The Supreme Leader's senior aide Ali Akbar Velayati announces plans for the Presidential election at a Sunday press conference
0615 GMT: Economy Watch. A tantalising if brief note in the Tehran Times this morning:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday chaired a meeting of a working group tasked with controlling the market.
Industry, Mines, and Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari, Agriculture Minister Sadeq Khalilian, Economic Affairs and Finance Minister Shamseddin Hosseini, and Intelligence Minister Heydar Moselehi attended the meeting.
Issues related to controlling the market before the new Iranian year that begins on March 21, the prices of staples, and car prices were discussed at the meeting.
The Central Bank has put the official inflation rate at almost 33%. Other Iranian analysts, economists, and politicians say the figure --- especially for basic goods and commodities --- is far higher.
0555 GMT: Election Watch. The three-man committee, tasked by the Supreme Leader to find a "unity" candidate for June's Presidential election, tried to claim the initiative on Sunday with a press conference outlining three "working groups" covering domestic and international matters.
The Supreme Leader's senior aide, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, said, “If the coalition achieves victory in the upcoming election by the vote of the people, the working groups, whose responsibility has been taken over by the members of the coalition, will determine the main members of the next government."