Protesters chase, heckle, and harass Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, iin New York
The news is a further marker of Iran's shift from exporter to importer of wheat. "They are buying bigger volumes than what was expected, they have big needs," one trader said.
Iranian wheat imports are usually handled by the private sector but the State has had to step in amid disruptions to trade financing.
"In the most recent buys in the last two weeks they have been taking almost anything that is available," another trader said. "They have been buying EU, Black Sea including Russian, Australian and other origins."
One trade source suggested desperation to feed livestock was one of the reasons for the huge import volume. "They don't have enough feed for animals, which means they are using milling wheat instead."
1415 GMT: Political Battle of the Day. MP Nader Ghazipour has filed a complaint against Ahmadinejad to Parlimaent's Article 90 Commission over the President taking his family to New York last year during his visit to the United Nations General Assembly.
Ghazipour's argument with Ahmadinejad started when he criticised the President for not declaring public mourning after the August earthquake in East Azerbaijan Province that killed more than 300 people. Ahmadinejad's deputy lodged a complaint against Ghazipour over the remarks.
1400 GMT: Election Watch. Mohommad-Baqer Qalibaf, the Mayor of Tehran and a possible Presidential candidate in 2013, has put forward his credentials for loyalty and security in an interview on State TV: "I was amongst the first people to speak [about "sedition" after the disputed 2009 Presidential election] and today I believe I spoke the most accurately.”
Corruption and depravity have enveloped everything in the West and the condition of the West with respect to the growth of corruption is getting worse every day. Today homosexuality is pushing the foundation of the family in the West into oblivion....Instead of preventing corruption and depravity it tampers with the basics of humanity and with the propagation of homosexuality is currently stopping the [next] human generation.
1345 GMT: Press Watch. Back to our opening story, the ban on the reformist newspaper Shargh and the imprisonment of its managing editor, Mehdi Rahmanian....
Cartoonist Hadi Heydari has responded to criticism of the image that led to the ban and Rahmanian's detention, including claims that it insulted veterans of the Iran-Iraq War on the 32nd anniversary of the start of the conflict:
Those who know my and my family’s past, are aware of my deep devotion to the brave War veterans. Under no circumstances would I be willing to insult such great men to whom all of us are indebted for their sacrifices.
This sketch intends to display "ignorance", where some, in broad daylight, are blindfolding each other, to keep them from seeing the daylight. If the cartoonist wished to show soldiers, they would have to be wearing war uniforms, carrying arms, and be shown in a war setting.
Rahmanian said before his imprisonment, “I served in the War for 18 months. We have written about the Holy Defense several times at Shargh. We would never allow anyone to insult the War veterans, because I would be included in the insult myself."
Mesghal puts the rate at 26790:1.
1145 GMT: Clerical Intervention. Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has criticised the Government for the doubling of prices for goods as the value of the Rial is halved on international currency markets.
1000 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Days after two of his children were imprisoned, former President Hashemi Rafsanjani has made an indirect intervention. Without referring to the specific cases of his daughter Faezeh Hashemi and son Mehdi Hashemi, Rafsanjani has called for an "open political sphere", accepting people's demands and relieving tensions.
Meanwhile, Rah-e Sabz is reporting that foreign currency accounts in Iranian banks for individuals have been blocked, Customers are receiving only Rials, and at the official exchange rate --- that effectively halves their money, given the more than 100% gap between the official and open-market rates.
The price of gold has also reached a new high, standing at just over 10.7 million Rials for old gold coin.
0705 GMT: We have not forgotten President Ahmadinejad's show in New York --- we offer an analysis of his United Nations speech in a separate entry, "Ahmadinejad, Exit Stage Left", and we head Live Coverage with a video of Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast pursued and harassed by a group of protesters.
We begin, however, with a different story of significance. Iranian authorities have shut the leading reformist newspaper Shargh and arrested and imprisoned its managing director, Mehdi Rahmanian.
The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance claimed that a cartoon published by Shargh yesterday was an insult to those who served in the Iran-Iraq War. The cartoon, which showed a column of men blindfolded in bright light, quickly led to a ban on publication of the newspaper. Rahmanian was detained hours later.
Shargh was also suspended for two years until it was allowed to resume publication in Spring 2010.