Iran has been trying to reflag its ships, using countries such as Tuvalu, to bypass Western sanctions aimed at choking off its oil exports.
In mid-August, Tanzania announced it was de-registering 36 Iranian vessels and that it was dropping the Dubai-based shipping agent who flagged them without its knowledge.
1910 GMT: Media Watch. I have been interviewed at length tonight by the radio service of State broadcaster IRIB about sanctions and Iran's nuclear programme.
If anyone hears the broadcast version of the remarks, please let me know.
Meanwhile, here is Tehran University academic Seyed Mohammad Marandi assuring, "[Sanctions] hurt Iran to a degree, but they hurt [the West] as well....In the long run, in my opinion, they will hurt them much more than Iran; because what they have actually done is that in Iran, despite the short-term difficulties that they cause for the country, they have really forced the country to rethink its political economic and cultural relations....More and more businesses in the South and in the East, outside of Europe and the United States, are turning to Iran and turning away from doing trade with the West so that they won’t be impacted by sanctions."
1903 GMT: Assurances of the Day. In a lengthy interview, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami has assured that the Supreme Leader does not pay a Government penny to the seminaries. Moreover, "we do not lie, and we have no political prisoners".
Today Radio Farda reports that Turkmenistan has cancelled a $800 million railroad project with the Islamic Republic.
1851 GMT: Currency Watch. Mehr speaks to an Iranian merchant who claims that, amid the weakening currency and questions over foreign reserves, the Government has not offered the official exchange rate to importers of key staples for two weeks.
The Iranian Rial holds just over half its value on the open market, compared to the official rate, making imports twice as expensive.
1831 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Canadian Front). Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani has cancelled his trip to Canada, after Ottawa ordered Iranian diplomats to leave and closed its embassy in Tehran.
Larijani was due to visit Canada in October for a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
1825 GMT: Tough Talk of the Day. The deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Hussein Salami, said today, "In case of any act of aggression against Iran, we will take war inside the enemies' borders and will defeat them heavily. The enemy has noticed Iran's power and Iranian nation will not allow any war in its territory."
1755 GMT: Remembering the Activists. Need a place, far from Iranian security forces, to commemorate detained and exiled activists? A climber on Damavand Mountain (altitude 5400 metres), with photos of figures such as Mir Hossein Mousavi, Nasrin Sotoudeh, and Abdolfattah Soltani:
1745 GMT: Influence Watch. The opposition site Kalemeh reports on three more large projects for Khatam al-Anbia, the engineering section of the Revolutionary Guards, and an EA correspondent asks, "Is this financial support for the Guards ahead of elections?"
1705 GMT: Currency Watch. For the first time, the weakening Iranian Rial has broken the 23000:1 mark vs. the US dollar.
Gold prices are also soaring with old gold coin now selling for 910,000 Toman (about $750 at official rate).
Peyke Iran claim 65,000 tea-planter families face unemployment because of low Government prices for tea and soaring imports.
Sources in Rasht have also passed the news to the Guardian.
A photograph of Nadarkhani being greeted as he left the prison:
Christian Solidarity Worldwide said the apostasy charges against Nadarkhani, who converted to Christianity as a teenager, were dropped in court today, although he was found guilty of evangelising Muslims and sentenced to three years in prison.
Nadarkhani was then freed because of time served since his arrest in 2009.
1242 GMT: Currency Watch. The falling Iranian Rial is prompting claims and counter-claims of manipulation of the currency market, such as the alleged involvement of the Central Bank and several other financial institutions and tycoon Asadollah Asgarouladi's assertion that the market is controlled from Dubai.
1238 GMT: Press Watch. Conservative MP Ali Motahari has challenged the regime's control of information with the declaration that "fear of open media is senseless", and a security approach is very harmful.
1042 GMT: Clerical Intervention. Grand Ayatollah Javadi Amoli has criticised the Government: "The country cannot be managed with games. If Muslims are separated from bread, keeping faith becomes difficult."
The site, linked to the regime, asserts that Canada will soon be closing embassies in Turkmenistan, the Philippines, Germany, and Japan.
The article did not explain if Canada's expulsion of Iranian diplomats was also due to the economic crisis.
1004 GMT: Currency Watch. After days of confusion, it appears the Iranian Rial has tumbled again on the open market, as it continues to hit historic lows.
The leading site Mesghal, which has had conflicting rates since Thursday, now settles on a level of 22800 Rials to the US dollar, a fall of about 3% from the middle of last week. Aftab puts the Rial at 22920:1.
0958 GMT: Foreign Affairs Watch (Syrian Front). Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, in a speech on Friday in northern Iran, declared, “The transfer of weapons to Syria should be stopped; reforms cannot be implemented amid armed confrontations. A package must be introduced for the Syrian issues.”
Larijani welcomed the new United Nations-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi while swiping at foreign intervention, “He has definitely started work with a clear analysis and certainly knows that some countries seek adventurism in the region.”
There is no mention of a Larijani response to claims that Iran has carried out its own intervention by providing arms and military support for the Assad regime.
0944 GMT: Blame Canada Again. How unsettled is the Islamic Republic by the Canadian Government's action? There is a clue in Press TV's headline for the statement of the Foreign Ministry (see 0937 GMT), "Racist Canada is a Lackey of Israel and Britain".
Here's another --- the State outlet has not one but two stories, also featuring the statement of Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Parliament's National Security Committee, “The British government certainly seeks to lead its friends to the same path that it had taken. Therefore, this decision was in fact blind acquiescence by the Canadian government."
Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, “The hostile actions of the current racist Canadian government are in fact in line with the policies that are dictated by the Zionist [Israeli regime] and the British government."
Mehmanparast continued, “The closure of the visa section of the Canadian Embassy in Tehran, freezing the bank accounts of Iranian nationals living in Canada, and prohibiting money transfers to Iranian students studying in that country are among the Canadian government’s numerous hostile measures against the Iranian nation and the Iranian community in Canada."
Then the spokesman tried to turn the negative into a positive: “The Canadian government’s closure of its embassy in Tehran is considered the continuation of [Prime Minister Stephen] Harper’s anti-Iranian policies and a hasty reaction… to the successful 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran.”
Ali Reza Komeili, one of the organizers, explained:
The crimes that are being committed in Bahrain are only occurring due to the support of the United States and Saudi Arabia for the Al Khalifa [royal family]. Otherwise, the Bahraini people would have already brought their revolution to fruition. [The US and Saudi Arabia] are aware that any form of democracy in Bahrain, be it a constitutional monarchy or a true democracy, would lead to the majority gaining power, and that runs contrary to their geostrategic interests in the region."
The previous designation of Khorshidi as Secretary of the Council of Presidential Advisors and Chief of the Standard Organization led to public objections from 42 MPs, who claimed Khorshidi was unqualified for the post. Jahan asks about the latest post, "Is the appointment of an inexperienced youth to the management of this hospital the meaning of meritocracy?”
(Hat tip to Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi of Al Monitor)
0600 GMT: We open with a snapshot that supports our general analysis of the primary threat to the stability of the Islamic Republic and the regime. Amid a pull-back on chatter of an Israeli airstrike on Iran --- primarily because of reports that Israel's Minister of Defense Ehud Barak has turned against the idea after a meeting with a senior US military commander --- Najmeh Bozorgmehr reports from Isfahan:
“I am struggling with so many miseries every day, like the increasing rent of my shop and my house, that I do not have time to think about an Israeli attack, let alone be prepared for it,” said Saeed, the owner of a grocery store....
Near the historic Naqshe Jahan Square, which is surrounded by magnificent mosques and a palace, Rozhin, a 30-year-old homemaker, says she lives “very near” to the Isfahan nuclear site. But she voices no concern about the danger of a possible attack.
“Food has become like gold,” she said. “Now I can afford to buy meat only for my daughter. That is what I am worried about, not a strike.”
Inflation and unemployment is perceived by Isfahanis to be far higher than is suggested by official figures, which put inflation at 23.5 percent and youth unemployment at 28.6 percent.
“Inflation is 100 percent, or maybe 200 percent,” said Razieh, a 27-year-old homemaker, as she walked through the 17th century Si-o-se Pol, one of the city’s most beautiful bridges.
State-run “television says prices of meat have come down. I suppose we should go and buy meat from the television,” she added....
Sahar, a 22-year-old student of psychology with a part-time job at an upmarket toy shop, said that Thursdays, the first day of the Iranian weekend, used to be very busy but that now “you hardly see anyone walking into this shop on a Thursday.”
“Only those families who are well-off now buy imported toys for their kids,” she said.