1705 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update. Ayatollah Emami Kashani is not ready to let go of the issue of the US-produced film denigrating the Prophet Mohammad, as he accused Western governments of trying to "belittle Islam and violate its sanctities": "The repercussions of their plots and conspiracies will backfire on them and they will be further disgraced, but Islam will also surely cut off their evil hand.”-
1514 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. Former President ashemi Rafsanjani, in a meeting in northern Iran, has criticised “deviants” and “pseudo-revolutionary devils” for excluding technocrats and the clergy from the regime.
In a meeting with Basij militia in Alborz, Jafari said that threats against the Islamic Republic were “hollow” and “empty”: ”When the leaders of the regime occupying Jerusalem speak of an attack on Iran, immediately the leaders in the White House object to it and say we will not support a military attack on Iran."
Perhaps more interesting was Jafari's effective admission of problems inside Iran, as he called for the “complete remedy of economic threats" with officials exerting "more effort so that the people aren’t embroiled in difficulties”.
1411 GMT: All the President's Men. President Ahmadinejad has made his first significant intervention in the case of his senior advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr, summoned to prison this week to serve a six-month sentence for breaking Islamic codes in his newspaper Iran.
Ahmadinejad said that the detention of Javanfekr, while the world expected to hear the Iranian people's perspective in the United Nations, was "very regrettable" and that no one accepted Javanfekr had insulted the Supreme Leader. Therefore, Ahmadinejad said, "I will pursue his case."
Ahmadinejad warned last year that there was a "red line" against prosecution of any member of his Cabinet or inner circle of advisors.
Javanfekr was imprisoned for an issue on women's fashion which went into the history of the full-length covering, the chador. He has also been convicted of insulting Ayatollah Khamenei on his personal website.
1239 GMT: Your Tehran Friday Prayer Update. Ayatollah Emami Kashani has used the sermon to make an interesting interesting intervention on the economic situation. He called for a think tank to study problems, as he warned, "We must beware of cutting up society into pieces so they destroy each other".
1226 GMT: The House Arrests. Cyprus, in its role as current President of the European Union, has written Iran's Foreign Ministry to request a meeting with opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, held under strict house arrest since February 2011.
The letter from the Cypriot Embassy in Tehran reportedly reminds the Islamic Republic that the detentions are "without consideration to any legal due process", asking Iran to "respect its citizens' fundamental rights, especially freedom of expression" with the "immediate and unconditional release" of Mousavi and Karroubi.
1032 GMT: Economy Watch. Tabriz MP Masoud Pezeshkian has criticised the currency situation, "Those who want to fight dollar corruption have become spectators", and has asserted that food prices have risen by 46%.
0922 GMT: CyberClaim of the Day. It has been only five days since authorities blocked Google and Gmail, but Iran's crushing of the global cyber-giant is already being proclaimed. Hojatoleslam Rashtbari has said that the people of Khalkhal (population: 40,000), boycotting Google and YouTube for two days, have cost the company $400 million.
0753 GMT: Support Your President Watch. Digarban reports that bloggers linked to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial Chief of Staff, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, held a meeting last week to discuss how to support Ahmadinejad in the current political battles in Iran.
0711 GMT: Economy Watch. Abbas Rajaei, the head of Parliament's Agricultural Committee, has said that many Government projects in central provinces have not started and that long-term jobs have been lost in industry.
The official figure in the disputed 2009 Presidential vote was 85%, but that followed an enthusiastic response to Iran's first debates among candidates and an expectation that the ballot would be fairly conducted.
0702 GMT: Oil Watch. Tehran's hopes for a renewal of oil exports to India appear to have been disappointed, at least in the near future.
India's imports of Iranian crude declined 5% percent in August, the third straight monthly fall.
Tehran had hoped that new arrangements for insurance would bypass the European Union's ban on coverage for tankers, which came into effect on 1 July. However, trade tables show India took about 192,000 barrels per days of oil in August, compared to 202,000 bpd in July.
0655 GMT: Nuclear Watch. The official response from Iran's United Nations mission to Thursday's "red line" speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was that Israel had made "baseless and absurd allegations against (its) exclusively peaceful nuclear program."
The statement continued:
While the use, or threat of use, of force under any pretext is a grave violation of the principles of (the) UN Charter and international law, as well as the norms of international relations, the officials of the Israeli regime are so rude (they) on (a) daily basis threaten countries in the region, particularly my country, (with) military attack.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is strong enough to defend itself and reserves its full right to retaliate with full force against any attack.
0555 GMT: For the first time in many days, it is hard to find a headline story from Iran. President Ahmadinejad's five-day trip to New York has ended with an understated note of his return to Tehran. There have been flutters this week about impeachment of the Minister of Sport and a Parliamentary interrogation of the President, but no sign of the pressure today. No one is saying anything about last weekend's imprisonment of the two children of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani. The nuclear issue had grabbed attention when the envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency announced that Iran had offered to give up enrichment of 20% uranium in return for an easing of sanctions, but the story ebbed when Ali Asghar Soltanieh insisted, "I didn't say that."
Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's theatrical presentation at the United Nations of a "red line" that would bring an attack on the Islamic Republic --- verging on the cartoonish when he displayed an Acme-like caricature of an Iranian bomb --- did not bring a response. Fars' English edition, which can usually be relied upon for statements from the Iranian military defying and taunting the "enemy", is silent --- instead it leads with the proclamation, "Iran, Cradle of Tourist Sights".
However, there is one continuing story worth noting. This week has been notable for the renewed decline of the Iranian currency. The Central Bank's attempt to prop up the Rial --- worth less than half its value of September 2011, with a gap of more than 100% between the official and open-market rates --- through the injection of foreign reserves into a new "trade room" had no effect. Instead, the Rial sank almost 10% vs the US dollar since Sunday. Its all-time low was more than 27000:1 vs. the US dollar on Thursday, before it closed trading at 26790:1.
Those numbers put into stark relief the cheerleading of State news agency IRNA that the Government had put a "record level" of foreign currency into the market. The reality, as a Grand Ayatollah noted on Thursday, is that the country is caught in a spiral of a declining Rial feeding inflation, which further erodes the currency, which in turns fuels another rise in prices....
The good news for the Islamic Republic? There will be no currency headline today, as markets are closed for the Iranian weekend.