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August 29 2015
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Iran Sees $30 Billion From Future Tourism

- The deal struck between Iran and six world powers over its nuclear program should see sanctions against the country beginning to ease by next year - and Iranians are hoping the lifting of travel restrictions could prompt an influx of international tourists. Travel agencies already are seeing an increase in demand. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA - 8/28/15

EU working on new deal in rush to Iran

- The European Union is said to be working on a political agreement to fast-track plans for future energy deals in Iran. Financial data and news provider Bloomberg on Thursday cited "two people with direct knowledge of the talks" as saying that the deal could be signed as early as November. - 8/28/15

Swiss conference: Iran 'pole of stability' for business

- Switzerland, which became the first nation to lift sanctions on Iran last month, has arranged a major conference for its business owners, urging them to make the most of business opportunities in the energy-rich country. Some 500 business people gathered in Zurich to have Swiss Ambassador to Tehran Giulio Haas call Iran "the pole of stability in a very, very unsafe region", media reports from the event said. - 8/28/15

Iran Cultivates Closer Ties with Azerbaijan

- After six years of turbulent relations between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, several recent trips by high-ranking Iranian officials to Baku and Azeri ministers to Tehran are the latest signs that the two countries want to forget bad memories and establish closer relations. This rapprochement is in part a response to the mutual security challenges that Iran and Azerbaijan currently face. -LobeLog's Tehran correspondent - 8/27/15

The Biggest Myths About Doing Business with Iran

- I've led three delegations of top international CEOs to Iran over the past three years. The first, in 2013, was during Ahmadinejad's presidency and later, in 2014 and 2015, under Rouhani. We met with Iranian business leaders, young entrepreneurs, religious leaders, students, artists and people we would encounter in markets or on the street. -Dick Simon, Huffington Post - 8/27/15

European companies ignore US, keen on returning to Iran market: Report

- London-based The Guardian, in a new report published on Tuesday, noted that the nuclear agreement has actually widened the gap between the two sides of the Atlantic, saying, "The ink was barely dry on the agreement with Iran ... before a German government plane packed with the nation's economic elite touched down in Tehran." - 8/27/15

Iran admits interest in Russian Superjet

- An Iranian official has admitted Iranian aviation companies' interest in Russia's Superjet passenger planes amid Tehran's quest for new aircraft to build up the country's aging fleet, the Fars news agency says. - 8/27/15

Iran to forgo wheat import for first time

- For the first time, Iran will not import wheat this year thanks to satisfactory state purchases of the crop from local farmers and decent harvest, the country's deputy agriculture minister says. The Agriculture Ministry has bought 7.8 million metric tons of the strategic grain so far, with overall guaranteed purchases expected to surpass eight million metric tons, Ali Qanbari said. - 8/26/15

After Nuclear Deal With West, Iran Gears Up to Cash In

- When Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps took over the nation's telecommunications monopoly in 2009, the move was denounced as another dark step in the hard-line military group's seizure of the levers of power. Last month, however, the company, the Telecommunication Company of Iran, was put up for sale, as the Revolutionary Guards now seem more interested in cashing in on what Iranian leaders are hoping will be a flood of foreign investment... -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 8/22/15

Post-sanctions Iran must focus on building a knowledge economy

- In 1979, the Islamic Revolution rid Iran of over two and a half millennia of monarchy. It also led to a three-decade exodus of highly educated Iranians from the country. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), for over twenty-five years, Iran has consistently had one of the highest rates of brain drain in the world. -Kayvan Vakili, Quartz - 8/21/15

Will Iran nuclear deal affect Persian businesses in L.A.?

- The nuclear deal struck between Iran and the U.N. Security Council is being hotly debated in Congress. In Los Angeles, business people in the largest community of Iranians outside Iran are talking about what an end to sanctions might mean for their businesses. -Andy Uhler, Marketplace - 8/21/15

Europe, US may invest in Iran glass industry

- German, Italian and US companies indicated readiness to invest in Iran's glass manufacturing industry, head of the Iranian Glass and Crystal Producers Association said. They made their intentions known to Iranian officials during visits by European delegations to Tehran recently in the wake of last month's conclusion of nuclear negotiations, Ahmad Amir-Ahmadi said. - 8/19/15

Baku tells Tehran to join EU gas pipeline plan

- Iran's media say Azerbaijan has officially proposed to Iran to join a key project to export natural gas to Europe. Azerbaijan reportedly wants to engage Iran in gas exports to Europe through the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). - 8/19/15

Iran denies plans for establishing chamber of commerce with US

- Iran has denied media reports about plans to set up a joint chamber of commerce with the US after the conclusion of nuclear talks last month. In a statement, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines said no measure has been taken yet for establishing such an entity, adding any reports to the contrary "lacked any legal basis". - 8/18/15

Iran gets first ever associated gas offer

- A French company has proposed to buy associated gas from an offshore Iranian oilfield in the Persian Gulf in order to convert it into LNG, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says. The offer marks the first of its kind to Iran by a foreign company to use natural gas associated with oil production instead of burning it off as the country often does in a practice known as flaring. - 8/18/15

State of Sanctions on Iran after Nuclear Deal

- The following is the introduction and summary of a paper prepared by the law firm Berliner Corcoran and Rowe (BCR) LLP. It addresses the current state of sanctions on Iran in light of the July 14 Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) agreed between the P5+1 and Iran in Vienna and the implications for U.S. individuals and entities wishing to do business in Iran. The entire brief can be found here. -Jim Lobe - 8/17/15

Iran opens Middle East's largest caviar plant

- Iran has opened a sturgeon farm described as the Middle East's largest on its Caspian coasts to produce high-end caviar -- the most prized luxury delicacy reserved for the rich. - 8/17/15

Iran unveils first oil project under new model

- Iran plans a $2.2 billion development of a field shared with Iraq to produce 50,000 barrels of oil per day, an official says, marking the first introduction of major energy projects under a new contract. - 8/14/15

Mercedes pays compensation to Iran Khodro

- German carmaker Mercedes-Benz has paid Iran Khodro 42 million euros in compensation for leaving Iran in the heyday of Western sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Tehran-based media reports say. The reparation comes as Mercedes, owned by Daimler, seeks to return to Iran in anticipation of sanctions being lifted - 8/14/15

India Prepares to Pay $1.4B Iran Oil Dues

- Indian refiners have got the green light to prepare to pay Iran $1.4 billion in oil dues, two sources with knowledge of the issue said, in one of the first signs that last month's nuclear deal is helping Tehran unlock frozen funds. -Reuters - 8/14/15

Switzerland Lifts Sanctions On Iranian Oil, Precious Metals Sales

- Switzerland is lifting some sanctions against Iran in what it calls a sign of support for the agreement between Tehran and world powers over its nuclear program. - 8/13/15

Iran's troubled bond market

- Plagued by the woes of Iran's troubled banking system, many Iranian firms are considering raising capital by issuing dollar-denominated bonds once sanctions are lifted. However, the road to this end won't be easy - and the lifting of sanctions alone won't solve everything. -Morteza Ramezanpour, Al-Monitor - 8/13/15

Iran orders extra 500,000 bpd oil output

- Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh has ordered oil production and exports to be ramped up by 500,000 barrels per day in preparation for the removal of sanctions on Iran, a news agency says. - 8/12/15

The Iran Deal and South Asia

- The agreement between Iran and world powers may be making Iran's Arab neighbors nervous, but for South Asian countries with energy worries, it has come as a relief. The lifting of sanctions on Iran could mean economic growth, improved security, and increased cooperation region-wide. It could be a transforming factor in a region with deep-seated political, economic, and environmental problems. -Fatemeh Aman, LobeLog - 8/12/15

Iran's Carpet Weavers at Work, Anticipating Jump in Exports

- "The Persian hand-woven carpet is Iran's ambassador. I'm delighted that the ambassador is in the process of resuming work in the U.S.," exporter Jila Rassam Arabzadeh said this week. "The Persian carpet is like the Iranian flag, known all over the world. Let our flag fly." -AP - 8/12/15

Iran says can transit Qatar gas to Europe

- Iran has raised a new option to export natural gas to Europe which it says involves extra supplies from Qatar. Mohsen Jalalpour, the president of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, has told reporters Iran can take Qatar's gas and transit it to Turkey to be pumped to Europe. - 8/11/15

Europe Uses Iranian Trips to Bolster Nuclear Deal

- It seems like a weekly tradition for senior European officials to travel to Iran. On August 4, for the third consecutive week, a delegation of Europeans arrived in Tehran, this time as part of an economic panel led by Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Paolo Gentiloni and Minister of Economic Development Frederica Guidi. -LobeLog's Tehran correspondent - 8/10/15

US exports to Iran up 60% in first half of 2015

- Official figures show US exports to Iran jumped by a whopping 60 percent in the first half of 2015. Iran's media have quoted figures released by the US Department of Commerce as showing that the value of US exports over the period reached a total of $140 million. - 8/9/15

France's ADPI to invest in Iran airport projects

- Iran says ADPI Group, a leading French company specializing in airport architecture and engineering has voiced interest in the development of three key airport projects in the country. - 8/9/15

Iran to unveil new oil contracts in London

- Iran will introduce its new oil contracts to a London conference planned for December as the country seeks to boost recovery from its fields with the help of foreign companies, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says. Energy officials have said Iran has identified nearly 50 oil and gas projects worth $185 billion up for grab. - 8/8/15

Sanctions Worked, Congress. Let Them Die.

- Economic sanctions sometimes are called "war by other means." But in war, the executive branch generally controls the battlefield without congressional interference. That's unfortunately less so for sanctions. Many members of Congress are fighting President Obama now to maintain congressional sanctions against Cuba and Iran. American businesses bear the burden of sanctions. -Stephen R. Heifetz, NY Times - 8/7/15

Sanctions crumble in Europe's rush to Iran

- With American political leaders hunkered in a bitter dispute over whether to embrace the Iran nuclear accord, the Europeans are snapping up trade deals, pending the removal of sanctions to resume full-fledged business relationship. - 8/6/15

Italy to fund $2B of projects in Iran

- Italy has agreed to provide funding and insurance coverage for industrial, construction and infrastructure projects worth $2 billion in Iran which hosted the latest European delegation after the conclusion of nuclear talks. Italy's Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni led the Italian political and economic delegation on the visit to Tehran. They followed in the footsteps of officials from France, Germany and Serbia. - 8/5/15

Iran, US closer to joint trade chambers

- A top Iranian trade official has confirmed that the United States has already taken measures for the establishment of the US-Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce, saying a reciprocal move will start in Tehran once the Chamber is officially launched in Washington. - 8/4/15

India seeks to salvage reckless loss in Iran

- Indian oil minister plans to visit Tehran at the head of a delegation to win back development of a major gas field, which New Delhi lost by dawdling under US pressures. Dharmendra Pradhan will visit on the heels of Indian Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi who traveled to Tehran with officials from the finance, petroleum and natural gas ministries and the Reserve Bank of India. - 8/4/15

Iran plans to buy 80-90 Boeing, Airbus planes a year

- Iran plans to buy as many as 90 planes per year from Boeing (BA.N) and Airbus (AIR.PA) to renovate its fleet once Western sanctions are lifted. "Iran will buy a total of 80-90 planes per year from the two aviation giants in the first phase of renovating its air fleet," said Mohammad Khodakarami, the caretaker director of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization. - 8/3/15

Will Iranian Americans Get Sanctions Relief?

- Despite the nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran, the U.S. trade embargo with Iran will not be among the sanctions to be lifted. This means that Iranian Americans will continue to be prohibited from engaging in most trade-related transactions with Iran or Iranian parties. -Tyler Cullis, NIAC - 7/31/15

Iran sees 'new chapter' in ties with Total

- Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says Iran welcomes French energy giant Total's return to the resource-rich country amid Tehran's drive to step up oil and gas development projects after the removal of sanctions. Zangeneh made the announcement after meeting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius who visited Tehran to "revive relations" after the finalization of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries. - 7/30/15

India pushing to revive Iran gas pipeline

- With a delegation headed to Tehran soon, Indian officials will push for the revival of the $7 billion gas pipeline from Iran which has to cross Pakistan, a New Delhi-based newspaper says. India dropped out of the massive project under US pressures but a recent opening in the business environment in Iran has prompted Indian leaders to make a fresh bid for the pipeline, the Economic Times reported, citing informed sources. - 7/30/15

Mercedes-Benz exploring partnership with Iran Khodro

- Mercedes-Benz is exploring a partnership with Iranian carmaker Iran Khodro for manufacturing trucks, vans, and buses, Iran Khodro Chief Executive Officer Hashem Yekke-Zare' said. The German automaker may open an office in Iran within two to three months, Yekke-Zare' said on the sidelines of a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday. - 7/29/15

US firms 'losers' when Iran doors open

- US media are criticizing "strict, decades-old restrictions" that will continue to prohibit trade with Iran even after sanctions against the country are lifted. The Wall Street Daily has warned in an article that US corporations are set to lose big to their European and Asian rivals once the gates to the Iranian market open in a post-sanction period. - 7/28/15

Iran's state banks to join SWIFT once JCPOA comes into effect: Official

- An official at the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) says the country's state-run banks will soon rejoin the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) once Iran's nuclear agreement with the world powers enters into effect. - 7/27/15

Female Entrepreneurs Fuel A Changing Iran

- It has been a long parade of investors and foreign CEOs in the office of Nazanin Daneshvar, a young female engineer who founded the e-commerce company Takhfifan (Persian for "discount"). She welcomes such visitors, and foreign journalists, who have come to Iran to discover a country as hopes have risen that the international economic sanctions will be lifted. -Sophie Fay, Worldcrunch - 7/26/15

German Economy Minister defends landmark Iran visit

- Germany's Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has defended his visit to Iran, dismissing criticism by pro-Israel lobby groups which are furious at Europe's bid for post-sanction business with Tehran. Speaking to reporters in Berlin Thursday, Gabriel said Tehran's refusal to recognize Israel is not a legitimate reason to avoid doing business with Iran. - 7/24/15

Tehran keen on removing obstacles in way of foreign trade: Iran industry minister

- Iran's Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh says Tehran works to remove obstacles in way of foreign trade seeking long term economic cooperation with Europe in various areas including infrastructure, tourism, industry and investment. - 7/24/15

Iran, Europe finalize $2B of projects: $178B more to go

- Iran and the EU have opened a conference on trade and investment in Vienna, with Iranian officials pledging to splash out more than $180 billion on oil and gas projects. - 7/23/15

Turkey Allegedly Had Role in Helping Iran Dodge Sanctions

- More details are emerging about the role Turkey has allegedly been playing in assisting Iran to dodge international sanctions involving the trading of gold by an Iranian businessman that Turkey's president once dubbed a philanthropist. -Jamie Dettmer, VOA - 7/23/15

Iran's Economy after the Nuclear Deal

- The critics of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed last week between the Western powers and Iran cite the potential benefits of the agreement for Iran as the main reason why it is bad for the US and its allies in the Middle East. They're wrong, however, that the extra economic resources flowing to Iran as a result of lifting sanctions will empower it to expand its influence, destabilize the region, and to undermine Western interests. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani - 7/23/15

Iranian teachers arrested as forces bust protest at Parliament

- Teachers' efforts to stage demonstrations on Wednesday July 22 were unsuccessful; however, it appears that their protests have reached the ears of MPs, who have reacted to their demands in Parliament. - 7/23/15

Iran's oil delegation in Vienna to discuss petchem investment

- An Iranian oil industry delegation has set off for Vienna to introduce investment opportunities in Iran's petrochemical industry to European investors following the removal of international sanctions against Iran. - 7/22/15

'Gold rush' begins for Iran business

- European companies see a huge potential for business in Iran and some of them have already marked out their target markets, waiting for a nod to move in. European delegations are already trickling in, adding to an increasingly hectic schedule which Iranian officials are running for foreign trade arrivals. - 7/21/15

Iran in talks with 4 carmakers

- The CEO of Iran Khodro Industrial Group (IKCO), Iran's leading car manufacturer, says IKCO is in final talks with four major foreign companies to set up joint ventures. Hashem Yekeh Zareh said IKCO has finalized a new contract with its French partner, Peugeot, which will be inked soon. - 7/21/15

Historical background of the Caspian Sea as a legal point in favor of Iran

- A review of the last rounds of negotiations between Iran and the other Caspian littoral states, including the deliberations made and decisions adopted in the several summit meetings of the Caspian states, reveal that Iran has failed to persuade the other Caspian states to consider a fair and equitable share for Iran (at least 20 percent) of the Caspian Sea. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 7/20/15

US oil service giants yearn for return to Iran

- Halliburton and Schlumberger, both among the world's largest oilfield services companies, are waiting in hopeful anticipation that Iran will ramp up oil exports, US media have said. - 7/20/15

Merkel's deputy in Tehran to talk business

- Germany's Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is in Tehran for high-level economic and trade talks with Iranian officials. Sigmar flew to Tehran on Sunday at the head of a delegation of "representatives from companies, industry groups and the sciences," his ministry said in a statement. - 7/19/15

Iran's post-sanctions import demand to hit $200bn

- Analysts say Iran's annual import demands could hit $200 billion by 2020 as the result of the removal of the US-engineered sanctions against the country. They say the UAE, Lebanon and Turkey remain best positioned to benefit from the upswing in Iran trade volumes that they say will occur over the next few years. - 7/18/15

Pakistan Hopes to Benefit from Iran Deal, With Chinese Help

- Pakistan has been planning to build a pipeline to import natural gas from Iran for years, but work on the proposed Iran-Pakistan pipeline stalled due to international economic sanctions on Iran in response to its nuclear development program. -Ayesha Tanzeem, VOA - 7/18/15

Vienna to host Iran-EU investment conference

- Iran and the European Union will hold an international conference in Vienna on July 23-24 to discuss post-sanction opportunities for cooperation. The "Iran-EU conference on trade and investment" will bring together officials from Iran, Austria, France, the UK, Germany and other countries as well as their traders and entrepreneurs. - 7/17/15

Report: US firms in talks for Iran trade

- US corporations such as Boeing and General Electric and tech giant Apple are studying potential entry into the Iranian market or expansion of their existing operations, American media report. - 7/17/15

Iran Deal Not a Green Light for Business

- With the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers complete, American business interests are looking for opportunities. But before all the sanctions are lifted, U.S. and global businesses will have to clear plenty of hurdles before they begin investing in and selling to Iran. -Bernard Shusman, VOA - 7/16/15

For Iran, Some Sanctions Would Go But Many Would Remain

- Many of the punishing UN, U.S., and EU financial and energy sanctions imposed on Iran in recent years to pressure Tehran to curb its nuclear activities are to be suspended or lifted in the wake of the deal struck in Vienna on July 14. But many other sanctions, particularly those imposed unilaterally by the United States years before the nuclear crisis, appear likely to remain in place for the indefinite future. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 7/16/15

Germany sending large trade team to Iran

- Germany sees a big rise in trade with Iran, preparing the first high-profile foreign delegation for visit to Tehran this week since the conclusion of nuclear talks on Tuesday. Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel will arrive at the head of a large political and trade delegation on Sunday for a two-day visit which will also take him to the central Iranian city of Isfahan. - 7/16/15

US removes shipping sanctions on Iran

- The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and the country's leading ports operator, the Tidewater Middle East Maritime Company, have been removed from the US list of companies designated for sanctions and assets freeze. - 7/16/15

What The Nuclear Deal Means For Iranians

- After feeling the pinch of economic sanctions for years, ordinary Iranians appear eager to soon see the benefits of this week's landmark nuclear deal. Many believe that more international cooperation will bring improved economic conditions, new business opportunities, and better ties with Western countries. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/15/15

UN Could Vote to Lift Iran Sanctions Next Week

- The Iran nuclear agreement process is expected to move next week to New York, where the U.N. Security Council will adopt a resolution lifting all international sanctions related to the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. But a U.N. arms embargo will remain in place for five years and one on ballistic missiles will continue for eight years. - 7/15/15

Iran's equities soar amid optimism for nuclear deal

- Iran's main share index has soared amid rising hopes that Tehran and the five permanent members of UN Security Council plus Germany, may soon finalize a comprehensive nuclear deal. The Tehran Stock Exchange Index (TEDPIX) increased by 582 units or 2.3 percent to close at 69.194 points on Monday, the third working day this week. - 7/14/15

Iran post company links up with DHL, TNT

- The Islamic Republic of Iran Post Company has signed an MoU for cooperation with Germany's logistics firm DHL and Dutch package delivery firm TNT Express, its chief executive has said. - 7/14/15

The Future of Saudi-Iranian Relations Will Be Written in Oil

- Saudi Arabia's cantankerous objections to nuclear talks with Iran have run counter to U.S. goals and have left some puzzled over the cause of its combative behavior. A deal with Iran, of course, means much more than a stride toward global non-proliferation. It will open new realms of possibility within both Iranian and American polities -Henry Johnson - 7/12/15

Aircraft makers salivate over post-sanctions Iran

- Western plane manufacturers are anticipating contracts with Iran worth billions of dollars as soon as sanctions against the country are lifted as a result of the nuclear negotiations. - 7/12/15

Iran's oil income hits $53.6b in 2014: OPEC

- Iran's oil income amounted to $53.6 billion in 2014, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported, ranking Iran 9th among 12 member states. The country's oil income dropped by $8.3 billion in 2014 compared with the year before. - 7/12/15

Analyst: Ending Iran Sanctions Could Push Down Oil Prices

- Iran's economy has been hammered by a series of sanctions that have pushed it into recession, slashed the value of its currency, sparked soaring inflation, and hurt its oil sector. If and when Iran works out a deal with the United States and other nations to limit its nuclear program, some of those sanctions will end. - Jim Randle, VOA - 7/11/15

Saudi company accused of dumping in Iran

- Iranian producers of cooking oil are accusing a Saudi holding with a controlling stake in a company in Iran with dumping, the Fars news agency reported on Friday. Saudi Arabia's largest food producer Savola is already under scrutiny for owning 80% of shares in Iran's Behshahr Industrial Company which accounts for 40% of the country's edible oil market. - 7/11/15

Longest Iran bridge to reach Qeshm Island

- Iran is building its longest cross-sea bridge, linking the Qeshm island in the Persian Gulf to its coast in Bandar Abbas to join a transit corridor which stretches all the way up to the Caspian Sea and the Central Asia. - 7/10/15

Saudi Arabia Casts Wary Eye on Iran Deal

- As Iran and world powers move toward a possible nuclear deal, Saudi Arabia faces drastic geopolitical shifts. Analysts say lifting sanctions on Iran could greatly increase competition for oil sales, as well as create other far-reaching consequences for the kingdom. -Heather Murdock, VOA - 7/9/15

Genetically Modified Crops Growing In Iran Amid Lax Laws

- Iran imports $5 billion of genetically modified (GM) crops a year despite government restrictions on the production of biotech products, local media said on Monday. In the absence of clear regulations, the Ministry of Agriculture has approved repeated imports of GM crops such as rice, soybeans, rapeseed and edible oil "with prior knowledge", a review by the ministry's Behzad Qareyazi says. - 7/9/15
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