1835 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Lebanese Front). Following the declaration of the head of the Revolutionary Guards that Tehran has sent members of the Quds Force to Syria and Lebanon to provide "counsel", President Michel Sulaiman has challenged the Islamic Republic. “President Sulaiman asked for an official explanation from the relevant Iranian authorities,” his office said.
Last week, the Rial broke the 25000:1 level for the first time, less than half its value at the official rate.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank has denied widespread reports that it has halted provision of foreign currency at the official rate to importers since last month, claiming that this is still available for the most important basic goods.
The remark is a rebuff of prominent reformists like former President Mohammad Khatami, who have said there can be no "normal" vote while political prisoners are held.
Mohseni Ejei had mixed news for the Government. He said a major insurance fraud case, in which 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi has been accused of involvement, had been stopped because of "difficulties", but the case of abuses and killings at the Kahrizak detention centre after the 2009 Presidential election --- a case in which Presidential aide Saeed Mortazavi has been implicated --- will go to court soon.
1755 GMT: Nuclear Watch. The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoun Abbasi Davani has told a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency that explosives were used to cut the power lines to the Fordoo enrichment plant last month to sabotage Tehran's nuclear programme.
Abbasi Davani said the incident had occurred 17 August and that "the same act", for which he did not give a date, had been carried out on lines to the main enrichment plant at Natanz.
The official suggested that "terrorists and saboteurs" had infiltrated the IAEA, suggesting that a request for an inspection of Fordoo was connected to the power cut: "Does this visit have any connection to that detonation? Who, other than the IAEA inspector, can have access to the complex in such a short time to record and report failures? It should be recalled that power cut-off is one of the ways to break down centrifuge machine."
1745 GMT: All the President's Men. MP Mohammad Reza Pour-Ebrahimi has claimed that 50 legislators have signed the petition for the istizah (interrogation) of Minister of Industry Mehdi Ghazanfari, claiming he appointed managers who are being investigated by the judiciary.
1735 GMT: Currency Watch. More confusion amid the currency tensions, with Mohammad Nahavandian, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, saying the plan of a "foreign currency stock exchange" has been abandoned for now, although he is expecting other Government proposals.
Prominent businessmen like tycoon Asadollah Asgarouladi had vehemently objected to the initiative.
1655 GMT: Elections Watch. Overlooked in the focus on Revolutionary Guards Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari's remarks about Syria, the US, and Israel was his intervention in Iran's domestic politics: “Reformists who are not radical can compete in the [2013 Presidential election."
Jafari said the Guards do not sense any “threat” for the election, so there is no reason for “special security measures”. He asserted that the post-election protests in 2009 had been turned to the regime's advantage:
One of the events which recently occurred was the important event of ’09, that in my opinion with all its injuries and difficulties, was a blessing for us, and had positive consequences of which the greatest was the impact of the 30th December [a pro-regime rally in response to opposition demonstrations....After the events of ’09 we will not witness or see the events of this previous era....The inclination of the people is toward the principle and values of the Islamic revolution and this inclination is very strong and widespread, and we saw that in the past year’s Parliamentary election....On that basis, we don’t sense any political or domestic threat, that we would desire to take action for the future election."
1645 GMT: US Film Watch. The Supreme Leader has maintained his campaign against the US-produced "The Innocence of Muslims, reiterating that the US and some European countries must prove that they have played no part in the creation of the anti-Islam movie, and “not just in words".
“Nations are aware of the Islamophobic policies of arrogant powers and Zionists and are pointing the finger at the US and certain European governments, and leaders of these countries must prove that they were not accomplices in this big crime in practice by preventing such crazy measures,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Supreme Leader expressed confidence that Muslim nations will emerge victorious in confrontation with the "arrogant powers".
Press TV, which posts Khamenei's remarks, supports it with the now-discredited claim that "the blasphemous film has been made through Jewish donations totaling USD 5 million".
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili will dine with his counterpart for the 5+1 Powers, Catherine Ashton, on Tuesday night in Istanbul. Before that, however, he has visited Ankara has met with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
No details were released to the press.
0955 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). State news agency IRNA reports that Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi will meet counterparts of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey today in Cairo in the first high-level meeting of a new "contact group" on the Syria conflict.
IRNA added that Salehi will also speak with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, the initiator of the contact group. It will be the first meeting between an Iranian official and Morsi since the Egyptian President unsettled Tehran's hosting of the Non-Aligned Movement summit last month by giving a speech highly critical of the Assad regime.
Salehi told the Iranian Students news agency before leaving Tehran on Monday that Iran would be setting out its "clear" position: "We are very hopeful given that four important countries of the region are gathered to discuss one of the sensitive issues of the region....We hope that its results will correspond to the interests of all the people of the region, and to peace and stability."
0925 GMT: Nuclear Watch. Laura Rozen, quoting a European Union diplomat, reports that lead 5+1 Powers negotiator Catherine Ashton "will meet [Iranian counterpart Saeed] Jalili for dinner on Tuesday evening in Istanbul."
The two negotiators have not met since formal talks between Iran and the 5+1 (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, Japan) in Moscow in June. They spoke briefly by phone in early August after nuclear experts from both sides held lower-level expert talks in Istanbul.
EA's assessment has been that the 5+1 will not resume formal talks without a major Iranian concession in advance, and diplomatic sources had told Rozen that there was unlikely to be another directors-level meeting in the near term.
0625 GMT: US Film Watch. State news agency IRNA headlines the speech of Hezbollah's Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the US film, "The Innocence of Muslims": "This is more than setting the Al-Aqsa Mosque [in Jerusalem] on fire."
0615 GMT: Conspiracy Theory of the Day. Press TV features "analyst" Webster Tarpley, who explains that the US-produced film denigrating the Prophet Mohammad is in fact a "deliberate provocation" by " a Mormon mafia inside the CIA who want Mitt Romney to become President", as well as Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, US neo-conservatives, and "probably the Saudis".
0555 GMT: We begin this morning with latest statements by regime figures and an analysis, "Tehran Hurts Itself With Muddled Messages on Syria".