Nikahang Kowsar links the Supreme Leader's defiance to current worries about the rising price of chicken: "Rethink our economic policy? A chicken has one foot! (a Persian euphemism for stubbornness)"
See also Iran Feature: You've Been Thunderstruck --- AC/DC's Heavy Metal Joins the CyberWar br> < br />The Latest from Iran (24 July): A Protest in Neyshabour "About The High Prices of Food, About Everything"
1721 GMT: Sanctions Watch. Salar Abnush, the Qazvin commander of the Revolutionary Guards, has declared that sanctions have been imposed against the Islamic Republic because Iranians are waiting for the return of the Hidden Imam.
1712 GMT: Nuclear Watch. Ali Bagheri, Iran's deputy nuclear negotiator, has said that the next round of talks with the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia) will be in Istanbul.
Bagheri made the announcement after he and the deputy negotiator for the 5+1, the European Union's Helga Schmid, saw Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara. Bagheri and Schmid had met on Tuesday, the first contact between the two sides since 3 July.
1640 GMT: Economy Watch. Parliament's meetings with Cabinet ministers have produced an agreement "to cut budget spending...and focus on domestic production." Minister of Economy Shamseddin Hosseini said.
Hosseini added, "The conclusion of today's meeting between the economic officials of the government and lawmakers is to minimise the effects of sanctions," after meetings which also included the Ministers of Oil, Commerce, and Agriculture and the head of the Central Bank.
1450 GMT: All-Is-Well Alert (Syrian Edition). Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has assured reporters that Syria's enemies have failed --- the country is moving toward calm, with the military gradually gaining control over the armed opposition.
1332 GMT: All-Is-Well Alert. The director general of the automobile manufacuter Iran Khodro has said it is coping with a February decision by French carmaker Peugeot to halt exports of vehicle kits for assembly.
“Iran Khodro has managed to become self-sufficient in producing 90 percent of the parts for the (Peugeot) 206, and an effort is being made to use local suppliers for parts that were previously imported,” Najari said.
Parliament summoned three Ministers for discussions on the economic situation today.
1207 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). Minister of Defense Ahmad Vahidi has denied the despatch of Iranian forces to help the Assad regime, saying that Damascus can handle "terrorists" on its own.
0941 GMT: Supreme Leader Watch. Reuters, citing Fars, offers another telling extract from Ayatollah Khameini's, effectively admitting difficulties --- even as he talked in another passage of the Islamic Republic's strength --- while calling for the Iranian establishment to pull together:
The reality is that there are problems, however you must not blame them on this or that party. Instead you must solve those problems with unity.
You should avoid useless disputes and airing these disputes to help preserve the nation's unity...and officials should know these actions will not bring them any honor or prestige among the people.
0824 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). Is this a sign of a shift in Iran's position on Syria? Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has called for an analysis in which "realism" will solve the problem. He said "neither side is winning" and asserted that free elections are the "best way to avoid a drawn-out war".
0730 GMT: I Am Not Dead Yet. Earlier this week rumours, fed by an Israeli news service, circulated of the death of the head of the Qods Force of the Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Suleimani, in last week's bombing in Damascus that killed senior members of the Syrian regime.
This photo of officials listening to last night's speech by the Supreme Leader indicates otherwise --- Suleimani is second from left:
0725 GMT: Chicken Watch.b A queue for subsidised chicken in Bushehr in southern Iran:
0549 GMT: Preferring Ahmadinejad to Khamenei? Make of this what you will --- the Supreme Leader is nowhere to be found on State news agency IRNA's homepage. Instead, the site headlines President Ahmadinejad's address to the Ayatollah Khamenei and officials on "the Government's commitment to the values, principles and fundamental rights of the Iranian nation".
Mehr captures the excitement of the Supreme Leader and senior officials listening to Ahmadinejad's speech:
They explicitly say that by intensifying the pressure and the sanctions, they are seeking to force Iranian officials to reconsider their calculations. But in reality, we will not rethink our calculations, and we will continue to trod the path of the Iranian nation more resolutely...
The enmity of these arrogant governments toward the Islamic Republic arises from their hostility toward the foundations of the Islamic establishment, but they are trying to justify their hostility toward the Iranian nation on the pretexts of the nuclear energy program and defending human rights.
Ayatollah Khamanei declared that careful observation would show that it was the Islamic Republic which was strong and the US and its partners who were weak:
The fate of the US in Iraq, the increasing and endless problems of the US in Afghanistan, and the failure of US policies in the Middle East are typical examples of the growing weakness in the front of our enemies.
“The serious economic crisis in Europe and the eurozone, instability in several European countries, and the collapse of some European governments, as well as the high budget deficit and the 99 percent (Occupy) movement in the US, are important events that should not be ignored.