei said, "If the Islamic Republic's officials become selfish, arrogant and boastful, they will get a slap in the face." Both Digarban and Voice of America are interpreting that statement as a warning to President Ahmadinejad to behave himself.
And while Ahmadinejad has been muted lately in his challenges to others within the regime, not everyone in the crowd was behaving for unity on Sunday. ISNA reports that, in an echo of the discord on the same occasion two years ago, the speech of Seyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of Ayatollah was interrupted several times by people chanting, "Death to those against velayat-e faqih (clerical rule)."