Shahrivar 26 1400 - September 17 2021
Iran Set for Entry Into Expanding Club Led by China and Russia

Iran's new president is flying to Tajikistan for his first foreign trip where he's expecting to gain membership of a growing Eurasian club led by China and Russia, whose economic muscle has helped Tehran blunt American sanctions. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, or SCO, was founded two decades ago in St. Petersburg and currently has eight members representing half the world's population and a quarter of its economic output. -Bloomberg 9/16/21

Hezbollah brings Iranian fuel into crisis-hit Lebanon

Hezbollah began bringing Iranian fuel into Lebanon via Syria on Thursday, a move the Shi'ite Muslim group says should ease a crippling energy crisis but which opponents say risks provoking U.S. sanctions. A convoy of trucks carrying Iranian fuel oil entered northeastern Lebanon near the village of al-Ain, where Hezbollah's yellow flag fluttered from lampposts. -AFP 9/16/21

Introducing the New Leaders of Iranian Economic Policy

President Ebrahim Raisi has prioritized improving Iran's faltering economy. He took office in August amid a fifth wave of COVID-19 cases, recurring blackouts, and a currency depreciation. The economy subsequently contracted after five months of growth. Iran also remains under U.S. sanctions. To address these economic challenges, Raisi will need to surround himself with competent managers. -Bourse & Bazaar 9/13/21

Iran's energy diplomacy

Much is made of Iran's use of proxy or allied groups to exert "hard power" influence throughout the Middle East where Tehran believes its interests are under threat (Lebanon), or sees an opportunity to exert greater influence (Syria, Iraq), or to act as a spoiler (Yemen). But far less is made of its use of "power", of the energy kind, exemplified in its use of its energy exports to take advantage of regional states' inability to cater for their own domestic requirements. -The Interpreter 9/13/21

#SanctionsStory: The Human Impact of Sanctions on Iran

We asked Iranian Americans to share their #SanctionsStory about the impacts on their loved ones abroad. Listen to what they have to say below then take action to urge Congress to provide Iran with humanitarian relief. -NIAC Action 9/10/21

Why Is Iran So Keen on Joining the SCO?

Recent remarks by Russian and Iranian officials suggest that Iran is on the verge of gaining full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional forum launched in 2001 by China, Russia, and the Central Asian republics (minus Turkmenistan) to combat the so-called "three evils" namely "terrorism, separatism, and extremism." -Fardin Eftekhari, The Diplomat 9/8/21

Iranian fuel tanker heading for Syria poses test for US sanctions

An Iranian tanker carrying fuel bound for Lebanon was at anchor in the Red Sea on Friday ahead of the final leg of a voyage to Syria, which is set to pose the biggest test yet to US sanctions imposed on two arch regional foes. The tanker is expected in the Syrian port of Baniyas early next week, in defiance of US sanctions that prevent oil exports from Iran and imports to Syria, which have both been subject to stringent US-imposed restrictions on trade. -Guardian 9/6/21

Photos: Harvesting hazelnuts in Qazvin, Iran

Qazvin province is the second-largest hazelnut producer in the country after Gilan. The harvesting season of hazelnuts has started. There are about 16,000 fertile hazelnut trees in more than 70 villages in the Rudbar region of Alamut. -Farhad Safari, Mehr 8/31/21

Lebanon's energy crisis fuels US-Iran tensions

In the midst of an economic collapse and an energy crisis, Lebanon has found itself in a tug of war between the United States and Iran. On August 19, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah announced an arrangement for a diesel fuel shipment from Iran to Lebanon, which would be a violation of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. A few hours later, the US ambassador in Beirut, Dorothy Shea, declared that Washington will help Lebanon implement a plan to transfer Egyptian gas to Lebanon for power generation... -Joe Macaron, Responsible Statecraft 8/30/21

Raisi Tells First Cabinet Meeting That Iran Is 'Seriously Lagging Behind' As Virus Woes Mount

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi says the country is "seriously lagging behind" in certain social and economic areas and the government must act to "improve people's livelihoods" as the country grapples with a surge in coronavirus cases. Speaking on August 26 at the start of his first cabinet meeting since the government was approved by parliament a day earlier, Raisi acknowledged that the situation in the country "must certainly change." 8/26/21

The Impact of U.S. Sanctions on Internet Access in Iran

U.S. sanctions are making it easier for the Iranian government to censor, surveil, and repress its population. Iranian citizens are losing access to tools they need to circumvent government filters at a time when Iranian authorities are intensifying their drive to securitize online space inside Iran... -NIAC 8/26/21

Afghanistan: Iran exports fuel following Taliban request

Iran restarted exports of petrol and gas oil to Afghanistan a few days ago, following a request from the Taliban, an exporters' union official said. "The Taliban sent messages to Iran saying 'you can continue the exports of petroleum products'," Hamid Hosseini, board member and spokesperson at Iran's Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters' Union in Tehran, told Reuters on Monday. -MEE 8/24/21

Sanctions will kill and rarely win when implemented with 'full force'

Andres Aslund, a senior fellow at the Stockholm Free World Forum, recently presented a dangerous set of assertions about the efficacy of sanctions that are neither historically accurate nor based in logic. First, he says, "Nobody is killed by sanctions," and second, his bottom line advises that "[w]e need to hit hard early on with full force to win, not try to keep reserves for a second, third and fourth blow." Each claim is refuted by the empirical evidence on sanctions currently available. -George A. Lopez, Responsible Statecraft 8/23/21

Iranian fuel tanker heads for crisis-hit Lebanon, says Hezbollah

Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah said Thursday a tanker would set off from Iran "within hours" to bring desperately needed fuel supplies to Lebanon, in defiance of US sanctions. ADVERTISING Many questions remain about how the shipment would reach its stated destination, where acute and growing fuel shortages have forced hospitals, businesses and government offices shut amid a crippling economic crisis. -France24 8/19/21

Photos: First day of business closures in Iran

Iran's national task force for fighting COVID-19 has ordered all jobs categorized as unnecessary to be closed as there has been a huge surge in new cases and deaths in the country. The closures began on Monday, August 16, and will continue until 21 August in all cities of Iran. -ISNA 8/18/21

Iranian Regulators Urged To Legalise Cryptocurrency Exchanges

The discussion on rules that apply to Cryptocurrency in Iran has been ongoing for some time now. Fars News Agency reported that the popularity of cryptocurrencies among Iranians has grown significantly with the rising prices of decentralized assets in recent months. Due to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, Iranian lawmakers recently prepared new legislation to introduce comprehensive rules for the expanding industry. -Bitcoinist 8/18/21

Treasury Department to release impounded religious tiles

The U.S. Treasury Department is releasing a shipment of tiles that were intended for a northern Virginia mosque but were confiscated at Dulles International Airport after they were determined to have violated sanctions on Iran. Word of the release came through the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which released a letter dated Aug. 16 from the Treasury Department to attorneys representing the Manassas Mosque. -AP 8/18/21

Will Iran's new president turn the economy around?

There is no familiar equivalent in Persian for the cautionary maxim, "be careful what you wish for," but it is an apt description for the predicament that Iran's conservatives face as they assume full control of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The accession of Ebrahim Raisi on August 5 to Iran's presidency is, according to hardliners, the first time a revolutionary administration is running the country. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Responsible Statecraft 8/17/21

The empty gesture of imposing sanctions on Cuba and Iran

External pressure hurts ordinary people and doesn't budge incalcitrant regimes. But tough-guy posturing pays off for American presidents. -Stephen Kinzer, Boston Globe 8/12/21

Report: US Mulls Easing Iran Sanctions in Exchange for Nuclear Freeze

According to a report from Bloomberg, the US is considering different options to take with respect to Iran as talks to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, are still on hold. The report cited anonymous people familiar with the matter who said one option being weighed was to give Iran limited sanctions relief in exchange for a freeze in the Islamic Republic's "most provocative" aspects of its nuclear program, likely referring to Iran's uranium enrichment levels. 8/10/21

The Moral Bankruptcy of the Iran Hawks

Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh dress up the same failed sanctions approach as a "new approach" to Iran. It would almost be amusing that Gerecht and Takeyh refer to this as a "far more moral and practical foreign policy" if it weren't so morally bankrupt and evil. The U.S. has been inflicting collective punishment on more than eighty million Iranians in a vain bid to compel their government to capitulate on a wide range of issues. -Daniel Larison 8/6/21

Iran's Raisi promises to lift sanctions, improve public trust

Iran's incoming President Ebrahim Raisi has promised to take action to lift harsh sanctions imposed by the United States and bridge the gap with dissatisfied Iranians but said he will not tie the country's future to the West. After being officially endorsed on Tuesday by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as Iran's eighth president, the 60-year-old signalled that he will continue talks to restore the country's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers from which the US unilaterally withdrew three years ago. -Al Jazeera 8/3/21

Can Iran's new President Raisi fix a deeply troubled economy?

Ebrahim Raisi, who will be sworn in on Thursday as Iran's eighth president, inherits a troubled economy whose fate has been intertwined with political upheavals. The "revolutionary" government he's promised to form has a Herculean task ahead to fix an economy that suffers from a toxic mix of United States sanctions, the COVID-19 pandemic, and structural issues that have taken hold after decades of mismanagement. -Al Jazeera 8/2/21

Photos: Longest tunnel in West Asia on verge of inauguration

The "East Alborz" tunnel that is said to be the longest in West Asia is going to be inaugurated later today by outgoing President Hassan Rouhani. The tunnel connects Alborz province with the northern provinces. -Maryam Kamyab, Mehr 7/30/21

The grapes of Khuzestan's wrath

After decades of poor environmental governance and mismanagement of water resources in Iran's southwestern Khuzestan province, it's not surprising that people have taken to the streets once again since July 15, prompting a violent crackdown by security forces and near total internet shutdown. But how did it get to this point? -Nasser Karami, Atlantic Council 7/30/21

Tazminchi: a Platform for Enabling Trade on Social Networks

The Iranian startup Tazminchi started operations with Hossein Moradi's idea and investment from the No-avaran Javid accelerator. Hossein Moradi, the founder of Tazminchi and CEO of the Javid Group, was born in 1982. He completed his bachelor's in agricultural engineering at Islamic Azad University and is an MBA graduate of the Sharif University of Technology. -Techrasa 7/29/21

Mehdi Hasan Asks Why US Still Sanctioning Iran as Covid Cases Surge

MSNBC anchor Mehdi Hasan asked why the United States continues to sanction Iran despite a surge in coronavirus cases in the country. As of Sunday, the seven-day average of coronavirus cases in Iran is 24,024, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. During The Mehdi Hasan Show on Sunday the host asked U.S. Special Representative for Iran Robert Malley about "the humanitarian situation in Iran." -Mediaite 7/27/21

Opening new oil export pipeline, Iran takes new step toward energy independence

Goreh-Jask pipeline project provides Iran with an alternative route for the country's crude oil exports that are currently carried out through the Strait of Hormuz. The pipeline will open a new gate for Iranian oil to the Indian Ocean by transferring it from Goreh in southwestern Bushehr Province to Jask on the shores of Oman Gulf. -Ebrahim Fallahi, Tehran Times 7/27/21

High stakes: How sanctions relief could impact EU-Iran trade

The new Iranian administration may agree on a revised JCPOA with the U.S. But if the economic benefits are paltry, political support will drain away. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, Responsible Statecraft 7/26/21

Iran opens oil terminal to bypass strategic Strait of Hormuz

Outgoing President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran opened its first oil terminal in the Gulf of Oman, a move that will allow it to avoid using the Strait of Hormuz shipping route that has been a focus of regional tension for decades. "This is a strategic move and an important step for Iran. It will secure the continuation of our oil exports," Rouhani said in a televised speech on Thursday. -Al Jazeera 7/22/21

Report: US Mulls New Sanctions on Iran's Oil Sales to China

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the Biden administration is considering fresh sanctions on Iran that target the Islamic Republic's oil sales to China as a way to ramp up the pressure on Tehran. Citing unnamed US officials and people "familiar with the matter," the report said the US is considering options to either pressure Iran to keep negotiating on the nuclear deal or "punish" Iran if the talks fail. One of those options is sanctioning oil sales to China. 7/20/21

Ending forever wars must include economic warfare

Ending endless war has become an ever-present catchphrase, employed by Republicans and Democrats alike, to appeal to the majority of Americans who wish to see an end to ineffective U.S. wars and adventurism across the world, and better use of their hard-earned tax dollars. But, while we may think of war to mean military incursions, bombs and fighting, there is an aspect to U.S. warfare that is too-often absent from the discussion: economic warfare. -Assal Rad, Responsible Statecraft 7/19/21

U.S. sanctions, COVID-19 pose double damage for Iranians

Reza's type 2 diabetes has always worried him, but raging COVID-19 has become another source of distress alongside the difficulties of acquiring the drugs he needs for survival. Since the U.S. sanctions have been affecting Iran's import of medicine from abroad, getting the everyday insulin shots has increasingly become a troublesome issue for Reza, who only wanted to be identified by his surname. -Xinhua 7/12/21

Improving Iran's ailing economy will be Raisi's priority

Since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the art of economic management has never been the strongest side of the country's leaders. Iranian politicians, and especially those from conservative circles, always believed Iran's stability and survival to be primarily dependent on political and ideological factors. Thus, they have been reluctant to focus their efforts, and political rhetoric, on economic recovery and development beyond the minimally needed level. -Nikolay Kozhanov, Al-Jazeera 7/12/21

Iran oil sector rocked by strikes as contract workers demand end to low wages

Thousands of mainly temporary and contract oil and petrochemical workers in Iran have been on strike across the country since 20 June, in coordinated action dubbed the Strike Campaign 1400, referring to the current year in the Iranian calendar. The strikers are demanding higher wages and better contractual conditions, closer to those enjoyed by permanent workers in the industry. -MEE 7/8/21

Report: Biden is rethinking the price of economic warfare

According to new reporting by the Wall Street Journal, the Biden administration aims to overhaul the use of punitive sanctions. Officials say that the administration wants to avoid broad-based sanctions, lessen humanitarian impacts, and work with allies instead of unilaterally. Bottom line: reverse Trump's predilection for "maximum pressure" through economic warfare. -Beatrix Geaghan-Breiner, Responsible Statecraft 7/7/21

UN chief urges US to remove Iran sanctions as agreed in 2015

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed to US President Joe Biden's administration to lift or waive all sanctions on Iran as agreed under a 2015 deal aimed at stopping Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon. In a report to the UN Security Council, Guterres also urged the United States to "extend the waivers with regard to the trade-in oil with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and fully renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects". -Al-Jazeera 7/1/21

Iran oil workers strike for better wages as economy suffers

Thousands of workers in Iran's vast energy industry have gone on strike over the past week to press demands for better wages and conditions at oil facilities, Iranian media reported Wednesday. The widespread demonstrations underscore the mounting economic pressures on the country as it struggles to secure relief from crippling sanctions. -AP 7/1/21

'Tired, Desperate, And Hungry': Energy-Sector Strikes Put Pressure On Iranian Regime

"Tired, desperate and hungry" is how an Iranian contract oil worker described himself and his colleagues who in recent days went on strike to demand higher wages and better working conditions. The strikes in Iran's energy industry, which began on June 22 and have spread to more than 60 factories across eight provinces, are thought to be the most extensive in some 40 years. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE 6/30/21

Iran power cuts fuel fears in Iraq as scorching summer peaks

Iran halted its crucial supply of power to Iraq, fueling fears of protests Tuesday amid instability following the resignation of Iraq's electricity minister. Cash-strapped Iran has put pressure on Iraq's government to release payments for power after falling into arrears. The development comes with months of scorching summer temperatures still to come, and ahead of much anticipated federal elections. -AP 6/30/21

Iran Sees Millionaire Boom Amid Sanctions, Covid-19 And An Election

The number of millionaires in Iran has exploded despite the country suffering under U.S. sanctions and the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, the number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in Iran grew by 21.6%, way above the global average of 6.3%. The collective wealth of these dollar millionaires grew even faster at 24.3%. -Forbes 6/29/21

US and Israel Vote 'No' as 184 Nations Condemn American Blockade of Cuba

Peace and human rights advocates joined the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday in their annual condemnation of the United States' disastrous economic embargo against Cuba. For the 29th straight year, the members of the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution demanding an end to the 60-year U.S. economic blockade on Cuba. -Common Dreams 6/29/21

These Iranian Fisherwomen Are Trying to Make History

Every day at dawn, fisherwomen from the tiny island of Hengam in Iran nudge their daughters into small boats. The currents are often overwhelmingly strong, but for these women, braving rough waves isn't just about finding their catch of the day. It's how mothers groom their daughters to face life in the community. Hengam is one of the only islands in Iran where women set out to sea without men. -VICE 6/23/21

The Economic War on Iran Needs To End

The U.S. economic war on Iran hasn't ended, and one of the costs of that war has been the increasing authoritarianism of the Iranian government. The "maximum pressure" campaign is not solely responsible for empowering Iranian hard-liners and contributing to the rigged victory of Ebrahim Raisi, the head of Iran's judiciary, but it has significantly undermined reformists, impoverished middle class Iranians, stifled the political opposition, and strengthened the hand of the most repressive elements in Iran's government. -Daniel Larison, 6/23/21

Deadly traffic: the fuel drivers caught up in Pakistan-Iran border tensions

As the two countries crack down on smuggling, those forced to cross the border 'for survival' face a perilous journey. The business of transporting fuel between Iran and the province of Balochistan has gone on for decades. Each day more than 1,000 Zamyads used to make this journey, selling to 1.5 million people in the Makran region of Balochistan. Iranian fuel also reaches five million people in other regions where Pakistani oil companies have no petrol stations. -Guardian 6/22/21

Iran floats reports of imminent Shanghai Cooperation Organization membership

Eager to enhance its negotiating leverage with the United States and Europe, Iran is projecting imminent membership of the China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in much the same way it pushed the signing of a much-touted 25-year cooperation agreement with the People's Republic that has yet to have any real legs. -James M. Dorsey, Responsible Statecraft 6/21/21

Saudis agree oil deal with Pakistan to counter Iran influence

Saudi Arabia has agreed to restart oil aid to Pakistan worth at least $1.5bn annually in July, according to officials in Islamabad, as Riyadh works to counter Iran's influence in the region. Riyadh demanded that Pakistan repay a $3bn loan last year after Islamabad pressured Saudi Arabia to criticise India's nullification of Kashmir's special status. -FT 6/21/21

It's the economy, stupid, says Iran's shrinking middle class ahead of vote

Battered by a double whammy of the Covid-19 pandemic and crushing sanctions after the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran's economy is the top concern as voters head to the polls in the June 18 presidential election. As Iran heads to the polls in the June 18 presidential election, the economy is a major concern for citizens, including members of the middle class such as Mahsa. -Bahar Makooi, MSN 6/17/21

Hope, fear, apathy: Iranian youths look to election

Iran is gearing up for a presidential election Friday but many young people are more focused on the daily struggle to survive and their dreams for the future. Jobs are scarce in a recession-hit economy battered by sanctions, a crisis exacerbated by the region's deadliest outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. -AFP 6/16/21

Iran says it has broad agreement with the US on lifting sanctions

Iran said it has reached a broad agreement with the U.S. over the lifting of sanctions on its industrial sectors, including energy, but warned there was "very little time left" for world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal. Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, didn't give more detail on the potential easing of trade restrictions, which have all but prevented the Islamic Republic from exporting oil and battered its economy. -Bloomberg 6/14/21

As Iran prepares to vote, its battered economy a major worry

Almost six years ago, Iranians poured into the streets to celebrate Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. They saw it as a chance for the Islamic Republic to re-enter the world economy and create opportunities like purchasing airplanes and selling its oil on the international market. Today, that dream has faded into a daily grinding nightmare of high inflation, an ever-weakening national currency and high unemployment worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. -AP 6/11/21

US lifts sanctions on 3 former Iranian officials and two companies

The Treasury and State Departments lifted sanctions "on three former government of Iran officials, and two companies previously involved in the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport, or marketing of Iranian petrochemical products, as a result of a verified change in status or behavior on the part of the sanctioned parties," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. -CNN 6/11/21

World Bank Revises Up Iran's Growth Estimates, Forecasts

The World Bank has revised up its estimates and forecasts for Iran's economic growth in its latest Global Economic Prospects reports published in June. According to the report, the economy is forecast to experience 2.1% and 2.2% growth in 2021 and 2022 respectively. New forecasts have been revised up by 0.6 and 0.5 percentage points respectively. This is while forecast for 2023 GDP growth is at 2.3% in the new report. -Financial Tribune 6/10/21

Blinken Says 'Hundreds' of Sanctions Will Remain on Iran Despite Talks

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said even if the US rejoins the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, "hundreds" of sanctions would still remain on Iran, including Trump-era measures. "I would anticipate that, even in the event of a return to compliance with the JCPOA, hundreds of sanctions remain in place, including sanctions imposed by the Trump administration," Blinken told a Senate hearing. 6/9/21

From hospitals to amusement parks, Iranians grapple with surprise power outages

Lifts and amusement park rides grinding to a halt, businesses, and employees left in the dark, hospital equipment stopping suddenly ... People around Iran have been experiencing regular power outages since the beginning of May. While the state energy distributor has tried to schedule these outages to align with energy demands, our Observers tell us that power cuts have been more frequent, and lengthier, than planned. -France24 6/3/21

Iran lifts cap on carrying foreign cash

The top economic decision and policy making authority in Iran has dismantled restrictions imposed in June last year on carrying foreign cash while it exempts raw gold, silver and platinum from any form of import duties. A Wednesday report by the IRIB News cited a decision adopted by Iran's Supreme Council of Economic Coordination (SCEC) earlier in the day which said that carrying foreign currencies into Iran would be free of any caps and limits. -Press TV 6/3/21

Battle Looms in Key Oil Market as Iran Aims to Seize Back Sales

The likely return of Iranian oil is setting up what promises to be an aggressive battle to supply a corner of the coveted Asian market. Iran is a major producer of condensates -- ultra-light oil that's a by-product from natural gas fields -- and South Korea is Asia's biggest operator of splitters designed to turn it into petrochemicals used to make plastics. -Bloomberg 6/3/21

Iranian superwomen's career experiences: a qualitative study

Superwoman refers to the identity of a woman who performs several important roles simultaneously and full-time, such as being a wife, mother, and homemaker while holding a job. This study aims to examine the career experiences of Iranian superwomen who maintained their mental health while holding multiple roles. -Maryam Nosrati Beigzadeh, et al, BMC 6/1/21

Apprentices become partners as Afghan refugee and Iranian team up

Spare parts clutter every corner of the auto-repair shop in the bustling centre of Shiraz, in the Islamic Republic of Iran's southern Fars province, where Abbas Balkhi leans under the hood of a car making careful adjustments until the rev of the engine sounds just right. -UNHCR 5/31/21

Iran's central bank chief dismissed for running for president

President Hassan Rouhani has dismissed Iran's central bank chief, Abdolnasser Hemmati, for becoming a presidential candidate in the June 18 election. The cabinet said in a statement on Sunday that Hemmati had been dismissed as his candidacy "prevents him from having enough presence at the central bank and performing the vital duties and responsibilities of the governor in the sensitive areas of money and foreign currencies". -Al-Jazeera 5/31/21

Iran should target 1970s-era oil output levels, says oil minister

Iran's oil minister said the country can increase its crude production rapidly, as world powers enter the final stages of negotiations to revive a 2015 nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic. "The next Iranian government should make it a top priority to raise oil production to 6.5 million barrels a day," Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters in Tehran on Monday. Higher output will "improve the country's security and political might." -Bloomberg 5/31/21

Iranian President Says Cryptocurrency Mining 'Must Stop' Until September

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has announced a four-month ban on all cryptocurrency mining in response to unplanned power cuts that have hit major Iranian cities. In televised remarks on May 26, Rohani said "cryptocurrency activities and mining cryptocurrencies must stop" across Iran until September 22. 5/27/21

Iran bans cryptocurrency mining for 4 months amid power cuts

Iran has banned the energy-intensive mining of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for nearly 4 months, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, as the country faces major power blackouts in many cities. "The ban on the mining of cryptocurrencies is effective immediately until September 22 ... Some 85% of the current mining in Iran is unlicensed," Rouhani said in a televised speech at a cabinet meeting. -Reuters 5/26/21

Analysis: Asian refiners poised to heavily favor Iranian condensate for better product margins

Asian refiners equipped with condensate splitters will likely favor Iranian ultra-light crude heavily over other similar grades offered in the market when US sanctions against Tehran are lifted, as the companies expect Iranian South Pars condensate's steep price discount to boost their product margins. -S&P Global 5/26/21

Iran starts pumping oil into strategic Goreh-Jask pipeline

Managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has announced the beginning of oil transfer operation through Goreh-Jask pipeline which is laid from Goreh oil terminal in the southwestern Bushehr Province to Jask oil terminal along the Gulf of Oman. The Goreh-Jask oil transfer project is going to provide Iran with an alternative route for the country's crude oil exports that are currently carried out through the Strait of Hormuz. 5/21/21

Photos: Making rag dolls - Tajmir village revives old tradition

Sarbisheh is one of the counties of South Khorasan Province. Women living in Sarbisheh have revived the old tradition of making rag dolls. There is a village in this county called Tajmir, which has changed from an unknown village into the center of doll-making in less than three years. Doll-making has completely changed people's lives in this village, and they no longer seek to migrate to cities. -Amir Madadipour, ISNA 5/21/21

Iran's oil exports, on rising trend, drop in May as China buying ebbs

Iranian oil exports, which have been on a rising trend while talks make progress on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, have dropped so far in May, according to three assessments, reflecting a lull in demand from China. Tehran's oil exports have risen since late 2020, despite U.S. sanctions toughened under U.S. President Donald Trump. Joe Biden's administration took office in January pledging to rejoin Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, which Trump had quit. -Reuters 5/19/21

Infographic: Iran's oil industry eyes end to sanctions

A flurry of talks involving the US, Iran and European nations could revive the nuclear deal and lift sanctions that had more than halved Iranian oil production, though significant obstacles remain. Iran pumped as much as 4.8 million b/d of crude and condensate before the sanctions were reimposed in 2018... -S&P Global 5/18/21

Iran's oil minister to retire, says he won't accept another role

Iran's veteran oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, will retire when President Hassan Rouhani's term ends this year, closing a career that started with the birth of the Islamic Republic in 1979 and has often been defined by his country's turbulent relationship with the U.S. -Bloomberg 5/18/21

U.S. tiptoes through sanctions minefield toward Iran nuclear deal

As the United States searches for a path back to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, it is tiptoeing through a minefield laid by former U.S. President Donald Trump. The mines are Iran-related sanctions Trump imposed on more than 700 entities and people, according to a Reuters tally of U.S. Treasury actions, after he abandoned the nuclear deal and restored all the sanctions it had removed. -Reuters 5/17/21

These Iranian woman are crushing it in crypto

As Iran's crypto community grows, so does the number of women making their mark on it. Mostly young, self-taught and multi-disciplined, they are swelling the ranks of active traders looking to shield hard-earned savings against local currency inflation and economic uncertainty. Some of these women are sharing their insights with aspiring crypto investors and even taking advantage of a self-employed flex schedule to achieve a healthier work-life balance. -Maziar Motamedi, Al Jazeera 5/17/21

Tips on Architecture From Sarvenaz Sharifi, Iranian Architect

Sarvenaz Sharifi, born in 1984 architect and interior designer of more than 50 luxury and modern Construction projects in Iran, Qatar, USA and Canada. She is the CEO of Abraj sustainable structure Construction and Design Company for the past 10 years. She was invited to teach at the Islamic university in Tehran in 2019. -Influencive 5/14/21

Iranian nurse braves difficulties, dangers imposed by COVID-19, U.S. sanctions

Despite having been pregnant for three months, Maliha Gharib Shah still worked on the frontline against COVID-19 on Wednesday, when people across the world were marking the International Nurses Day. As the coronavirus continues to run rampant through Iran, Shah, a nurse at the heart ward of Imam Hossein Hospital in Tehran, said, "I have to help my colleagues tide over these trying times." -Gao Wencheng, Xinhua 5/13/21

Ending sanctions may boost Iran's moderates in upcoming elections

Iran's presidential elections will be held on June 18 2021. Many speculate that the number of voters will be drastically smaller than in the 2017 elections, when voting by 73 percent of the eligible voters gave President Hassan Rouhani a landslide victory over his main hardline opponent, the Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi. -Muhammad Sahimi, Responsible Statecraft 5/12/21

EU companies could face legal action over Iran contracts

European companies doing business with Iran could face legal troubles if they have terminated their contracts with Iranian banks or firms solely because of fears about possible U.S. sanctions, according to a legal opinion handed down Wednesday by a top EU court advisor. The case centers around then President Donald Trump's 2018 decision to unilaterally pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear agreement. -AP 5/12/21

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