Iranians line up to buy cheaper chicken as the price of meat rises sharply
More interesting than Ghazanfari's rhetoric was the effective admission that he had come to Qom after senior clerics had protested over inflation. The minister insisted that difficult days have passed, that the situation in the market is good, and that “we have a sufficient stock (of goods)".
2129 GMT: Morality Watch. ISNA reports that security forces and members of the "morality police" raided 87 cafes and restaurants in a district of Tehran on Saturday, shutting them "for not following Islamic values, providing hookah to women, and lacking proper licenses".
Moslehi warned of the enemy's "new plan" for a separation of religion and state.
The Minister of Intelligence also repeated his claim of foreign-supported terrorists killing Iran's nuclear scientists, "One of the measures that the recently apprehended groups were supposed to carry out was assassination of certain individuals on the basis of precise and detailed plans.
1400 GMT: Foreign Worker Watch. Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Abdolreza Sheikhol-Eslami has been denying Chinese workers are employed in building the Tehran-Caspian Freeway, but reporters from ILNA and Fars claim 700 Chinese employees are working on the project.
MP Nader Ghazipour has said the employment of Chinese workers in domestic projects is illegal and has called for an investigation.
1226 GMT: Economy Watch. More bad news from the automotive sector after a fall of 36% in production this year --- 400 of 500 workers of the Zagros Khodro car parts factory have been dismissed after co-operation with Malaysia stopped.
1033 GMT: Strait Watch. General Hassan Firouzabadi, the head of Iran's armed forces, has repeated that the military is ready to block the Strait of Hormuz but added that the final decision is that of the Supreme Leader.
Meanwhile, General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, the commander of ground forces, has done the chest-thumping today: “The helicopters of Iran's Army have been equipped with systems that will enable them to compete in an unequalled battle."
0933 GMT: Reformist Watch. Mohammad Reza Tabesh has said "reformists have no problem with leadership"; however, he said conditions are not favourable for participation in Presidential elections next year.
Tabesh did say that former President Mohammad Khatami has no desire to run for the office again.
0926 GMT: Currency Watch. Aftab offers insight into today's intervention by Central Bank head Mahmoud Bahmani about instability of the Iranian currency. The website claims the Central Bank and Ministry Economy are in dispute over strategy as the price of gold coins has again risen above 700,000 Toman (about $580 at official rate).
One sign of the significance of gold amid the economic crisis? Imports of gold from Turkey have risen eight-fold in the first five months of 2012.
0915 GMT: Apocalypse Watch. Prominent cleric Mehdi Taeb has said talks over diplomatic relations with the US would be the downfall of the Islamic Republic and warned that the world is near economic collapse.
0805 GMT: Corruption Watch. First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, who has been accused of involvement in a major insurance fraud, has hit back at an accuser: "The one who claims to fight corruption owns 31 apartment complexes and protests loudly when asked about it."
Rahimi did not offer a name or details.
An EA correspondent notes, however, the juxtaposition of Rahimi's comment with the filtering of Alef website, linked to prominent MP Ahmad Tavakoli, after it published Tavakoli's comments last Monday claiming systematic corruption in Government.
Alef has not been updated since Wednesday.
Another target may be Davood Ahmadinejad, the brother of the President, who has accused the "deviant current" in the Government of trying to set people against the Supreme Leader by supporting inflation.
0705 GMT: A slow start to Sunday in Iran, however --- in contrast to the normal diet from State media of all-is-well assertions about the economy --- IRNA leads with more telling remarks from the head of the Central Bank, Mahmoud Bahmani, that the currency market is still "unrealistic".
The Iranian Rial has settled after a slide last month, but it is still at 19150:1 vs. the US dollar on the open market, a gap of almost 60% from the "official" rate of 12260:1.
Bahmani offered no hint of measures to deal with the issue, which has significantly affected Iranian production and fed inflation because of the rising cost of imports.
The opposition site Kalemeh reinforces the story --- running through EA all week --- of the soaring price of chicken and the long queues of Iranians seeking cheaper meat. This weekend, the head of Iran's police criticised films that show people eating chicken as they incite the poor "to stab the rich".