An image from Friday's protest "Down with US, Down with Israel" in Tehran
See also Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Collapsing Currency, Closed Embassy, No to Women Watching Volleyball br>
The Latest from Iran (14 September): The Regime Stages a Protest Over a Movie
2040 GMT: Sanctions Watch. More on the US waivers from economic restrictions for Japan and 10 European countries because they cut their purchases of Iranian oil, noted by the Islamic Republic's media this morning (see 0540 GMT)....
The 11 countries have been given a second 180-day waiver from the threat of being cut off from the US financial system. The European Union implemented a full embargo on Iranian crude and petroleum products on 1 July Japan has sharply reduced imports.
The 10 European countries are Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
The review of waivers for India and South Korea, who have cut off or sharply reduced oil purchases (see 0940 GMT), is due in December.
1630 GMT: Economy Watch. Central Bank head Mahmoud Bahmani has said, "The bank interest rate will not change for now until we see what happens with inflation and to what extent we can bring it down. Normally bank interest rates must be determined relative to the inflation rate."
Bahmani's emphasis on curbing inflation --- which is more than 27%, according to Iran's Statistics Center, but likely to be far higher, based on analysts and evidence of price rises on individual goods and sectors --- is likely to come at the expense of shoring up Iran's falling currency.
The Ahmadinejad Government raised Iran's bank interest rate in January to up to 21% amid an earlier currency crisis. The Iranian Rial was strengthened in the short term but has since dropped to its lowest point in history.
1400 GMT: Reformist Watch. Mohammed Reza Tabesh, one of the leaders of the reformist faction in the last Parliament, has said that reformists are "awaiting a green light from the Government" to participate in the Presidential election in 2013.
That is a fall of more than 2.5% in the Rial's value from Wednesday-Thursday's figure of Mesghal; however, it is still not as low as the 25000:1 rate which had been cited by other outlets Thursday afternoon.
1120 GMT: Diversion Watch. First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi has condemned the US-produced movie "The Innocence of Muslims": "The objective of those who have insulted the holy position of the Prophet is to sow discord among the three great divine religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam."
Rahimi added, "The Muslims’ respect for other religions is the message of friendship and a campaign against division."
1050 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Journalist Masoud Bastani on furlough after serving three years of a six-year sentence:
1010 GMT: Picture of the Day. Relatives of some of the victims in protests since the disputed 2009 Presidential election gather in Tehran:
Seoul's purchases for January-August are down 34% from the same period a year earlier. South Korea was a leading customer for Iranian oil before the EU sanctions effectively halted imports from 1 July.
A South Korean government official said on 29 June that Iran offered to provide its own tankers and insurance. Unlike the limited restoration of coverage for Japanese and Indian imports, no agreement has been reached, although SK Innovation Co., one of the two buyers of Iranian crude, said on 17 August that it would resume imports in September.
0540 GMT: On Thursday journalist and academic Eskandar Boroujerdi-Sadeghi offered this sharp comment, following the Supreme Leader's denunciation of the US-based production denigrating the Prophet Muhammad, "Khamenei will try to make a big deal of this film, to distract from sorry state of economy."
So it proved on Friday, as the regime called on crowds to gather and display their anger after Tehran Friday Prayers. But did the manoeuvre work?
Mehr did publish photographs of thousands in a post-Prayers rally, but State news agency IRNA --- which still feature pictures of Thursday's gathering in front of the Swiss Embassy --- did not. Nor did Fars or Khabar Online. Press TV posted one photograph and a short article just after noon, then walked away.
This morning the rally has disappeared. While IRNA continues the campaign against the Mohammad film, it does so through the statement of Iran's envoy to the UN. Fars and Press TV are both headlining the US extension of a waiver from sanctions for 11 countries restricting purchases of Iranian oil. Khabar is looking at the price of gold, the US Presidential campaign, and football.
Still, Boroujerdi-Sadeghi might have a point. No one is mentioning the state of the economy or the current exchange rate of the falling Iranian currency.