1946 GMT: Protest Watch. More on the demonstration over high prices, especially for food, in Neyshabour in northeastern Iran --- ISNA reports that the low number of subsidised chickens stirred the protest and that the head of the Industry & Trade Bureau has promised more will be delivered. The local chief of police attended the gathering as well and assured the crowd that he would report their demands to authorities.
The blog that originally reported the protest has now withdrawn the news and pictures.
1441 GMT: Remembering the Dead. The parents of Sane Jaleh, killed by security forces during a protest on 14 February 2011, at his grave:
In more conciliatory spirit, Larijani said the Islamic Republic was proposing a committee to hold Presidential elections in Syria.
1415 GMT: Reformist Watch. In this overview of possible reformist involvement in the 2013 Presidential election, these quotes from Esmail Gerami-Moghaddam, spokesman for the reformist National Trust Party of detained opposition figure Mehdi Karroubi, stand out:
With the failures of (President Ahmadinejad's two terms), people will welcome the reformists. If we enter the elections with a strong candidate, the government will be forced to respect people's votes....
It's true that even if we get the presidency we will not be able to do much. But then we can take the next steps in the direction of parliament and government reforms.
If we reformists don't participate in the elections, by our own hand we will have handed things over to our rivals.
Interestingly, given this context, Reuters does not note the break-away of opposition activist Mojtaba Vahedi from Karroubi and the pro-election reformists (see 0815 GMT): "The last presidential elections were rigged and that this government is not trustworthy of people’s vote and thus has no legitimacy to perform free elections."
1300 GMT: Hijab Watch. Ayatollah Khomeini's granddaughter Naeimeh Eshraghi, a petrochemical engineer, has criticised mandatory hijab --- she claims her grandfather, as Supreme Leader, never ordered the compulsory covering of the head by women:
1224 GMT: Economy Watch. Claimed video and photograph of a protest against rising prices in Neyshabour in northeastern Iran --- chants included "Shame on these high prices", "Be ashamed Government", and "Leave the people to be free":
1218 GMT: Food Watch. Opposition site Rah-e Sabz reports, with a chart, that prices of food items at the start of Ramadan are up between 18 and 100% compared to last year, with an average increase of more than 40%.
1210 GMT: Energy Watch. Aftab reports that the recent dissolution of the National Gas Export Comp has caused problems for Indian, Greek, and Swiss customers, with three large export projects endangered.
1204 GMT: Chicken Watch. A vendor selling aubergines declares, "Black Chicken: 800 Toman per kilo".
The price of "real" chicken has soared in Iran, reaching up to 9000 Toman (about $7.40 at official rate) per kilogramme in parts of Tehran.
Aqajari said the first court hearing on allegations that Reuters libeled Iranian women pursuing martial arts as assassins will be held on 30 September.
The official appeared to hold out a chance for Reuters to maintain its office, saying its staff have "already expressed apology for the report both during phone conversations and correspondence, but they need to repeat them in person as well".
Iranian authorities suspended the Reuters office, withdrawing the press cards of its staff, after a headline on a video feature on Iranian women training in ninjutsu --- an item originally on Iranian State TV --- included the word "assassins".
1134 GMT: Nuclear Watch. State news agency IRNA reports that the deputy heads of the Iranian and 5+1 (US, UK, France, Germany, China, Russia) nuclear negotiating teams will meet in Istanbul on Tuesday.
It will be the second meeting between Iran's Ali Bagheri and the European Union's Helga Schmid since the stalemated talks between the two sides in Moscow on 17-18 June. No further top-level discussions have been scheduled.
1131 GMT: Strait Watch. Alireza Tangsiri, a deputy naval commander in the Revolutionary Guards, has downplayed the threat to block the vital waterway of the Strait of Hormuz: "The enemies constantly state that the Islamic Republic of Iran intends to close the Strait of Hormuz but we say that common sense does not dictate that Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz as long as it makes use of it."
1005 GMT: All-Is-Well Alert (Syrian Front). An "analysis" by Mehdi Mohammadi, the political editor of Keyhan --- published in Iran Review and promoted by the US-based Race for Iran, props up Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi's declaration that "all is normal" in Damascus:
The body of the existing evidence shows that during past days, as most locations in Syria were relatively calm and clashes in Syria were focused on the capital city, the Syrian army has had a remarkable upper hand. The recent suicide attack targeting the Syrian National Security Council in Damascus was exactly a direct result of the fact that the opposition has found itself in more dire straits that it originally expected. At any rate, it is beyond any doubt that Damascus is the last stop for the armed opposition. The government’s capacity to deal with such armed attacks has greatly increased due to three major reasons. Firstly, the true nature of the opposition has been revealed for the ordinary people. Secondly, people are backing the government stronger than before. And thirdly, the main figures of the opposition are now concentrated in a small geographical expanse....
Despite what may seem on the surface, the strategic equation of the region as a result of the ongoing developments in Syria has by no means changed to the detriment of Iran.
Uskowi on Iran offers the significance, "Mohammadi's argument, as delusional as it might seem, is the most articulate posting of Iranian perspective on the current situation in Syria."
0815 GMT: Reformist Watch. In a lengthy interview with Rooz Online, opposition activist Mojtaba Vahedi explains his decision to end 30 years of co-operation with Mehdi Karroubi, the 2009 Presidential candidate who has been held under strict house arrest since February 2011, "While Mr. Karroubi wants an Islamic Republic, I believe that if a vote was taken, people no longer want such a regime."
Vahedi specifically challenged those reformists who advocate participation in next year's Presidential election:
As someone who has been a supporter of the Green Movement, and will continue to be, I believe that...the last presidential elections were rigged and that this government is not trustworthy of people’s vote and thus has no legitimacy to perform free elections.
There is no problem if anyone who wants to participate in the upcoming presidential elections, breaks away from the Green Movement. But if he wants to continue to be part of the Green Movement and at the same time remain affiliated with this regime, these election laws, and structure, then this is a deception.
The U.S.'s effort to wield economic pressure to influence Iranian leaders is having the unintended consequence of hurting Afghanistan, which relies on remittances from millions of migrants living in the country to its west.
On the Iranian side of the border, authorities have been forcing Afghan migrant workers to leave the country, even those with proper papers. In western Afghanistan, on the border with Iran, some businessmen complain they are being undercut by Iranian goods sold cheaply because of the declining value of the Iranian currency, the rial.
Digarban summarises the protests of other pro-Ahmadinejad bloggers against the detention. It links the latest arrest to a rhetorical fight in Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and high-ranking judiciary official Mohammad Javad Larijani have been accused of corruption over land deals. The site headlines, "13th Conservative Critics of Larijani Brothers Arrested".
0625 GMT: Immigration Watch. Issa Mousavi Nassab, the head of immigration for Tehran Province has announced: “560,000 unauthorized citizens have been identified and processed. Of these files, the married individuals have been issued passports and those who are single have been given time to leave the country.”
The statement appears to refer in particular to recent debate over the handling of Afghan immigrants, with Nassab saying there are close to 840,000 Afghani nationals in Tehran. He declared that Afghanis and other foreign nationals can only reside in Iran with residency cards or passports, and those who have neither can be dealt with by security forces in accordance with the law.
In recent weeks, authorities have restricted the locations where Afghans can live and have increased pressure on their employment. Nassab pointedly said that undocumented citizens have no work permit, and employers that hire such workers will be subject to prosecution.
0600 GMT: We begin with an intervention by 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, who has expressed "strong support" for the controversial Presidential aide and former Tehran Prosecutor General, Saeed Mortazavi.
Mortazavi, also the head of the Social Security Fund, has been under sustained political and legal pressure for three years. He was Prosecutor General at the time of the abuses in the Kahrizak detention centre, in which at least three detainees died, amid the protests after the 2009 Presidential election. Last week, at a memorial for the three men who were tortured and killed, Abdolhossein Ruholamini --- the father of one of the men, a leading conservative political activist, and the campaign manager for the Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei --- called for trials for those responsible for the deaths. Sixteen MPs have called on the Minister of Justice Minister to “speed up” the prosecution of the case.
The Government's support for Mortazavi is not surprising. President Ahmadinejad stood up to Parliament when it threatened to impeach the Minister of Labour over Mortazavi's appointment at the Social Security Fund, and last year he declared a "red line" against prosecution of anyone in his inner circle.
However, the timing and high profile of the statement by Rahimi --- himself a target of corruption allegations and a suspect in a major insurance fraud --- is curious. With the Government is coming under increasing pressure from within the establishment over economic difficulties, the Vice President's forthright declaration appears to be picking an unnecessary fight.
Trying to think what could possibly be behind Ahmadinejad Government standing behind Saeed Mortazavi, surely only a publicity disaster?
Maybe it is the amount of dirt Mortazavi has on Government? Must be approaching height of Mount Everest by now.