1915 GMT: The Revolutionary Guard Posturing. It comes from commander Mohammad Ali Jafari: "The era of threatening Iran with force is over, especially at a time when the majority of Iranians are willing to defend the Revolution and their country."
Speaking in Shiraz, Jafari added that the intimidation "even failed at the height of the nuclear issue, and now Iran is standing firm despite economic, political and cultural pressures".
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1815 GMT: Tough talk. The Associated Press is featuring a statement by Mohammad Karimirad, a member of Parliament's National Security Commission, declaring that Iran should block IAEA inspections and consider withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The media are also noting hostile statements from the Revolutionary Guard.
All this is to be expected, both in the posturing and in the reaction of Western media. None of it means much at this stage. Wait for a signal from the Iranian Government on its next step in the uranium enrichment discussions.
1715 GMT: My thanks to EA reader Samuel for pointing out that Ahmad Khatami's denunciation of the IAEA resolution was made today and not during Friday Prayers. My apiologies to readers for my error.
1330 GMT: Offensive Images. At left is the picture --- a tourist advertisement with a Baha'i temple --- that led to the banning of Hamshahri, the prominent newspaper linked to Tehran mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf.
1320 GMT: Press TV's website has now posted a summary of Ahmad Khatami's Friday Prayer attack on the IAEA resolution on Iran's nuclear programme: "Rather than hurting Iran, the new resolution will impair the UN nuclear watchdog and Security Council."
So nothing significantly new there. Instead, this question: why did it take Press TV 24 hours to post news from Friday Prayers?
0920 GMT: Friday Prayers and Nukes. Agence France Presse notes that Ahmad Khatami, leading Friday prayers in Tehran, put in his two cents on the nuclear talks:
It is your obligation, under the law, to provide fuel for the Tehran reactor. If you did this, the issue would be closed. If you do not cooperate you should know that the nation ... which achieved its rights to technology will also provide fuel for its reactor. It is legal and in accordance with international safeguards.
0900 GMT: Don't Mention Neda. Two weeks ago we noted that Queen's College, Oxford University, had established a postgraduate scholarship in philosophy in the name of Neda Agha Soltan, the philosophy student killed on 20 June by a Basiji gunshot.
Well, it appears that it's not only the Iranian Government that is unhappy with the endowment:
A senior [British] diplomatic source said that the Government would have advised Queen’s College not to set up the scholarship when Britain is desperately trying to free local embassy staff in Iran who have been detained by the regime for their alleged involvement in the protests.
“If we were asked, we would have advised against it because it was always going to be deemed as provocative by the Iranian Government,” the source said. “But Oxford University did not ask us about setting up the scholarship, and does not have to because it is an independent educational institution.”
The diplomatic signal here for Tehran is that the scholarship is in no way "official" and should not be seen as pressure by the British Government over Iran's internal developments.
0815 GMT: With media attention primarily on Iran's nuclear programme and the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting, we've had to give over time and space to an analysis pointing out the real significance of the IAEA resolution, unnoticed by the headline media: the US Government has just bought some more time to try and get an "engagement" deal on uranium enrichment.
Time to return to Iran, however, and notice the simmering within the Establishment. In Qom, Ayatollah Javadi-Amoli announced from the podium that the Friday Prayer was his last. The declaration was one of sadness and frustration: “When the Friday Imam articulates the problems that people face and those problems are resolved, it is evidence that he has expressed them well. But if the problems are not resolved that means he was not successful.”
Javadi-Amoli's decision is a setback for those seeking voices of reconciliation, but it is also a marker of the discontent amongst Iran's clerics. Another leading Qom Friday Prayer leader, Ayatollah Ostadi, had also suspended his sermons after denouncing "extremism" in support of the regime, including the Supreme Leader.
In Tehran, the curious, confusing, and significant story of the Parliamentary challenge to President Ahmadinejad took another twist yesterday. Khabar, which apparently has been suspended in print but continues to publish online, features criticism by leading members of Parliament against the Government's handling of the nuclear talks.
The Secretary of the National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, has met 40 MPs who back the Government, and Alaeddin Boroujerdi, a member of the National Security Commission, tried to quell the opposition with assurances that information on the negotiations will be provided. The stinger in the Khabar article, however, comes at the end: two weeks ago, when MPs "were notified [by Jalili] about the decisions made by" the Ahmadinejad Government, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani and other leading principlist legislators were not invited.