1810 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Egyptian and Syrian Fronts). Press TV highlights the latest push by Tehran to present an Iranian-Egyptian alliance under the headline "Egypt Revolution Undoubtedly Inspired by Iran":
Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, says the Egyptian revolution was “undoubtedly” inspired by the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.
“We are happy that despite all the difficulties an Islamist [presidential] candidate won in Egypt,” Velayati said in a meeting with the Secretary General of Egypt's Amal Party Magdi Hussein in Tehran on Monday....
Velayati described [Egyptian President Mohamed] Morsi’s victory as “a very important achievement,” saying, “Safeguarding this achievement is more important than achieving it".
Velayati also had some sharp words about the Syrian political crisis, “Certain regional states and aggressive countries such as the US and the Israeli regime have joined hands and hatched a plot against the Syrian government.” He said the public’s problems would undoubtedly be resolved based on the reforms which are underway.
Parvaresh said 12 points in Europe are now denying re-fuelling and added that Iranian airplanes are now carrying enough fuel for their entire trip so that they can make their return voyage without refueling outside of the country.
1705 GMT: Nuclear Watch. A European Union spokesman has said the deputy nuclear negotiators for Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and China) will meet in Istanbul on 24 July.
Deputy European Union foreign policy chief Helga Schmid will meet with Iran's Ali Bagheri, following last week's technical talks in Istanbul./p>
“The objective for the meeting of Schmid and Bagheri is to look further at how existing gaps in positions could be narrowed and how the process could be moved forward,” the spokesman said.
1635 GMT: Cartoons of the Day. Nikahang Kowsar is a bit sceptical about President Ahmadinejad's support payments for subsidy cuts:
And Kowsar is not exactly hopeful about "New Government Measures to Fight Inflation", even has his Ahmadinejad, says, "Just hold on a bit longer":
1625 GMT: Loyalty Watch. Loyalty to the Supreme Leader, that is and not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or his predecessors....
Hossein Allahkaram, the head of Ansar-e Hezbollah, has said:
In all three eras [the Presidencies of Rafsanjani, Khatami and Ahmadinejad] the issue of a political chalice of poison has been advanced. During Hashemi Rafsanjani, a certain group asked for Presidency for life and demand transformation of Iran into Malaysia. In the Khatami era, the sixth Parliamentary session asked for relations with the United States....In the Ahmadinejad era, the current of deviation, just like the current of sedition, tries to define a new path by calling the Zionist regime a friend.
(Hat tip to Iran Tracker for translation)
1420 GMT: The Battle Within. MP Ali Motahari has responded to yesterday's announcement by Tehran Prosecutor General Abbas Jafari Doulatabadi that Motahari would be charged for slanderous comments --- the MP said the prosecutor does not have jurisdiction over Parliamentary speeches.
Tavakoli has been a leading critic of the Ahmadinejad Government, especially over economic issues.
The immediate reason for the ban may be publication of Part 1 of a lengthy opinion piece by Tavakoli about Parliamentary oversight of the Government.
0500 GMT: More than a week after European Union oil sanctions came into effect, after confirmation that Japan and South Korea have halted imports of Tehran's crude for July, after problems with exports to China because of a dispute over freight charges, and after further pull-outs of foreign investment, Iranian officials are seeking a bit of good news in response.
There was the claim over the weekend that Iran could make arrangements with a private consortium to keep some oil moving to Europe. There was the assertion that Iran can replace European insurance to cover its tankers. And then Minister of Oil Rustam Qassemi stepped up on Sunday:
China has agreed to invest USD20 billion in developing north and south Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields which will finally produce 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil.
Speaking to reporters in a visit to the Petropars Company on Sunday, the oil minister said the agreement for developing Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields has been reached after 10-15 years of negotiations with the Chinese side. He added that the Chinese side has started its activities by investing USD20 billion dollars in the oil fields.
“So far more than 20 drilling rigs have been installed in Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields and plans have been made for the daily production of 700,000 bpd of crude oil [when development of both fields is complete],” Qasemi stated.
The minister said contracts have been signed for the development of 12 new oil fields in the past few months, adding, “Development of some fields, including Azar and Changouleh oil fields has also begun.”
There was no confirmation of the news from Chinese sources.
Meanwhile, Italy's Edison has become the sixth international company to withdraw from investment in Iran in the last two years, following Royal Dutch Shell, Japan's Inpex, Norway's Statoil, France's Total, and Italy's Eni. Tehran has also threatened to cancel contracts with Chinese firms who have not proceeded with work.