The earthquakes, measuring 6.3 and 6.4 on the Richter scale, struck near Tabriz in East Azerbaijan.
1630 GMT: Earthquakes in the Northwest. The State Emergency Center says at least 30 people were killed and 400 others injured when an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale struck the city of Ahar, near East Azarbajan's provincial capital Tabriz, at 15:53 local time (1123 GMT).
Officials said there had been 11 aftershakes of differing magnitudes.
1350 GMT: Currency Watch. After a few days of relative stability, prompted by the Central Bank's declaration that there would be no official devaluation, the open-market rate of the Iranian Rial has slipped almost 2%, falling to 21300:1 vs. the US dollar.
1057 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Turkish Front). More indications of trouble for Tehran with Turkey, as Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinç declared on Thursday that Ankara is "disturbed" by the Islamic Republic and that the issues go beyond the Syrian crisis, “What I mean by disturbing behaviour is not related to Syria,."
Saying that Turkey will do ‘whatever is required” to counter Iranian threats, Arinc implied that a recent surge in attacks by the insurgent PKK has Tehran's backing: “We have received information that Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] terrorists infiltrated from the Iranian side of the border and that they were stationed in the Şehidan camp [in Iran] and crossed into Turkey from the region of Harkuk in northern Iraq.”
Government officials have fed claimed intelligence to Today's Zaman that the PKK had relocated some of its fighters from hideouts in northern Iraq's Kandil Mountains to a camp on the Turkish-Iranian border.
0957 GMT: Olympics Watch. Silver medalist Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi of Iran with gold medalist Jordan Ernest Burroughs of the US after the medal ceremony for Freestyle Wrestling (74 kilogrammes):
0940 GMT: Oil Watch. In an indication of the impact of sanctions and problems in Tehran's management of its oil industry, the International Energy Agency has confirmed that Iraq has overtaken Iran as the second-largest oil producer for the first time since the late 1980s.
The IEA reported Iraq produced more than 3 million barrels per day in July, the highest output since the US-led invasion nearly a decade ago. At the same time, Iranian oil output fell below the 3 million bpd level for the first time in more than 20 years, dropping to 2.9 million bpd.
0620 GMT: Campus Watch. Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi, the head of Parliament's Education and Research Committee has said that Minister of Higher Education and Science Kamran Daneshjoo will be summoned to explain why woman are not being accepted in many university programes.
Reports earlier this month indicated that the admission of women into 77 programmes would be suspended because females had over-subscribed to the degrees.
0610 GMT: Rumour of the Day. Fars claims that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and President Ahmadinejad will meet at next month’s United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The site also claims that UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon has invited President Obama to join Morsi and Ahmadinejad at a VIP lunch on 25 September.
Another wild claim from Iranian media? Not so fast --- Fars' source is The Washington Times.
0600 GMT: The Battle Within. In another sign of the rising tension between the Ahmadinejad camp and clerics, Iran News Network reports that the Government will review 750 billion Toman (about $620 million at official rate) support for 157 foundations linked to religious authorities.
0550 GMT: When Friends Fight. Iran's quarrel with Russia continues over Moscow's suspended sale of S-300 missile systems. Iranian lawmakers have threatened to file a lawsuit against the Russians, bringing unconfirmed reports in Russian media that Moscow will review its position on the Iranian nuclear issue.
Russia and Iran agreed to the sale in 2007, but two years ago, before any shipments were made, Moscow halted the deal in line with a United Nations Security Council resolution banning the sale of advanced weapons systems to Iran.
0530 GMT: There are few signs this morning that Iran's attempt on Thursday to seize political ground on the Syria issue, using a hastily-convened conference attended by 28 other countries in Tehran, has gained any traction. To the contrary, last night's news was of the US using the Syrian conflict to impose yet more sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Trying to choke off Iran's movement of oil --- both to provide much-needed supplies to Damascus and to sell Syria's crude production abroad --- the US State Department sanctioned Syria's State oil company Sytrol for trading with Iran.
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell linked the step to the American priority of pressing Tehran on the issue of uranium enrichment, "This kind of trade allows Iran to continue developing its nuclear program while providing the Syrian government with resources to oppress its own people."
Ventrell then went for the Islamic Republic on the diplomatic battleground over Syria:
Though these sanctions are a direct result of Syria's provision of gasoline to Iran, the United States views Iran's broader support for the Assad regime as completely unjustifiable. Iran is actively advising, supplying, and assisting the Syrian security forces and regime-backed militias that are carrying out gross human rights abuses against the Syrian people.