1351 GMT: Espionage Watch. According to The Times of India, Delhi Police have alleged that members of the Revolutionary Guards were involved in the 13 February bomb attack on an Israeli diplomat in the Indian capital.
The investigation report states that the five Guards members had discussed the plan to attack Israeli diplomats in India and other countries with Indian journalist Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi in January 2011, after Iranian nuclear scientists were allegedly attacked by Israeli intelligence services.
“We are typing their sentences now and according to the sentence that was issued, four of the accused in this case were sentenced to death,” Mohseni Ejei said. He did not name the individuals sentenced to death.
Mohseni Ejei said two of the 39 defendants had been sentenced to life imprisonment, with others receiving sentences up to 25 years.
Customs-cleared imports rose to 170,389 barrels per day in June from 106,162 bpd in May, but were still down 33.9% from 2011.
Japan had to arrange State-backed insurance of up to $7.6 billion to cover the suspension of European-backed coverage for tankers with Iranian oil. Tokyo restarted loading from Iran on 20 July.
The value of Japan's imports from Iran for the first half of the year fell 26.8% to 380.1 billion yen ($4.83 billion) from a year earlier.
0952 GMT: Election Watch. A cross-section of Iranian politicians, including Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mohammad Reza Bahonar and reformist Darioush Ghanbari, have called for an "independent" body, separate from the three branches of Government, to supervise next year's Presidential election.
An EA correspondent assesses that the initiative is "the Supreme Leader's attempt to consolidate power, weakening a future Parliament and Government".
0945 GMT: All the President's Men. The Administrative Court has cancelled the "illegal" appointment of Saeed Mortazavi, Presidential advisor and former Tehran Prosecutor General, as head of the Social Security Fund.
An earlier court decision had barred Mortazavi from Government service because of accusations of his involvement, as Prosecutor General, in the abuse and killing of protesters in the Kahrizak detention centre in summer 2009. However, President Ahmadinejad defied the ruling and appointed Mortazavi as head of the Fund earlier this year.
Crude (oil) sales are a trap which we inherited from the years before the (1979) Revolution. Unfortunately, the country has been stuck and efforts must be made so that the people of Iran are freed from that trap....
It is possible to reach these conditions by relying on science and the knowledge base.
Reuters also notes a declaration from President Ahmadinejad in a meeting with MPs on Sunday:
Everyone should accompany the government by cutting costs and transforming stagnant property into productive assets....
The enemy is putting great pressures on the country and has fostered difficult conditions. But this is where we must once and for all make the enemy disappointed and regretful of its approach and actions.
0845 GMT: Corruption Watch. Alireza Avaei, the head of judiciary for Tehran Province, has said that a lawsuit has been filed against high-ranking judiciary official Mohammad Javad Larijani over a "land grab" in Javadabad in northern Iran.
0755 GMT: From "False Confessions" to Reporter in Syria. Former political prisoners have repeated their assertion that Hassan Shemshadi, a reporter in Damascus for Iran Central News Agency, was a collaborator with the security services after the disputed 2009 presidential election.
The former detainees have claimed since last autumn that Shemshadi was responsible for the production and recording of forced "false confessions" and was even present at the interrogation sessions in the wards of Evin Prison under the control of the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards.
The latest allegations come from Hossein Rassam, a local employee of the British Embassy who was seized in summer 2009.
0735 GMT: Currency Watch. Last week, to conserve reserves and try to sustain the Iranian currency, the Central Bank suspended the official exchange rate --- under which the Rial is 60% stronger than in the open market --- for all travellers except for those on pilgrimage.
Now it emerges that the pilgrims will also have to pay an increased cost for their foreign currency --- the limit for transactions at the official rate has been cut to $200 per person from $400, with no allowance for children.
0651 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). The rhetorical set-pieces continued after Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem met his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi on Sunday. Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani declared, "The Syrian government and nation, given their steadfastness and resistance against the terrorists flowing into their country, have proved that they enjoy a broad support, and can defuse various crises themselves,."
President Ahmadinejad explained that the Syrian crisis was caused by Western powers who "seek to save the Zionist regime and strengthen their domination".
0611 GMT: Chicken Watch. Tehran Provincial Governor Morteza Tamaddon has said chicken will be made available throughout Iran at 52,000 Rials per kilogramme (bout $1.90 per pound) after a decision by the Ministry of Industries, Mines and Commerce.
The price of fresh chicken has tripled in the past year amid declining domestic stocks, repeatedly reaching 90,000 Rials and leading to long queues for subsidised poultry.
0602 GMT: Energy Watch. China's National Petroleum Corporation has pulled out of Phase 11 of Iran's South Pars gas field.
Tehran signed a $4.7 billion contract with CNPC in 2009 after France's Total quit the project.
Iranian media said CNPC had delayed the project for more than three years and had not even begun preliminary steps such as leveling land and putting up fencing. The National Iranian Oil Company warned last year that it would "replace CNPC with domestic companies" if there ws no progress.
South Pars is one of the world's largest gas fields.
0555 GMT: Picture of Day. Student activist Bahareh Hedayat, serving a 9 1/2-year sentence and given a three-day furlough on Sunday, with other released or bailed political prisoners --- from left to right are Atefeh Nabavi, Nazanin Hassan-Nia (freed), Hedayat, Mahdieh Golroo (freed), and Nazanin Khosravani.
0545 GMT: The House Arrests. The eldest son of Mehdi Karroubi, the 2009 Presidential candidate held under strict house arrest since February 2011, has written “senior officials of the regime” to express concern over his father’s situation.
Mohammad Taghi Karroubi urged authorities either to transfer Karroubi to his home in Jamaran to continue his house arrest or to hold him in Evin Prison with other political prisoners. He said Karroubi should not be required to pay for his own incarceration and prison guards, nor should he be held in constant isolation, and he noted, “No government official or institution has claimed responsibility for the arrest of my father.”
Karroubi was shut away with fellow opposition figures Mir Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard amid regime fears of resurgent protests. He was transferred to a small apartment in summer 2011 after the house arrest was lifted on his wife Fatemeh.
0530 GMT: If you want a clear sign of the seriousness of Iran's economic problems, look no farther than Sunday's speech by the Supreme Leader. In March, Ayatollah Khamenei was hailing a Year of National Production; yesterday he was effectively putting the Islamic Republic on alert by declaring a "resistance economy":
The economy of resistance is not a slogan, but a reality which should be realised.
One of the best manifestations and most effective components of the economy of resistance is knowledge-based companies which can make the economy of resistance more sustainable.
The phrase harks backs to the 1980s when Iran was locked in an eight-year war with neighbouring Iraq, as well as facing the hostility and sanctions of the "West". This time, however, there is no overt war and there was not supposed to be an economic crisis, given President Ahmadinejad's announcement that the Government was creating millions of jobs and unemployment would eventually be wiped out, given State media's daily declaration of new plants, new investment, and new projects, given the regime's assurances that the sanctions would hurt the "West" rather than Iranians.
Now those Iranians are being told --- by their Supreme Leader --- that they should expect to suffer, albeit for the good and ultimate success of the country.