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August 20 2014
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13 European, Asian firms ready to invest in Iran gas projects

- Four British and French companies, three Japanese companies, two South Korean companies, and four Chinese companies, as well as four Iranian companies, are prepared to invest a total of $15 billion in Iranian gas projects, the ISNA news agency quoted Soheilipour as saying on Sunday. - 8/18/14

Wary of lifting Iran sanctions, EU overrides own courts

- Despite scores of Iranian individuals and companies successfully proving in European courts that the sanctions placed upon them are illegal under EU law, many remain listed, as the EU executive effectively overrides the decisions of its own courts. -Arron Merat, Al-Monitor - 8/18/14

Iran to construct largest oil terminal in Oman Gulf

- Director of Iranian Oil Terminal Company has said the country has been constructing oil terminal in Jask (Hormozgan Province) with capacity of 2.5 billion barrels per day. - 8/16/14

Is Turkmenistan Losing Iran As A Gas Customer?

- It appears Turkmenistan is about to lose its second-best customer for natural gas, Iran. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on August 11 that his country no longer needed gas from Turkmenistan. Zanganeh went so far as to say, "Iran is importing Turkmen gas just because it is important to promote political and economic relations with Turkmenistan." -RFE - 8/15/14

Iran's economy shrank 1.9% last calendar year: Central Bank

- The Central Bank of Iran has confirmed that the national economy, including the oil sector, contracted by 1.9 percent in the Iranian calendar year 1392 (March 2013-March 2014). - 8/14/14

Iran: Land transfer to foreign firms in Aras Free Trade Zone approved

- The administration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has approved legislation allowing the transfer of land to foreign companies in the Aras Free Trade and Industrial Zone, which is located in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan. - 8/14/14

Iranian Oil Minister blasts former government for missing billions

- Iran's Minister of Oil has accused the former administration of abuse of power and the promotion of corruption. He added that under the former administration's watch, Babak Zanjani, the Iranian tycoon now in custody on embezzlement charges, managed to receive 2.7 billion dollars thought a "fake bank" with the collaboration of a number of ministers and the head of the Central Bank, and that the money is now untraceable and gone. - 8/13/14

IMF Says Rouhani Has Stabilized Iran's Economy

- The International Monetary Fund said President Hassan Rouhani's policies of reducing energy subsidies along with the easing of international sanctions have helped to steady Iran's economy and cut inflation. -Bloomberg - 8/11/14

Iran ready to supply energy to Europe via Nabucco

- Iran is ready to provide Europe with gas requirements through the Nabucco pipeline, Ali Majedi, Deputy Oil Minister in charge of International Affairs said on Saturday. Speaking to IRNA, he noted that since Europe seeks to diversify its energy resources, Iran by having the biggest gas reserves can provide Europe with parts of its energy needs through Nabucco pipeline. - 8/9/14

Iran: President Rohani slams predecessor's oil policies

- Iranian president Hassan Rohani accused his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of having "a lack of wisdom" and said: "Under the pretext of circumventing sanctions, they gave the oil away to those who took it away for themselves and in effect circumvented the Iranian people." - 8/8/14

German business looks to renew Iran contacts

- German businesses are cooling on Russian investments amid anger over Russia's role in the Ukrainian conflict while simultaneously warming on another big country hit by Western sanctions: Iran. -Wall Street Journal - 8/5/14

Iran's Economy After One Year of Rouhani

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was elected to office largely on his promise to lift the economy out if its deepest recession since the Iran-Iraq war. One year later, evidence of a recovery is hard to find, but he has achieved a few significant accomplishments. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani - 8/4/14

Tourism Key To Job Creation, Economic Growth In Iran: Finance Minister

- Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia says the administration of President Hassan Rouhani believes that the promotion of tourism is the key to job creation and economic growth. Ecotourism and medical tourism are the top priorities, the IRNA news agency quoted Tayyebnia as saying on Thursday. - 8/2/14

Iran's inflation rate falls 2.4% in a month

- The Statistical Center of Iran has announced that the inflation rate for the 12-month period that ended on the last day of the Iranian calendar month of Tir (July 22) was 24.2 percent, a 2.2 percent decrease compared to the previous month. - 8/2/14

Stats show dire state of Iran's economy, industry

- Iran's Industry Minister says the economy has shrunk by 2.2 percent since the last measurement and 50 percent of the manufacturing sector is now in recession. Mohammadreza Nematzadeh said "severe currency fluctuations, a lack of equipment and a lack of foreign investment" have left more than 10,000 industrial units half-finished all across the country. - 7/31/14

Mortazavi charged with misuse of Social Security Fund

- Saeed Mortazavi, the former head of the Social Security Fund, has been summoned to court for the charge of "embezzlement, malversation, and illegal seizure of private property." The charges have been brought against him by a number of workers covered by the Social Security Fund. - 7/30/14

U.S. Pushes to Expedite Some Humanitarian Shipments to Iran

- Amid a diplomatic thaw earlier this year between Tehran and the West, U.S. officials had a message for European companies eager to get back into Iran: Take it slow. Today, Washington is pushing some of them to speed things up. -Wall Street Journal - 7/30/14

Stagflation plagues Iranian economy

- Iran is facing stagflation and a 20-percent decline in national revenue, according to Massoud Nili, the economic advisor to President Hassan Rohani. In an interview with ILNA, Nili said this level of stagflation is unprecedented in the post-war period, adding that in the past two years, economic growth has been negative while inflation has been consistently above 30 percent. - 7/29/14

Iran establishes largest Middle East biological refinery

- Qeshm Micro Algae Biological Refinery in southern Iran was established as the Middle East's largest biological technological company on micro algae. - 7/29/14

Iran's inflation rate much improved

- Iran's Central Bank says the country's annual inflation rate now stands at 25.4 percent. The announcement on Sunday July 27 included news that the consumer goods and services price index has gone up by 1.4 percent in Iranian cities compared to last month. - 7/28/14

Iran's pistachio exports up 94 percent

- Iran's pistachio exports totaled 168 million dollars in the first three months of Iranian calendar year (started on March 21), jumping by 94 percent comparing to similar period last year. - 7/28/14

Boeing to provide Iran Air with plane parts: Report

- Aerospace giant Boeing has reportedly signed a deal with Iran Air to provide the Iranian flag carrier airline with plane parts. A regulatory filing which was issued on Wednesday reads that Boeing will provide goods and services "related to the safety of flight" for Iran's flag carrier airline, AFP reported. - 7/25/14

Jobless rate rises in Iran even for the educated

- Iran's Centre for Statistics has announced a rise in the country's unemployment rate. ISNA reports that the statistics indicate a 0.2-percent increase in unemployment. The number of unemployed has gone from 2.4 million to more than 2.53 million, including 1.772 million men and almost 758,000 women. - 7/23/14

West Considers Early Sanctions Moves in Troubled Iran Nuclear Talks

- With talks between world powers and Iran over a broad nuclear accord at an impasse, Western governments are considering offering a significant easing of sanctions early on in the process to try to wring concessions from Tehran, diplomats say. -Reuters - 7/18/14

Iran: Rouhani administration unveils economic stimulus package

- The package, which was unveiled on Monday, highlights supporting the leading domestic economic enterprises, boosting industrial and service exports, and promoting tourism as the initial factors which can help the national economy come out of recession. - 7/16/14

Report: Iran Sanctions Cost US Economy up to $175 Billion

- U.S. sanctions on Iran have carried a significant cost to the U.S. economy, a new report published by the National Iranian American Council today finds. Losing Billions - The Cost of Iran Sanctions to the U.S. Economy reveals that between 1995 and 2012, the U.S. sacrificed at least $135 billion and as much as $175 billion in potential export revenue to Iran. - 7/15/14

Could More Iran Sanctions Roil Energy Markets?

- Could the collapse of Iran nuclear negotiations cause havoc at the gas pump this summer? While negotiators from the P5+1 and Iran are meeting this week for a final marathon session to see if a comprehensive solution can be reached as to Iran's nuclear program, a perfect storm could await world energy markets if the talks fail to produce a deal. -Wright Smith, NIAC - 7/14/14

Sanctions Experts Visualize Smart Sanctions Relief

- Washington, DC - With a potential Iran nuclear deal a little more than a week away, expertise on the issue of sanctions relief is in high demand on Capitol Hill. Last week, the National Iranian American Council held a briefing on the issue with three leading experts who helped Congressional staff members navigate the difficult legal terrain. - 7/14/14

EU lifts sanctions on 14 Iranian entities in a year

- The European Union has annulled sanctions against 14 Iranian entities since President Hassan Rouhani took office in August 2013, the IRNA news agency reported on Sunday. - 7/14/14

Jailed tycoon's debts to Iran exceed his assets

- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namadar says the assets of jailed tycoon Babak Zanjani will only cover 40 percent of his debts to the ministry. Zanajani was arrested six months ago for his debts to the oil ministry and the Central Bank, for forging bank documents, and for bribing the Bank of Tajikstan. - 7/12/14

Sanctions Relief Terms Could Sink Iran Nuclear Deal

- Most of the recent discouraging news about the talks between Iran and world powers has focused on the substantial disagreement regarding Iran's uranium enrichment capacity. However, while this dispute could sink the chances of reaching an agreement on its own, the focus on enrichment masks another and perhaps equally volatile issue: the process through which Iran will receive sanctions relief if a deal is reached. -Derek Davison - 7/10/14

Iran: From 'axis of evil' to last best hope in the Middle East

- By easing sanctions and fostering economic growth in Iran, the U.S. can ultimately promote a sustainable relationship based on mutual needs and benefits. Now more than ever, the opportunity for just such a partnership exists in Iran's budding technology market. -Arezo Yazd, CNN - 7/10/14

Iran to create 3rd petrochemical hub in Chabahar

- Iran plans to turn Chabahar Port, located in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan on the coast of the Gulf of Oman, to the third petrochemical hub of the country, IRNA reported on Tuesday. - 7/10/14

Aircraft Manufacturers Vying for Iran Market

- Major aircraft makers and spare part producers have reached out to the Iranian companies to grab a share of the country's potentially lucrative market once the anti-Iran sanctions are eased, an Iranian official said. - 7/7/14

EU court scraps sanctions on National Iranian Tanker Company

- A European Union court on Thursday annulled sanctions placed by the 28-nation bloc on National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), because of its alleged involvement in the country's nuclear program. The European Union has provided insufficient evidence to justify sanctions imposed against the NITC, the General Court said. - 7/5/14

U.S. company to invest over $1.1B in Iranian waste-to-energy project

- The U.S. company World Eco Energy plans to invest $1.175 billion in a project in Iran's southwestern province of Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari to generate electricity from solid waste. Local companies will invest the same amount of money in the project. - 7/3/14

Crack in sanctions cannot be repaired: President Rouhani

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that the sanctions imposed on Iran have already been eased through actions taken by his government and the nuclear negotiating team. "The bowl of sanctions has broken... and [nobody] can return this broken bowl to its previous state," Rouhani said during a ceremony held to commemorate Iran's Industry and Mining Day in Tehran on Tuesday. - 7/2/14

Iranian Youths Urged To Improve Competencies

- Unemployment is a major concern of young people in Iran, which compels more youths to remain single. Tuesday edition of the English language newspaper Iran Daily wrote that lack of responsibility and inadequate skills are also contributing to this issue, said an Iranian sociologist. - 7/1/14

Iranian carmaker resumes exports to Russia after 5-year hiatus

- The Iranian carmaker Iran Khodro (IKCO) has resumed automobiles exports to Russia, which it halted in 2009 when Russia adopted stricter Euro-4 emission standards. The company plans to export 10,000 cars to Russia by 2015, according to the Tasnim News Agency. - 7/1/14

Iran must join WTO to meet economic development goals: Official

- Iran must join the World Trade Organization to meet its economic development goals, the president of Iran's National Center for Globalization Studies, Alireza Moaiyeri, stated. - 6/25/14

Iran: Jobless rate rising for university, college graduates

- Iran's National Census Centre has announced that unemployment among university and college graduates is on the rise. The Shargh daily reports that Adel Azar, the head of the National Census Centre, said the unemployment rate among people with a bachelor's degree rose from 14.6 percent to 20.1 percent from 2005 to 2013. - 6/24/14

Foreign tourist visits to Iran up 215% in spring 2014

- Visits to Iran by foreign tourists rose 215 percent in spring 2014 compared to spring 2013, the deputy director of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization said on Monday. - 6/24/14

Iran introduces $100B in oil projects at World Petroleum Congress

- The National Iranian Oil Company has introduced 41 projects, valued at $100 billion, to foreign investors at the 21st World Petroleum Congress, which opened in Moscow on Monday and runs until Thursday. - 6/19/14

British business eyes return to Iran after embassy reopening

- Britain's intention to reopen an embassy in Iran is a political step forward in the Middle East and business is already preparing for barriers preventing trade with one of the region's biggest potential markets to be brought down. -Telegraph, UK - 6/19/14

Column: Obama has Ample Authority to Relieve Iran Sanctions

- WASHINGTON - As negotiations with Iran enter the home stretch this week in Vienna, the ability of the U.S. government to relieve economic sanctions on Iran is likely to emerge as a major factor in determining whether Tehran will accept significant restrictions on its nuclear program. -Barbara Slavin, VOA - 6/18/14

World Bank forecasts 1.5% GDP growth rate for Iran in 2014

- The World Bank forecasted in its Global Economic Prospects report that Iran's gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 1.5 percent in 2014. The WB report has also predicted a 2 percent and a 2.3 percent GDP growth rates for Iran in 2015 and 2016, respectively. - 6/12/14

Iran's Rouhani in Turkey to Strengthen Regional Ties

- ANKARA, TURKEY - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has begun a two-day visit to Turkey that will focus on developing bilateral trade and regional cooperation. Rouhani's visit is the first Iranian state visit to Turkey in 18 years. -Dorian Jones, VOA - 6/10/14

Iranian President, In Ankara, Holds Talks With Turkish Counterpart

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani and his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, have met in Ankara and vowed to double trade between their two countries. Rohani said after the June 9 talks that he and Gul discussed economic cooperation and agreed to boost annual bilateral trade to some $30 billion a year. - 6/9/14

Iran suspends plans to build refineries in 3 Asian countries

- Iran has suspended plans to build four refineries in Syria, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company said on Sunday. - 6/9/14

US suspends Iran oil sanctions for six months

- The White House says President Barack Obama suspended sanctions on Iran's oil sector for six months. "The United States has committed to pause efforts to further reduce Iran's crude oil sales for a six month period under the Joint Plan of Action between the P5+1 and Iran," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. - 6/5/14

U.S. investors begin to imagine a return to Iran

- For the first time in decades, business people from the United States are visiting Iran in significant numbers, exploring the possibility of future partnerships as Iranian and American entrepreneurs begin to envision a reopening of long-closed commercial channels. -Jason Rezaian, Washington Post - 6/1/14

Asia's Early 2014 Iran Oil Imports Exceed Nuclear Deal Levels

- TOKYO -- Iran's Asian buyers kept their oil imports from the OPEC member in the first four months of 2014 above the level allowed by the deal that eases some Western sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program. -Reuters - 5/31/14

Iran working on self-sufficiency in producing medicine: President Rouhani

- President Hassan Rouhani said here on Friday that Iran is trying to become self-sufficient in some medicines production. Talking to reporters, President Rouhani made the remarks when inaugurating the first production line of growth hormone in Tehran. - 5/30/14

Iran's inflation rate drops to 28.4%, down 2% in month: Official

- Iranian government spokesman Mohammad-Baqer Nobakht has announced that the inflation rate for the 12-month period that ended in the second Iranian calendar month of Ordibehesht (May 21) dropped to 28.4 percent, a 2 percent decline compared to the previous month. - 5/30/14

Generals And Rouhani Make a Deal: Guards to Stop their Criticism; Administration to Award Projects

- The volleys between Rouhani's administration and the influential Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) continue. Soon after the chairman of the joint command of Iran's armed forces publicly censured the state-run media for the Guards' undermining of the administration, the government spokesman responded by announcing that it would welcome the Guards' activities in economic projects. -Shirin Karimi - 5/28/14

Iran's Attorney General Announces: All Three Branches of Government Are Corrupt

- Two weeks after yet another suspect was arrested in the huge three billion Toman financial embezzlement case, Iran's attorney general Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejhei announced that individuals from all three branches of government had engaged in unlawful activities. He said those involved included people close to the administration, members of the Majlis and deputies in the judiciary. -Hossein Mohammadi - 5/27/14

How Gold Helped Iran Withstand U.S. Financial Fury

- Throughout much of 2012 and 2013, the United States and Iran fought a financial war. With the benefit of hindsight, my friend Jim Rickards calls it a draw. -Addison Wiggin, Forbes - 5/25/14

Tsunami of foreign tourists hitting Iran: Official

- When taking into account Shia pilgrims and visitors from neighboring countries, more than 4 million foreigners toured Iran from March 2013 to March 2014, each accounting for an estimated $1,200 of revenue, Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (CHTHO) Director Masoud Soltanifar said. - 5/24/14

Russia, China Finally Sign $400 Billion Energy Deal: Why Now?

- After almost a decade of negotiations, Moscow reached a 400 billion dollar energy deal with Beijing yesterday, allowing the Russian state-controlled Gazprom to export gas to China for 30 years. The key agreement guarantees long-term market access for Russian gas in the Asian market, where Russia has historically had a negligible market share. -Sara Vakhshouri - 5/22/14

Iran Rail Expo 2014 opens

- The second international exhibition of rail transportation, related industries and equipment (Iran Rail Expo 2014) on Monday at the Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds. Tens of companies from Iran, Germany, Turkey, China, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, and Austria are showcasing their latest achievements in the exhibit. - 5/20/14

European tourist visits to Iran up 240%

- The entry of European tourists to Iran has risen 240 percent between April 9 and May 10 compared to the same period last year, Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization Director Masoud Soltanifar said on Saturday. - 5/19/14

Foreign Companies Strike Hopeful Note at Iranian Oil Fair

- As Iran and the West attempt to hammer out a deal over the country's nuclear program, there was a spike in participation by foreign companies at an annual oil & gas expo in Tehran -Kay Armin Serjoie, TIME - 5/19/14

Iran Says Ready To Supply Natural Gas To Europe

- Good diplomats find opportunities in crises, and Iran's policymakers seem to be following the rule. Amid rising tensions between the European Union and Moscow over Ukraine, Iranian oil officials have repeatedly said Tehran is ready to supply natural gas to Europe, which currently gets 30 percent of its gas imports from Russia. - 5/16/14

Chinese Companies To Invest 2.6 Billion Euros To Build Refinery In Southwestern Iran

- Chinese companies will invest 2.6 billion Euros to build a refinery in the city of Abadan in southwestern Iran. The new refinery will have an output capacity of 210,000 barrels per day, the Shana news agency reported on Wednesday. - 5/15/14

India's April Iran Oil Imports Drop as Buying Spree Cools

- India cut its monthly Iranian crude imports by 42 percent in April from March, in a further sign that Asian oil buyers are reining in an early-2014 spree that took Tehran's exports well past levels allowed under an interim deal with the West. -Reuters - 5/15/14

Iran to supply 400,000 oil bpd to China: Official

- Iran has renewed its oil export contracts with its Asian buyers, agreeing to deliver 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to China, a senior Iranian oil official says. - 5/14/14

Japan's Mitsui ready to invest $4b in Iran transport projects

- Japan's Mitsui Group is ready to invest $4 billion in rail, airport, and shipping projects in Iran. Senior managers of Mitsui recently held talks with officials of the Iranian Transport and Urban Development Ministry in Tehran, the Mehr News Agency reported on Thursday. - 5/10/14

Iran Central Bank gets two portions of frozen assets

- The Central Bank of Iran says the fourth and fifth installments of the $4.2-billion blocked funds that were promised as part of an interim nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers have been transferred to its designated account. - 5/9/14

Over 600 foreign firms attending Iran Oil Show

- The 19th International Oil, Gas, Refining, and Petrochemical Exhibition of Iran (Iran Oil Show 2014) opened in Tehran on Tuesday with over 600 foreign companies from 32 countries in attendance. Over 1,200 Iranian companies are also participating in the exhibition. - 5/7/14

Iran's car exports drop 24%

- Iran's car exports dropped by 24 percent in the first Iranian calendar month of Farvardin (March 21-April 20), the ISNA News Agency reported on Tuesday. The country exported just 685 cars in the mentioned period of time. Iraq was the main destination for the Iranian cars, accounting for 98 percent of imports. - 5/7/14

Deal for export of Iranian gas to Iraq finalized

- Deputy Oil Minister for International Affairs Ali Majedi said on Monday that the deal for export of gas to Iraq has been finalized. Majedi said laying pipeline to carry Iranian gas to Iraq has been worked out and negotiations with the Iraqi officials are under way to initiate export of Iranian gas to Iraq. - 5/5/14

Roudbar farmers protest decline in product prices

- Farmers in southern Roudbar have protested declining prices for agricultural products by unloading the fruits of their labour in front of the governor's office. The Dana website reports that following the sharp fall in the price of agricultural products, farmers who have suffered heavy losses gathered in front of the Roudbar South governor's office. - 5/4/14

Iran's inflation rate hits 32.5%: Central Bank

- Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has announced that the inflation rate for the 12-month period ending the first Iranian calendar month of Farvardin (March 21- April 20) hit 32.5 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. - 5/1/14

Iran Wants 400 New Passenger Planes By 2025 If Sanctions Lifted

- Iran's top civil aviation official says Iran wants to buy 400 new passenger airplanes by 2025 to replace the country's aging fleet if sanctions over its contested nuclear program are lifted. Ali Reza Jahangirian of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization told journalists in Tehran on April 30 that 40 percent of the country's commercial airliners have been grounded due to a lack of spare parts. - 4/30/14

Iran terminates contract with China oil giant

- Iran has terminated a USD 2.5 billion contract with a Chinese oil giant to develop a major oil field in the south of the country after the company failed to fulfill its obligations. - 4/30/14
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