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August 17 2018
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Iran's President Rouhani Defends Caspian Sea Convention, Saying No Sell-Out

- President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet members lined up on Wednesday to defend a Convention signed by the littoral states of the Caspian Sea. Responding to reports and speculations that question the possible benefits and advantages of the convention for Iran, Rouhani and his ministers tried to draw a rosy picture out of the treaty, presenting it as a "great national achievement" for the Islamic Republic. - 8/16/18

Iranian Minister Shocked By $250 Billion Of Import Requests

- Iran's Minister of Industry, Mines and Business says, fluctuations in the local forex market in the past four months have tripled the number of applications for import licenses worth $250 billion dollar. Describing the figure as "unbelievable", Mohammad Shariatmadari has insisted that a "number of" profiteering individuals are trying to "fish in troubled waters", referring to the current currency and economic crisis. - 8/16/18

Where Is Your Kid? Iranians On Social Media Target Nepotism

- A newly launched social media campaign is pressuring Iranian officials to come clean about potential privileges their children enjoy due to their influence and connections. The campaign, under the hashtag #Where_is_your_kid?, follows reports of the children of Iranian politicians being promoted to top state jobs despite a lack of experience and living "luxury" lifestyles at a time when many Iranians are struggling to make ends meet due to a plunging national currency and concerns over newly reimposed U.S. sanctions that are likely to make their lives even more difficult. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/16/18

As Currency Drops Iran Faces Shortages Of Medications

- Iran's health ministry spokesman has admitted that the country is currently suffering from shortages of foreign-made medications, but, insisted that "it can be overcome". Blaming chaotic fluctuations in Iranian forex market and nosediving national currency, Iraj Harirchi says, "Since forty-fifty types of foreign medications have recently become scarce in Iran, the government has allocated $3.5 billion to purchase drugs." - 8/15/18

Economic Crisis In Iran Leading To Job Cuts And Inflation

- Iranian Auto parts manufacturers says 450 thousand workers in this industry are likely to lose their jobs as a result of Iran's foreign currency crisis. At the same time, Iranian media report that rising prices of foodstuff and cost of housing on a daily basis make life harder for most Iranians. - 8/15/18

UK's Quercus halts Iran solar project after US threat

- UK renewables investor Quercus has halted a deal worth over half a billion euros to build and operate a 600-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Iran, the company said on Tuesday. "Following the US sanctions on Iran, we have decided to cease all activities in the country, including our 600 MW project. We will continue to monitor the situation closely," Quercus chief executive Diego Biasi was quoted as saying. - 8/15/18

Will Iran Benefit from Lack of Coordination in Trump Administration's Multiple Sanctions?

- If assuring the success of the economic sanctions against Iran is one of Trump administration's top foreign policy priorities then there must be a good explanation for why it is simultaneously engaging in trade wars and imposing sanctions on some of Iran's major trade partners. Does U.S. expect Turkey, Russia and China to cooperate with U.S. sanctions and cut back their economic ties with Iran while they are themselves being punished by tariffs and economic sanctions for various reasons? -Nader Habibi - 8/14/18

IRAN: Khamenei Blames President Rouhani For Economic Crisis, Forbids Negotiating With U.S.

- At the same time he ruled out a military confrontation with the U.S. "Recently, American officials have been talking blatantly about Iran ... they are talking about war and negotiations ... They are exaggerating about possibility of a war with Iran. There will be no war ... We have never started a war and they will not confront Iran militarily," Khamenei retorted. - 8/14/18

Iran Offers Oil Discounts To Keep Asian Customers

- An official at the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has told state-run news agency, IRNA, that the company was reducing its prices for September sales to Asia to their lowest level in 14 years, compared with Saudi crude. The discount has been offered at a time that the second batch of renewed US sanctions, targeting Iran's oil exports, is scheduled to be implemented on November 4. - 8/14/18

Tourism Projects Worth $10B Underway In Iran

- Some 1,884 tourism projects valued at 430 trillion rials (nearly $10.2 billion) are underway in Iran, tourism chief Ali-Asghar Mounesan said on Sunday. Projects including construction of hotels and eco-lodges as well as projects aiming at attracting tourists are already underway and herald good days for tourism industry of the country, CHTN quoted Mounesan as saying. - 8/14/18

Iraq will not abide by US sanctions against Iran: Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says his government will only refrain from using the dollar in transactions with Iran without complying with the full scope of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. "Our commitment in the Iran issue is to not use the dollar currency in transaction, not abiding by the US sanctions," state television quoted the premier as telling a news conference in Baghdad on Monday. - 8/14/18

Caspian Sea Countries Summit Delivers Less Than Expected

- The leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan met in Aqtau, Kazakhstan, on August 12 for what was supposed to be the long-awaited signing of a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. The leaders met, and signed the convention, but after more than 20 years it was clear that some of the same issues that have prevented an agreement that suited all five countries remained. -Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL - 8/13/18

Iran Arrests 67 People In Drive Against Financial Crime

- Iran's judiciary says the authorities have arrested 67 people in a drive against financial crime as the country faces renewed U.S. sanctions and public outcry against widespread corruption. "Sixty seven suspects have been arrested, some of whom were released on bail, and more than 100 people including government employees and officials, as well as private employees and others have been given travel bans," judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said in remarks carried by state television on August 12. - 8/13/18

German Economy Minister: US cannot tell us with whom we can do business

- Germany's Economy Minister Peter Altmaier says the United States is in no position to tell Berlin with which countries it can do business, vowing support for companies doing business with Iran. The German minister made the remarks in an interview with Bild am Sonntagnewspaper on Sunday, emphasizing that Berlin would not let the Washington dictate its trade rules on it. - 8/13/18

Iran's Guardians Council Approves Anti-Money-Laundering Measures

- A top Iranian constitutional body has approved measures passed by parliament to bring the country more into line with international anti-money-laundering norms. The Guardians Council, which vets legislation passed by parliament, gave its approval to the legal amendments on combating the funding of terrorism, the body's spokesman, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, was quoted as saying by Iranian state media. - 8/13/18

Trump's Sanctions Will Hurt The Wrong People In Iran

- In August 2013, a group of 466 Iranian dissidents, including dozens of political prisoners, wrote a letter to President Barack Obama chastising him for his Iran policy. The unprecedented sanctions Obama had mustered against Iran, they argued, were not only debilitating the Iranian economy but suffocating Iranian civil society and prospects for peaceful democratic change within the country. - Jamal Abdi and Sina Toossi, NIAC - 8/11/18

Iran's Currency Starts The Week With Another Decline Against Dollar

- The Iranian currency started the new Iranian week on Saturday with another decline, trading above 10,500 rials to the dollar. This is another indication that the new foreign currency market policy of the government has failed to stop the rapid decline of the rial. - 8/11/18

Turkish Currency Lira Plunges As Trump Piles On The Pressure

- The embattled Turkish lira tumbled almost 20 percent to new record lows against the dollar on Friday as strains with the United States intensified, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defiantly proclaimed Turkey would emerge victorious in an "economic war". - 8/11/18

A Landmark Caspian Agreement (To Be Signed On August 12) -- And What It Resolves

- It has taken more than 20 years. But on August 12, the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan will meet in the Kazakh port city of Aqtau, reportedly to sign a new convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. Iran is arguably the loser under such an arrangement, as it would get only about 13 percent of the Caspian -- and the deepest and saltiest part at that. -Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL - 8/10/18

Iranian Currency Nosedives As New Forex Policy Seems Ineffective

- Only days after the announcement of President Hassan Rouhani's new forex policy, the value of Iranian national currency rial nosedived once again on the country's open market. While the dollar surpassed 10,000 rials, the private forex market is struggling with unexpected fluctuations, specifically over the value of the dollar, reports say. - 8/9/18

Iran hints trade guarantees from Europe are coming

- Iran says it will in all likelihood receive the necessary trade and banking guarantees from Europe to sustain a 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States has withdrawn from and which Washington has been attempting to break up.Iran says it will in all likelihood receive the necessary trade and banking guarantees from Europe to sustain a 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States has withdrawn from and which Washington has been attempting to break up. - 8/9/18

Iranian Minister, MPs Trade Charges of Corruption, Blackmail During Impeachment

- Debates at the Iranian parliament (Majles) on Wednesday August 8 shed light on a web of alleged corruption, blackmailing, embezzlement, bribery and mishandling of public funds, Iranian press and social media activists say. - 8/9/18

Can EU's Efforts Protect European Companies Dealing With Iran?

- Following the re-imposition of United States' sanctions against Iran on August 7, the US has been adamant to exert its utmost pressures on Tehran to enter comprehensive negotiations with Washington, while the EU has been following measures to salvage the Iran nuclear deal US pulled out of in May. - 8/9/18

French cows herded out of Iran by U.S. sanctions, Senator says

- A project to export cattle to Iran from Normandy in northern France has been halted due to the United States' renewed sanctions against Tehran, a French Senator said, as Washington's policy takes its toll on its European allies. -Reuters - 8/9/18

China, Russia defend trade ties with Iran after US sanctions

- China and Russia have repudiated new US sanctions on Iran, pledging to maintain trade ties with Tehran after President Donald Trump warned countries against doing business with the Islamic Republic. "China has consistently opposed unilateral sanctions and long-armed jurisdiction," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Wednesday, addressing Trump's decision Monday to reimpose sanctions on Tehran. - 8/8/18

Sanctions Buster? Iran Eyes Cryptocurrency To Blunt U.S. Deterrents

- With real-world problems sparking a "death spiral" for the rial currency, Iran's government is turning toward the cyberworld to help skirt U.S. sanctions that will further tighten the economic screws on Tehran. The underlying blockchain technology used in digital currencies eliminates the need for a third party, thus allowing for transactions to be made quickly, irrevocably, and in a secure environment. - 8/8/18

German Auto Giant Daimler Quits Iran, Citing U.S. Sanctions Threat

- German auto giant Daimler halted its business activities in Iran hours after U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to block any company operating in Iran from selling in the vast U.S. marketplace. "We have suspended our already limited activities in Iran in accordance with the applicable sanctions," a Daimler spokeswoman said on August 7. - 8/8/18

Outspoken Iranian MP Demands Explanation On Judiciary's Funds

- Outspoken Tehran MP Mahmoud Sadeghi has said that a number of employees of Iran's General Inspection Organization (GIO) have been arrested for "accidentally" auditing bank accounts of the Justice Department. "The lack of transparency in the state-run departments' interaction with the people has created a rift between the nation and the ruling establishment and led to decreasing the public trust in the regime to its lowest level," Sadeghi said. - 8/8/18

Trump Reimposes Iranian Economic Sanctions

- The United States has reimposed economic sanctions on Iran that were originally put in place to pressure the country to limit its nuclear program and later lifted under a 2015 international agreement. President Donald Trump has been a frequent critic of that deal and withdrew the United States from the agreement three months ago, setting in motion the reimposition of the sanctions effective at midnight Monday. -VOA - 8/7/18

IRAN: Hardliner Body Calls For Extensive Changes in Rouhani's Cabinet

- Iran's hardline-dominated Assembly of Experts has called on President Hassan Rouhani to be accountable for Iran's "chaotic economic situation," and demanded extensive overhaul of his cabinet. In Iran's worsening economic situation, hardliners have been increasingly putting the blame on Rouhani, demanding action. -Radio Farda - 8/7/18

Labor Minister Says Unemployment Will Skyrocket In Iran

- As the first round of reimposed U.S. sanctions against Iran takes effect, the Iranian economy is taking a beating, and Iran's leaders are expressing concern about maintaining social cohesion in the face of increasing economic pressures. Iran's Minister of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare, Ali Rabiei, has predicted the country will lose one million jobs by the end of the current Persian year on March 20, 2019. - 8/7/18

Iran unveils new currency policies to strengthen rial

- As the United States is preparing for the snapback of economic sanctions against Iran, the country has unveiled a much-awaited package of policies that it expects to help strengthen its national currency - the rial - which has lost nearly half of its value against the US dollar since the start of the year. - 8/6/18

Iran receives 5 ATR planes from France shortly before US sanctions return

- Iran has received five more ATR turboprop airplanes only a day before the return of US sanctions that have already torpedoed the country's plane purchases with other major providers. The planes that had left France's Toulouse earlier in the day landed in Tehran's International Mehrabad Airport on Sunday morning after a short stop for refueling in the northwestern city of Urmia. - 8/6/18

Germany Upholds Guarantees For Iran Business Despite U.S. Sanctions

- As the United States is gearing up to make an important announcement on the reimposition of sanctions against Iran on August 6, Germany has signalled it will support companies who do business with the country. - 8/6/18

Iran Central Bank Deputy Chief Detained Ahead Of Reimposed U.S. Sanctions

- Iranian authorities have detained a deputy Central Bank governor amid street protests over the country's economic difficulties, state-run media report, as Iran prepares to face a return of U.S. sanctions that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. A spokesman for the judiciary was quoted as saying on August 5 that Ahmad Araqchi was dismissed from the post the previous day before being detained for alleged economic crimes. - 8/6/18

Iran's New foreign currencies policy aimed at providing essential goods at official rate: Official

- Iran's First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri says the government will announce on Monday its new Forex policy in the face of the looming US sanctions. "Given the new economic situation in the country and due to the looming US sanctions on Iran, our economy is in dire need of new decisions and amendment of earlier policies," he said. Iran's first vice president then said the new policies are mainly aimed at providing the essential goods at the official rate - 8/4/18

In blow to Trump, China rejects US request to cut Iran oil imports

- China has rejected a US demand to cut Iranian oil imports despite Washington's attempts to bring down the Islamic Republic's oil sales to zero, Bloomberg reports. The financial news provider quoted informed officials on Friday as saying that the US had been unable to persuade China to cut Iranian oil imports and that Beijing's purchases from Tehran last month remained unchanged. - 8/3/18

IRAN: Unrest Spreads To Shiraz, Mashhad; Slogans Focus On Dictatorship

- A new round of anti-government demonstrations has been taking place in major Iranian cities for the third day on August 2, with demonstrators chanting slogans against the dictatorship, clerical rule, and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Demonstrators also called for the release of political prisoners. -Radio Farda - 8/2/18

Protests Continue In Karaj, Near Tehran - Clashes With Security Forces

- For the second consecutive evening on Wednesday August 1, people in Gohardasht, in Karaj region, west of Tehran protested against rising prices and economic hardship, amid clashes with security forces. - 8/2/18

South Africa's MTN faces Iran crossroads as US sanctions loom

- South Africa's MTN Group is reported to have put on hold a $750 million expansion plan in the Iranian broadband market in the face of US sanctions which are about to take effect on Monday. Africa's biggest wireless networks group, which has a 49 percent stake in national operator Irancell, had agreed last year to invest in fixed line broadband network, Iranian Net. - 8/2/18

Iran Parliament To Question President Rouhani Over Economic Crisis Response

- Eighty members of the Iranian Parliament tabled a motion on August 1 to question President Hassan Rouhani about his administration's economic policy and its reactions to the country's ongoing economic crisis. Iranian media noted that 80 MPs comprise more than a quarter of the total number of deputies in the parliament. - 8/1/18

Hundreds Protest Currency Slump in Central Iranian City Of Isfahan

- Hundreds of Iranians joined a street protest Tuesday in the central city of Isfahan to denounce the government's handling of economic problems, including the record low value of Iran's currency. Images verified by VOA Persian and sent by Isfahan residents showed protesters marching and chanting anti-government slogans in the city's New Shapur district. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 8/1/18

Iran's currency rial claws back some losses after record fall

- Iran's rial bounced back on Tuesday from a record low which has seen the national currency lose nearly two-thirds of its value since the start of the year. It strengthened 13.72% against the dollar at 109,000 after hitting the record low of more than 120,000 on the unofficial market on Monday. - 7/31/18

Dozens Arrested In Economic Crackdown In Iran

- Twenty-nine people have been arrested on charges of 'economic disruption' and will be soon put on trial, according to Iran's judicial spokesman on July 29. Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei added that many of the detainees are charged with "corruption on Earth," which is punishable by death. - 7/31/18

Iran's Economic Crisis Worsens As Central Bank Is 'Closely Watching'

- The Central Bank of Iran has attributed unprecedented hype surrounding the country's forex and gold markets "mainly to enemies," adding that the increase in gold prices and rate of exchange of foreign currencies has nothing to do with Iran's "economic realities." -Radio Farda - 7/30/18

Iran to sue US for blocking import of hand-woven carpets

- The head of Iran National Carpet Center (INCC) says it will file a lawsuit with international tribunals against fresh sanctions imposed by the US on the imports of hand-woven Iranian rugs into the country. "Hand-woven Iranian carpet belongs to the Iranian nation," Fereshteh Dastpak said on Saturday, adding, "US President [Donald Trump] has wrongly sanctioned the art-industry, which is a symbol of culture and intellectual property of the Iranian people." - 7/30/18

Iran's currency Rial falls again in historic depreciation

- Iran's national currency set a new record low against the US Dollar on Sunday as a result of a race that it appears to be losing on two key fronts: the greenback and the gold. According to media, the Rial plunged past 113,300 on the unofficial market against one Dollar - the lowest rate ever recorded - before noon. The figure marked a major drop from about Rials 97,500 on Saturday. - 7/29/18

French Carmaker Renault Likely To Halt Iran Operations As Other Companies Leave

- French car manufacturer Renault says it is likely to leave Iran to avoid renewed U.S. sanctions in spite of previous promises to remain. Several other major companies including Maersk, Total, Peugeot, General Electric, Boeing, Reliance, and Siemens have already left Iran to evade U..S sanctions, which economic experts in Iran say will hit Iranians even harder in about four months' time. - 7/29/18

Increasing Housing Costs Burden Tehran Residents

- Residential real estate prices in Tehran have risen 54.4 percent in the past 12 months, according to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). In its latest report on the capital city's housing market, CBI also reported that the price per square meter for Tehran residential units increased to 69.7 million rials (roughly $1,600), compared with the same period last year. - 7/29/18

Homelessness On The Rise In Iran As Economic Pressures Draw Jobseekers To Cities

- The latest official statistics show that 19 million Iranian homeless live in slums on the outskirts of major cities. The figure comes from a recent report released by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development. Ministry head Abbas Akhoundi has cited the figure of 19 million urban homeless in the past, a number that represents nearly 24 percent of the country's population. - 7/27/18

International Court of Justice orders U.S. not to take new sanctions measures against Iran

- Mohsen Mohebi, head of the Presidential International Legal Center, said on Tuesday that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has demanded the U.S. not to take any new sanctions measures against Iran until the tribunal issues its verdicts on a lawsuit filed by the Islamic Republic against the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions. - 7/27/18

President Xi Visits the UAE but Skips Iran and Saudi Arabia

- On his way to a tour of several African nations China's President Xi Jinping paid an official visit to the United Arab Emirates...Yet an even more significant aspect of President Xi's visit, that has not received any media attention, is that unlike his previous visit to the Middle East, President Xi did not stop at several capitals and instead limited his visit to one country. -Nader Habibi - 7/26/18

Palermo Bills Suspended by Iran's Parliament

- The Iranian Parliament has shelved the bill on joining the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), until learning the explicit stance of the Iranian supreme leader over it. The bill, known as the "Palermo Bill" in Iran, already approved by the parliament on June 10, faced the Guardian Council's (GC) opposition, which found incompatibility between the text of the bill and its translation. - 7/26/18

Iran closer to own digital currency as sanctions loom

- Iran says it is preparing to develop its own digital currency as a solution which officials in Tehran say would help the country dodge the returning US sanctions. A plan to create an indigenous cryptocurrency was already on the agenda of the Directorate for Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Presidential Office, Iran's media reported. - 7/26/18

Iran's Rouhani shakes up economic team ahead of sanctions

- Iran has got a new central bank governor as the country is struggling to check a steep depreciation of the rial and root out a series of irregularities in its banking system. Abdolnaser Hemmati, 61, replaced Valiollah Seif as the top Iranian banker following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the Tasnim news agency reported. - 7/25/18

Iran, Russia step up energy ties amid West's sanctions

- Russia and Iran have discussed energy cooperation between the two countries and through OPEC as part of their efforts to blunt the impact of Western sanctions. According to Russia's Energy Ministry, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak met in Moscow and discussed the possibility of Russian oil companies taking part in projects in Iran. - 7/24/18

Turkey has rejected US call to abide by anti-Iran sanctions: Turkish FM

- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has described Washington's sanctions against Iran as inappropriate, saying Ankara has told US officials that it will not abide by the bans. Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that Turkish authorities had conveyed the message to a delegation of US Treasury and State Department officials during a visit to Ankara last week. - 7/24/18

Khamenei Supports Blocking Region's Oil Exports If Iran's Exports Stopped

- Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on July 21 backed President Hassan Rohani's suggestion that Iran may block oil exports from the Persian Gulf if its own exports are stopped. Khamenei's website said Khamenei supported Rohani's statement earlier in July that "if Iran's oil is not exported, no regional country's oil will be exported." - 7/21/18

Japan To Suspend Imports Of Iranian Oil In Light Of Reimposed Sanctions

- Japan is preparing to suspend its crude oil imports from Iran to comply with U.S. demands that are reinforced with threats of sanctions against companies that don't adhere to them. As a result, Japan's Iranian oil imports are expected to plunge to zero as soon as October. - 7/20/18

Iranian Officials Revisit 'Oil For Goods' Scheme As Way Around U.S. Sanctions

- Following Russia's lead, EU leaders are exploring the possibility of circumventing U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil sales by trading oil for goods instead of purchasing it, according to Iranian officials. The deputy chairman of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture, Pedram Soltani, said on July 17 that exchanging oil for goods could be one way of getting around the U.S. sanctions re-imposed after the United States pulled out of the nuclear deal in May. - 7/20/18

European Bank Throws Doubt On EU Plan To Salvage Iran Nuclear Deal

- The head of the European Investment Bank has thrown into doubt whether the European Union can deliver on its pledge to save the Iranian nuclear deal, saying the bank cannot invest in Iran as the EU has envisioned. - 7/19/18

A Case Of Corruption And Embezzlement Angering Iranians

- A court in Tehran has been silently investigating a major financial corruption case during recent weeks, reformist daily Sharq revealed on Wednesday July 18. The case is about Samen al-Hojaj Finance and Credit Institution, one of many similar institutions that offered unusually high interest rates to investors, but failed to honor their commitments due to mishandling of funds. -Radio Farda - 7/19/18

Teachers In Iran Launch A Campaign To Protest Low Wages

- Protests by Iranian teachers against their low salaries has gained momentum in recent days, social media reports say. The campaign, under the banner of "No! to Payslips and Salaries" was launched by several teachers' rights activists almost immediately after the Ministry of Education declared it will increase teachers' salaries six to ten percent for the next school-year, a local news website, Khabar Online reported. -Radio Farda - 7/19/18

Europe Plans Bank Accounts For Iran To Ease Repatriation Of Oil Revenues

- The Wall Street Journal quoted "several European officials" on July 16 as having said that three European states are about to open new accounts or activate old accounts for the Iranian Central Bank in spite of US sanctions in what it described as "the first concrete sign that Europe could deliver on its promise" to sustain the Iranian nuclear deal. - 7/18/18

EU activates law on protecting Iran trade: Mogherini

- European countries have activated a blocking statute that prohibits companies from complying with US sanctions on Iran, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says. "Today, the European Council has endorsed the update of the blocking statute annex on the nuclear deal with Iran," Mogherini told reporters in Brussels at a meeting with EU foreign ministers. - 7/17/18

After Recent Protests, Iran Officials Highlight Corruption

- Iran's judicial spokesman has revealed that certain individuals have been arrested and several companies closed down over the alleged abuse of subsidized dollars and price violations on the cellphone market. "Documents have been found that show a number of serious violations have been made on the cellphone market," mid-ranking cleric Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei said during his weekly press briefing on July 15. - 7/17/18

Trade tariff war with US pushing Chinese oil buyers to Iran

- Indications are growing that Chinese companies are scrapping plans to purchase oil from the United States and are instead turning to Iran for imports in what appears to be a result of escalating trade tariff war between Beijing and Washington. - 7/17/18

US Rejects European Requests For Relief On Iranian Sanctions

- The United States has reportedly rejected requests from European allies that are seeking exemptions from U.S. sanctions imposed on countries doing business in Iran. According to diplomats and other officials, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote a letter to Britain, France and Germany saying the U.S. would not provide widespread protection from sanctions to countries doing business in Iran. - 7/16/18

Iran files complaint with International Court of Justice over re-imposition of US sanctions

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic has lodged a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the United States' "unlawful" move to re-impose "unilateral" sanctions against Tehran. "Today Iran filed a complaint [with] @CIJ_ICJ to hold US accountable for its unlawful re-imposition of unilateral sanctions," Zarif said in a post on his official Twitter account on Monday. - 7/16/18

Paris request for US waivers on Iran trade rejected: French Finance Minister

- France says the US has rejected its request to exempt French companies from sanctions that Washington plans to impose against Iran. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire was quoted by media as saying that the US Treasury Department had officially informed Paris that no exemptions would be given to French enterprises for dealing with Iran once the sanctions return. - 7/13/18

Self-proclaimed human rights advocates silent on U.S. sanctions: Iran's Health Minister

- Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh-Hashemi on Tuesday criticized the self-proclaimed human rights advocates for their silence toward U.S. sanctions moves against Iran which can impede access of Iranian patients to necessary drugs. "Undoubtedly, the anti-Iran sanctions would harm the elderly and infants while the so-called advocates of human rights are observing and approving them by their silence," Qazizadeh-Hashemi told reporters, ISNA reported. - 7/12/18

Relative calm seen in Iran's currency market

- Serious signs have appeared in Iran that show the country's volatile foreign currency market is already heading toward stability. According to media reports, the US dollar was today traded at Rials 78,300 in Tehran indicating a decline of around 4 percent compared to last Wednesday's figure of Rials 81,000. The greenback was nonetheless higher by 8 percent than what it was traded in the capital four weeks ago at Rials 72,500. - 7/12/18

Iranian MP from Tehran Accuses His Peers Of Receiving Bribes

- Tehran's outspoken representative to parliament, Mahmoud Sadeghi has accused his colleagues of receiving bribes to shelve a parliamentary motion aimed at investigating law violations at the capital city's municipality. In one of the most explicit comments on corruption in the Islamic Republic, so far, Mahmoud Sadeghi lambasted an "unknown number of MPs" for bribery to cover up mismanagement at Tehran's City Hall. - 7/12/18

Looming Sanctions Jeopardize Expansion Of Iran's Rail Network

- The decision of U.S. President Donald Trump in May to scrap the landmark 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) has jeopardized Iran's railway projects with international companies. The nuclear agreement encouraged several European and Asian companies to sign contracts worth billions of dollars with Iran for expanding the country's rail network. But fearing sanctions from the U.S., companies such as Germany's Siemens now say they'll cancel their projects in Iran, despite the fact that their own governments still support the JCPOA. - 7/11/18

Corruption Cases Multiply At Tehran Municipality

- The Tehran City Council chairman has disclosed a mind-blowing 26,000 complaints against the city over the past two years for legal violations, mostly related to illegal construction activity and financial corruption. Hashemi has said previously that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' (IRGC) Cooperatives Fund owes trillions of rials (tens of millions of dollars) to the municipality. Many allege corruption at City Hall has allowed the IRGC to evade punishment and fines for its illegal construction activity. - 7/11/18

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