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August 22 2017
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Iran's biggest gold mine beats production estimates

- One of the Middle East's biggest gold mines in northwest Iran has beat quarterly production estimates, yielding 142,000 tonnes of recoverable reserves in the four months since March 20. The figure is 3.5 times above the forecast for recovery from Zarshuran mine in Takab, which is believed to hold 110 tonnes of pure gold in reserves. - 8/22/17

Iran considers rustic charm to buttress tourism sector

- Iran seeks to make the best use of its rich rural landscape as an approach to promote its budding tourism sector with pinpointing over 5000 villages with considerable tourism potentials across the large country. - 8/21/17

Iranian labor market on path to gender transformation

- Iranian society has undergone tremendous change in past decades, with women continuously playing a role in this transformation. Indeed, Iranian women have long sought a more active presence in society, gradually distancing themselves from the cliche of being mothers or wives. Today, they make up almost 70% of university applicants and half of the graduates. -Maysam Bizaer, Al-Monitor - 8/18/17

Persian carpets trump toxic anti-Iran hype in US

- The United States is now the largest importer of Iranian carpets, shipping in $196 million worth of highly prized Persian artistry last year, head of the Iran National Carpet Center Hamid Kargar says. The US has long been a major market for Iran's hand-woven carpets but a stack of sanctions imposed in 2010 pulled the rug from under the Persian craftsmanship, allowing cheaper craft from Pakistan, India, Turkey and China to gain a foothold. - 8/16/17

Iran, Russia, Turkey mark a new turn with $7B drilling deal

- Turkey's Unit International which signed a drilling deal last week with Russia's state-owned Zarubezhneft and Iran's Ghadir Investment Holding says the contract is worth $7 billion. The drilling in Iran will take place at three oil fields estimated to hold 10 billion barrels of reserves and produce 100,000 barrels per day and a large natural gas field with a production capacity of 75 billion cubic meters per day. - 8/16/17

How Donald Trump's travel ban has hit Iran's tourism renaissance

- Trump's repeated threat to withdraw the US from the nuclear agreement, achieved through years of painstaking negotiations, is creating concern that Iran will be pushed back towards isolation -Independent - 8/16/17

Iran selecting financiers for 200 airplanes: New Iran Air CEO

- Iran is in the process of selecting financiers for the purchase of 200 new passenger aircraft from among many domestic and foreign companies which have submitted their proposals to Iran Air, the new CEO of the national airline Farzaneh Sharafbafi said Tuesday. Sharafbafi became the first Iranian woman in July to take the helm at Iran Air which has signed deals with Airbus and Boeing as well as Franco-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR for the purchase of new brand passenger planes. - 8/15/17

Iran Ranks First In Sturgeon Production

- Deputy Minister of Agricultural and Head of Iran Fisheries Organization Hassan Salehi said Iran ranked first in the world as regards production of trout and sturgeon. Salehi made the remarks adding "in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended March 20), Iran took a major step in the fisheries sector by realizing a production of nearly one million and 100 thousand tons of aquatic species." - 8/14/17

Iran Says Talks Under Way With Airbus On Purchase Of Helicopters

- Iran says it is in talks with the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus about the possible purchase of 48 helicopters for civilian use. Deputy Transport Minister Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan told Iran's Financial Tribune newspaper on August 12 that Tehran plans to order 45 emergency medical helicopters. - 8/13/17

The real footprint of the IRGC in Iran's economy

- The Iranian economy consists of three distinct sectors: public, private and semi-state -- which includes religious, revolutionary, military foundations and cooperatives, as well as social security and pension funds. Experts agree that as a result of flawed privatization processes in the past three decades, the ownership of top governmental enterprises has been transferred to the semi-state sector. -Bijan Khajehpour, Al-Monitor - 8/11/17

Health Tourism Could Fetch Iran 7 Billion Dollars A Year

- The Iranian minister of cooperatives, labor and social welfare has said that the country has a potential to earn $7 billion in revenues through attracting one million health tourists on a yearly basis. Health-tourism companies from more than 30 countries including the Netherlands, Germany, France, China, Canada, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Romania and Uzbekistan are supposed to collaborate with Iran in this regard. - 8/10/17

Workers at Iranian Sugarcane Company Summoned to Court After Protesting Unpaid Wages

- Fifty-three workers of Iran's Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro Industrial Company who have been peacefully demanding back pay and benefits since July 2017 have been summoned without charge to the courthouse in Shush, Khuzestan Province. - 8/10/17

India cuts Iran oil imports amid Farzad gas field row

- India is making good on its promise to cut crude oil imports from Iran amid the two countries' spat over the development of a gas field in the Persian Gulf. According to new data released on Wednesday, India's purchases of Iranian crude fell 16.3 percent in July from a month ago to 414,900 barrels per day (bpd). - 8/9/17

French automaker Renault signs landmark auto deal in Iran

- French carmaker Renault has signed a much-awaited agreement with Iran to produce more than 150,000 cars a year in the country - what is already being described as the Islamic Republic's biggest ever auto deal. The value of the agreement, which was signed after 10 months of negotiations, would be 660 million Euros. - 8/7/17

Regional countries to help Iran reshape medical tourism

- Iran has signed agreements with 13 neighboring countries with the aim of developing and reorganizing its medical tourism sector. The state-run Tourism Holding Company, affiliated with the Social Security Organization, is to unveil this week a comprehensive plan, which will be implemented with the participation of 22 hospitals and over 200 physicians, specialists, and surgeons. - 8/7/17

Trump keeps scaring investors away from Iran

- Iran hoped that agreeing to curtail its nuclear program would encourage foreign firms to pour tens of billions into the country. But a flood of major investment has not materialized -- and that's largely because of the United States. -Zahraa Alkhalisi, CNN Money - 8/7/17

Iran Industry Spotlight: Water Management

- Like other countries in the region, Iran faces a severe water crisis due to climate change and poor water management. One of the most visible reminders of this ongoing problem is Lake Urmia. Located in the northwestern corner of Iran, Lake Urmia's watershed serves an agricultural regionwith a population of 6.4 million people. Previously one of the largest salt lakes in the world, Lake Urmia was also once a popular tourist destination. However, the last 20 years of environmental conditions and damming of tributary rivers for irrigation have shrunk Lake Urmia's surface area by 70% and its water volume by 95%. -Elliot Plaut - 8/4/17

Iran's oil exports to China to reach record levels

- Speculations are rising that Iran's oil exports to China would rise to the highest levels over the past 11 months in August. Reuters in a report highlighted speculations that the rise in Iran's exports to China would follow a recent decision by the Islamic Republic to cut the prices for its heavy crude oil. - 8/4/17

Is the EU Pushing Back Against Trump on Iran?

- The European External Action Service (EEAS) has officially announced that the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini will attend the inauguration ceremony of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on August 5. According to the brief statement released by the EEAS on July 29, Mogherini will visit Iran in her role as chair of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) tasked with overseeing the implementation of the agreement. It also says that she will meet with Iranian dignitaries to discuss issues of bilateral and regional relevance. -Eldar Mamedov - 8/1/17

U.S. sanctions violate its obligations to JCPOA: Iranian Committee

- A committee chaired by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that the US' sanctions directly violate its obligations to the JCPOA. On Monday, Iran's committee for monitoring the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) also stressed the importance of an intelligent, appropriate, and powerful response to the recent US sanctions imposed on Tehran. - 8/1/17

Russia's Gazprom, Iran's OIEC sign deal over oil fields

- Russia's Gazprom has signed a cooperation agreement with an Iranian company over the development of two major oil fields in western Iran. The agreement was signed with the Oil Industries' Engineering and Construction (OIEC), Iran's IRNA news agency reported. - 8/1/17

Iran's economy a 'masterpiece of structural ambiguity'

- The economy dominated Iran's recent presidential election. Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent, argued that integration into the global economy is the only path to prosperity and job creation, while his rivals accused his administration of having ignored the poor. Rouhani's opponents also promised to create millions of jobs, double the size of the economy and triple monthly cash payments to low-income families. -Ali Dadpay, Al Monitor - 8/1/17

Corruption Verdicts Seen As Warning To Former Iranian President Ahmadinejad

- Mahmud Ahmadinejad was no stranger to controversy during his two terms as Iran's president. Now he faces possible sentencing for his alleged mishandling of billions of dollars during his time in office. But following news that multiple verdicts have been issued against the former president, analysts looking at the murky legal process suggest that the development is intended as a warning for Ahmadinejad to rein in his criticism of the country's clerical establishment. -Frud Bezhan, RFE/RL - 7/31/17

Sanctions as Feckless Disapproval

- The recent bill imposing sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea, which President Trump is signing in the face of the veto-proof majorities by which Congress passed the measure, partly reflects the peculiar relationships Trump has with both Russia and Congress. But the bill is consistent with, and puts in stark relief, a larger problem of Congress habitually using economic sanctions against foreign states as an expression of disapproval that is poorly designed to achieve any U.S. foreign policy objectives. -Paul Pillar, LobeLog - 7/31/17

Iran, Iraq reach deal over Kirkuk pipeline

- Iran says it has reached an agreement with Iraq to construct a pipeline that would export crude oil from the northern Iraqi fields of Kirkuk via Iran. The announcement was made by Iran's Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh after a meeting with his visiting Iraqi counterpart Jabbar al-Luaibi. - 7/31/17

Iran Inks Rail Deal Worth 2.5 Billion Euros With Russia

- Iran and Russia signed a 2.5-billion Euro deal on joint manufacturing of passenger and cargo wagons in Iran, IRIB reported. The deal was inked between Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO) and Russia's largest manufacturer of locomotives and rail equipment, Transmashholding, in Tehran on Monday. - 7/31/17

Why are Iranians joking about onion prices?

- A sharp increase in the price of onions has caused consternation amongst social media users in Iran. People quickly started making jokes about the "onion crisis" with the Persian hashtag #onion being used in conjunction with #luxury. -BBC - 7/31/17

Iran Condemns Sanctions, Says It Will Pursue Missile Program 'With Full Power'

- Iran has condemned new sanctions passed by the U.S. Congress over its missile program and vowed to continue it. "We will continue with full power our missile program," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi was quoted as telling state-controlled television on July 29. "We condemn the hostile and unacceptable action," he said of the sanctions. - 7/29/17

Sanctions: Can Iran Avoid Taking the Bait?

- The U.S. House of Representatives has just imposed new sanctions on Iran as well as on Russia and North Korea. The Iran sanctions have been justified based on its missile development and its disregard of human rights, plus its so-called destabilizing activities in the Middle East. Because technically these sanctions are not new, they cannot be strictly speaking considered a violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). However, they will undoubtedly undermine the success of the nuclear deal. -Shireen T. Hunter - 7/28/17

Is France Ready to Stand Up to Trump on Iran?

- On July 26th, the French foreign ministry issued a declaration about the package of new sanctions targeting Russia and Iran making its way through Congress to President Trump's desk in the Oval Office. In the estimation of the French foreign ministry, "the extraterritorial scope of [the sanctions] appears to be unlawful under international law." The statement outlined the need for the Europeans to "adapt our national mechanisms and update European mechanisms" to protect themselves from the U.S. legislation. The French foreign ministry called for coordination with European partners to address American overreach. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog - 7/28/17

U.S. Congress Reaches Deal Clearing Way For Russian Sanctions Bill

- Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress late on July 26 said they had reached an agreement clearing the way for final action on a bill that would impose new sanctions on Russia and put them into law, while also preventing President Donald Trump from easing punitive measures against Moscow without congressional approval. - 7/27/17

US sanctions fail to hinder rapid growth of Iran's tech sector: Report

- Iran's tech market continues to boom despite the US sanctions against the country, while the bans have merely restricted the global giants' access to Iran's lucrative tech market, a new report says. "US sanctions have protected the Islamic republic's tech sector, barring Silicon Valley from profiting from one of the world's most promising emerging markets, and giving a free run to domestic start-ups to recreate their services," a Tuesday report by AFP read. - 7/26/17

House OKs New Sanctions Against Iran as Tehran Flexes Military Muscle

- The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday in favor of imposing new sanctions on Iran, a move that most likely will further exacerbate tensions between Washington and Tehran. - 7/26/17

Iran's annual GDP growth stands at 11.1%: Official

- Iran's Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht put the country's growth of gross domestic product (GDP), including oil sector, at 11.1 percent in the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20, 2017). In a press conference on Tuesday, the official also put Iran's non-oil GDP growth at 6.4 percent in the past year, Fars news agency reported. - 7/26/17

China's EXIM inks $1.5B deal for high-speed rail in Iran

- The Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM) signs a $1.5 billion deal to finance the electrification of a high-speed rail line between the Iranian cities of Tehran and Mashhad. EXIM's Vice President Sun Ping and CEO of the Bank of Industry and Mine Ali Ashraf Afkhami signed the documents in Tehran on Tuesday after "16 months of intensive talks", the Iranian official said. - 7/25/17

Iran, Afghanistan to link railway networks

- Iran and Afghanistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Sunday for implementing a project linking rail networks of the two neighboring countries. The MOU, between Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (IRIR), also known as RAI, and Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA), was signed by IRIR's Managing Director Saeed Mohammadzadeh and Afghanistan Railway Authority's Director General Mohammad Yamma Shams during a meeting at IRIR's building in Tehran. - 7/24/17

U.S. Lawmakers Reportedly Agree On Sanctions For Russia, Iran, North Korea

- U.S. lawmakers say they have reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill that would bring new sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The new sanctions package in the agreed-to legislation would impose mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran's ballistic-missile program and any person or entity that does business with them. The measure would also apply "terrorism sanctions" to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and put in force an arms embargo. - 7/23/17

Iran needs new development vision

- Since the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988, Iran's development policies and investment plans have been formulated in so-called five-year plans (5YPs), with the first one starting in 1989. Five 5YPs have been completed so far, and Iran started the implementation of the sixth 5YP on March 21. The approval and implementation of this latest plan had been delayed due to disagreements between the government and the parliament -- disagreements that point to key differences on what political stakeholders understand as a "development plan." -Bijan Khajehpour, Al-Monitor - 7/23/17

PHOTOS: Iran starts extraction from world's second largest lead and zinc reserve

- Extraction from Iran's largest and the world's second largest lead and zinc reserve began today at a ceremony attended by Industry Minister Nematzadeh. "The mine is situated at Mehriz, 116 kilometers southeast of Yazd city, and contains over 160 million tons of lead and zinc with purities of 2.3 and 7.3 per cent, respectively," said Amin Safari, Managing Director of Mehdiabad Lead and Zinc Mining Complex. - 7/21/17

Rohani Says Tehran Will Respond 'Appropriately' To New U.S. Sanctions

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani says that Tehran would "respond appropriately" to new U.S. sanctions while reiterating that his country remained committed to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. "The Islamic Republic of Iran will always stick to its international commitments," Rohani said at a July 19 cabinet meeting, according to a text posted on the government's website. - 7/19/17

Iran Accuses U.S. Of Trying To 'Poison Atmosphere' With 'Illegal' Sanctions

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused U.S. President Donald Trump's administration of trying to "poison the atmosphere" by imposing new sanctions on Tehran despite its adherence to the 2015 nuclear accord. "This unfortunately has become a bad habit for this administration," Zarif told reporters at the United Nations in New York. "The international community has read this very loud and clear and continues to deal with Iran without much attention to this theater." - 7/19/17

Iranian women's presence in job market up 40 percent: Report

- The number of women in the Iranian job market has experienced a 40 percent growth over the past three years, Irantalent.com reported. The report, which is related to the previous Iranian calendar year (March 2016-March 2017), puts women's share of employees in branches of international companies at 29 percent, in privately-owned companies at 32 percent, and in state-run organizations at 20 percent. - 7/19/17

Russians set record with Iran oil deals

- The National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC) and Russia's Zarubezhneft have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop two oil fields in southwest Iran. The agreement signed in Tehran Monday allows the state-run Russian company to conduct technical surveys on Shadegan and Rag Sefid fields in Khuzestan Province. - 7/18/17

Iran to export 1 million tonnes of wheat: Official

- Iran expects to export 1 million tonnes of surplus wheat and its products this year, up 60 percent from the year ago, the country's trade regulator the Government Trading Company (GTC) says. GTC Managing Director Yazdan Seif on Tuesday said the rise was "the result of the creation of necessary mechanisms and the increase in wheat production as well as guaranteed purchases of wheat, especially durum." - 7/18/17

Brother Of Iran's President Rohani Arrested On Financial Crimes Charges

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani's younger brother, Hossein Fereidoun, has been arrested on financial crimes charges,the Iranian judiciary said on July 16. "Multiple investigations have been conducted regarding this person, also other people have been investigated, some of whom are in jail," spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said in a televised press conference. - 7/16/17

Japanese, Korean firms to fund "Octopus of the Persian Gulf"

- A consortium of South Korean and Japanese companies has signed agreements to fund and implement a chain of condensate refining projects in southern Iran - a project known as the Octopus of the Persian Gulf. The agreements were signed between South Korea's Daelim and Hyundai as well as Japan's Chioda - all partners in the project to construct Siraf refineries in Iran's southern province of Bushehr. - 7/14/17

This London-based investor says Iran holds huge promise -- and it's not just in energy

- Iran has piqued financial interest throughout the world for its massive energy reserves, but the country actually has a host of other opportunities in less obvious areas, according to one global investor. For Clemente Cappello, CIO of London-based Sturgeon Capital, Iran holds promise in part for its cheap labor, abundance of natural resources, and well-educated youth. -CNBC - 7/14/17

International firms negotiate $200B of oil deals in Iran

- Asian and European companies are negotiating participation in Iran's oil and gas development projects which need $200 billion worth of investment, according to Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh. Iran looks to absorb 65% to 70% of this sum from abroad, the minister told Iran's Parliament where he was Tuesday to answer questions about a $5 billion gas deal signed with French giant Total earlier this month. - 7/12/17

Italy, Iran sign $1.3B high-speed rail deal

- Iran's state railway company and its Italian counterpart have signed a deal worth 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) to build a high-speed rail line between Iranian cities of Arak and Qom. Renato Mazzoncini, CEO of Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), and head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Saeed Mohammadzadeh oversaw the signing of the agreement in Tehran on Tuesday for the first stretch of a high-speed rail line which FS plans to build in Iran. - 7/12/17

Iran Air appoints first female CEO

- For the first time, a female board member of Iran Air - the Iranian flag carrier - has been appointed as the airline's chief executive officer. Farzaneh Sharafbafi will replace the current CEO Farhad Parvaresh. - 7/11/17

White House Seeks Changes In Senate's Russian/Iranian Sanctions Bill

- The White House is seeking to change a Senate bill imposing tough new sanctions on Russia so it doesn't constrain the president's authority to impose or waive sanctions, a top White House official said on July 10. The bill to impose new sanctions on Russia for allegedly meddling in the U.S. election and other matters passed the Senate overwhelmingly but has been stalled in the House of Representatives. The bill also imposes new sanctions on Iran. - 7/11/17

Iran Plans First Oil-And-Gas Tenders After Sanctions Easing

- The Iranian government is planning to announce tenders for the exploration of 14 oil-and-gas blocks over the next three months, a top executive at Iran's NIOC state oil company has said. NIOC Deputy Director Rahim Nematollahi told Reuters in Istanbul on July 10 that the tenders would be offered for joint exploration together with NIOC. - 7/10/17

Country Managers Make Post-Sanctions Iran Work

- On July 3, Patrick Pouyanne, the imposing, former rugby-playing CEO of Total, arrived in Tehran to sign a landmark $5 billion contract to develop Phase 11 of Iran's South Pars gas field in cooperation with the China National Petroleum Corporation and Petropars, an Iranian firm. The deal was a sign of Pouyanne's ambition and resolve in the face of the Trump administration's rhetoric towards Iran. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj - 7/8/17

How Five Iranian Women Built Iran's Biggest Female Portal

- In 2015, five long-time friends were at a bridal shower in Tehran when they came up with the idea to launch a website dedicated to the needs and wants of Iranian women. The five female founders launched the site, Benita, last May which has now grown to 40 employees and a monthly reach of 2 million unique users and 23 million page views until May 2017. -TechRasa - 7/7/17

Volkswagen Returns To Iranian Market After 17-Year Absence

- Volkswagen (VW) says it is returning to the Iranian market for the first time in 17 years. The German automaker said on July 4 that it will resume selling cars in Iran from next month after signing a contract with local importer Mammut Khodro to offer Tiguan compact SUVs and the Passat family car, mainly at dealerships in the Tehran area. - 7/5/17

France's Total seeks long-term coop. with Iran: CEO

- Total plans to boost long-term cooperation with Iran in the fields of gas, oil and petrochemicals, the French energy giant CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in a meeting with President Rouhani in Tehran on Monday. The meeting followed the signing ceremony of a $4.5B development deal with France's Total for investment in Phase 11 of South Pars - the world's largest gas field - as envisaged in the new model of oil contracts, dubbed as the Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC). - 7/4/17

France's Total seals Iran's biggest gas deal in years

- French energy giant Total signed a multi-billion-dollar gas deal with Iran, the first by a foreign firm in more than a decade. Total's CEO Patrick Pouyanne and Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namadar Zanganeh signed the 20-year deal, which would eventually see the consortium pour $4.8 billion into the project. - 7/3/17

Gigantic rise in Iran's exports to EU

- Official figures show the volume of Iran's non-oil exports to the European Union (EU) saw a gigantic increase of five folds over the first four months of 2017. Figures showed that the value of Iran's exports to the EU from January to April 2017 reached as high as 3.4 billion Euros. - 7/3/17

Iran completing 'beauty link' in North-South trade corridor

- Iran is preparing to launch what could be the country's most beautiful rail routes at the heart of a multimodal intercontinental transportation project. A railway at 205 kilometers from Qazvin to Rasht in northern Iran is near completion and could be among the last pieces of a rail link through which Russia would send its goods to India's Mumbai. - 6/29/17

Airbus beats Boeing in plane sales to Iran

- As Iran is pushing ahead with what appears to be an aggressive campaign to purchase planes, figures show European aviation major Airbus has won the race in Tehran from its American rival Boeing. A report by Forces showed that the Paris-based company had already attracted a mix of firm orders and memorandums of understanding for 173 aircraft with a collective deal value of tens of billions of dollars. - 6/29/17

Germany stands by Iran nuclear deal, praises it as 'historic window'

- German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday a nuclear deal with Iran has helped lower the risk of a major conflict in the Mideast and that Germany will do whatever is possible to hold all parties to it. "Our clear position is we stand by this agreement," Gabriel told reporters after talks in Berlin with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. - 6/28/17

Brain drain to the West: Why Iran's brightest young graduates are leaving their country behind

- Sporting earbuds and sagging backpacks, students lounge on patches of grass, shaded by trees from the harsh sun. They sit in the library, hunched over laptops, massaging their temples, cramming for tests or bashing out lines of code. It could be a college campus anywhere in the world, but Sharif University of Technology sits in the shadow of the Azadi tower in Iran's capital, Tehran. -Mick Krever, CNN - 6/28/17

Trump administration welcomes financial watchdog's Iran sanctions reprieve

- The Donald Trump administration expressed support today for an intergovernmental watchdog's decision that rewards the Iranian financial system for its relative progress combating money laundering and terrorism financing. -Laura Rozen, Al Monitor - 6/28/17

Iranian airlines expand intl. flights to spur tourism growth

- Iran's Mahan Air and Zagros Airlines have recently launched new direct flights to Spain and Russia respectively in a bid to accelerate the pace of tourism growth in the country. Mahan Air started flying nonstop from Tehran to Barcelona early on Thursday. "The nonstop flights from Tehran to Barcelona and vice versa will lessen travel time from 12-15 hours to only 6 hours," Hossein Hosseini, the airline's marketing manager, was quoted as saying by IRNA. - 6/25/17

Iran blames high US output for falling oil prices

- Iran has blamed a recent rise in US oil production for the plunge in global prices of crude oil. Iran's Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters on Wednesday that the US had increased its oil production by 900,000 barrels per day. This, he said, was way beyond what the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had estimated. - 6/25/17

​Iran's Qeshm Air to buy 10 planes from Boeing

- Only a day after two Iranian airlines announced deals to purchase planes from European aviation giant Airbus, another Iranian carrier says it has sealed a third deal to buy advanced aircraft from US plane-maker Boeing. Iran's media quoted the head of Qeshm Air as saying on Friday that the company had placed an order for 10 Boeing 737 MAX planes. - 6/23/17

Prominent Civil Rights Activists Urge Iran's Parliament to Ban Use of Deadly Force Against Border Couriers

- The killing, by border guards, of another kulbar-the Persian word for the border-crossing couriers who transport illegally imported goods into Iran-has prompted 250 Iranian civil rights activists to demand that Parliament implement measures to protect the downtrodden laborers. - 6/23/17

Iran Begins Pipeline Gas Exports To Iraq After Years Of Delay

- Iran has begun exporting natural gas to neighboring Iraq after several years of delays, Iranian state media report. The semiofficial Fars news agency on June 22 said the exports began late the previous day through a pipeline to Baghdad. - 6/23/17

Iran sets sights on arrival of 6.5 million foreign tourist this year

- Iran aims to draw some 6.5 million foreign travelers by the end of the current calendar year 1396 (March 20, 2018), though the country's tourism infrastructure and public services are in need to be improved, a senior tourism official said on Monday. In 1395, some 5.5 million travelers visited Iran, fetching about $8 billion for the country - 6/22/17

Airbus to sell 73 planes to Iranian airlines Zagros and Iran Airtour

- European aviation giant Airbus says it has signed basic agreements with two Iranian airlines over the purchase of a total of 73 planes. Airbus said in a statement that Iran's Zagros Airlines would pick up 20 aircraft from the single-aisle Airbus A320neo family and eight A330neo planes. It added that another airline, Iran Airtour, would also buy 45 planes of the A320neo type. The agreements were signed on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show. - 6/22/17

Iran's Pistachio Exports Up 3% Year/Year

- Iran has exported $1.240 billion worth of pistachios to the world markets in the past Iranian calendar year 1395 (ended on March 20) to register a three percent rise compared to its previous year, IRIB news reported. - 6/21/17

Iran's annual GDP growth at 12.5%: Central Bank

- TEHRAN- Iran's growth of gross domestic product (GDP), including oil sector, hit 12.5 percent in the previous Iranian calendar year 1395 (ended on March 20, 2017), the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) reported. Iran's GDP stood at 6.691 quadrillion rials (about $178.5 billion) last year, based on the market prices in fiscal year 2011-12. - 6/21/17

Iran's oil industry paves way for capable women

- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has issued an order, paving the way for women with high capabilities to boost presence in the oil industry. As per the ministerial decree which released on Sunday, all gender discrimination between male and female employees should be removed for all occupational positions, except for working on oil and gas platforms. - 6/20/17

Iran still world's biggest natural gas player

- A new report shows Iran still has the world's largest reserves of natural gas and is closely followed by market rivals Russia and then Qatar. The global energy giant British Petroleum (BP) in its annual report on world energy reserves put Iran's natural gas reserves at 33.5 trillion cubic meters (tcm). - 6/17/17

Senate's Iran Sanctions Bill Faces Differing Views in House

- A newly passed Senate bill that would impose additional U.S. sanctions on Iran faces uncertain prospects for passage in the House, whose members are expressing differing views about its efficacy. Hours after the Senate approved the Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act in a near-unanimous 98-2 vote Thursday, the House's majority Republican leaders had not said when they will act on it. The bill also would sanction Russia for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election, a charge Moscow denies. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 6/16/17



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