Bahman 6 1398 - January 26 2020
U.S. Bans Trade And Investment Visas For Iranians

Iranian nationals will no longer be eligible for E-1 and E-2 trade and investment visas, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency (USCIS) announced on Wednesday, January 22. The decision is directly linked with the October 3, 2018 termination of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights with Iran. -Radio Farda 1/23/20

Iran FATF-Related Legislation Rejected By Expediency Council

A member of Iran's Expediency Council on Wednesday said the Council's deadline for endorsing the CFT (Combating the Financing of Terrorism) bill has ended and the bill should be considered as rejected. The endorsement and finalization of the bill would allow Iran to join the UN conventions against money laundering and funding terrorism. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has threatened to put Iran on its reactivate counter-measures it had earlier suspended unless Iran finalizes relevant legislation before February. -Radio Farda 1/23/20

The US Sanctions on Iran Are Causing a Major Humanitarian Crisis

The reality of life here under the devastating impact of the US "maximum pressure" sanctions campaign is the one big story from Iran that's mostly missing in the headlines. If you haven't heard about this, you are not alone. Nobody, certainly not the main protagonists, seems the least bit interested in talking about the devastation of human life in Iran today. It is as if a conspiracy of silence has been cast over the whole issue. -Ahmad Jalalpour, The Nation 1/22/20

NIAC Letter Regarding Etsy's U.S. Sanctions Compliance Policies and Discriminatory Treatment Towards Iranian Americans

The National Iranian American Council has sent a letter to Etsy concerning its apparently discriminatory treatment of an American vendor selling "Persian dolls" on its website. These dolls appear to have been made in America with American materials by an American, and under no circumstances should have been flagged as a prohibited item. -NIAC 1/22/20

US bars Iranian investors from certain types of visas

The Trump administration is barring Iranian investors and business people from entering or staying in the United States on certain types of visas. In new regulations published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security said Iranians and their families are no longer eligible to apply for or extend what are known as E-1 and E-2 visas. The ban will take effect on Thursday, according to the notice from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. -AP 1/22/20

Iran basks in 'miracle' of $32 billion in non-oil exports

Iran has exported $32 billion of non-oil goods so far in the current Persian year ending March 21, 2020, shoring up its economy which is under severe pressure from unprecedented US sanctions. "This is like a miracle in the current economic situation of the country," Iran's Deputy Industry Minister Hossein Modares Khiabani told an exports quality summit in Tehran, Fars news agency reported Tuesday. -Press TV 1/21/20

Sanctions, Scarcity, and the Depressing Reality of Iranian Healthcare

When I visited Iran this summer, severe panic attacks, depression, and anxiety-longstanding byproducts of post-traumatic stress disorder-caused me to seek out a trauma therapist. After weeks of contacting Iranian pharmacies, hospitals, charities, and relief organizations, my prescriptions for Zoloft, Xanax, Ativan, and Clonazepam remained unfilled. Since the United States exited the Iranian nuclear deal (JCPOA) and imposed new sanctions, this kind of shortage has become commonplace. 1/18/20

How Escalating Tensions Between the U.S. and Iran Affect South Korea

The impact of the rising tension between Iran and the United States is not solely bilateral. Its impact can be felt globally and shapes U.S. interests elsewhere in the world. As U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in California this week, the case of South Korea illustrates how a potential war against Iran does not only mire the United States in yet another war in the Middle East, but also stresses and strains a crucial U.S alliance in East Asia. -S. Nathan Park, Responsible Statecraft 1/17/20

Why Iran's Economy Has Not Collapsed Amid U.S. Sanctions And 'Maximum Pressure'

Since 2017, the Trump administration has placed layers of tough sanctions on Iran in an effort to deprive the regime of financial resources and to force it to negotiate a new nuclear deal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a recent speech that the administration's strategy of "maximum pressure" aims to cut off 80% of Iran's oil revenues and that "President Rouhani himself said that we have denied the Iranian regime some $200 billion in lost foreign income and investment as a result of our activities." Yet Iran's economy has not collapsed. -Jackie Northam, NPR 1/17/20

Iranian FM Zarif Berates European Countries For Being Bullied By Trump

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday blasted France, Germany and Britain for triggering the dispute mechanism of their nuclear agreement with Iran (JCPOA). In a tweet on Thursday Zarif said the E3 which consists of France, Germany and Britain "sold out remnants of JCPOA to avoid new Trump Tariffs". -Radio Farda 1/16/20

Economic Considerations Temper Iran's Response to Soleimani Assassination

The military confrontation between Iran and the U.S. that began with the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani on January 3 appears to have subsided as quickly as it flared up. On January 7, shortly after Iran fired a round of ballistic missiles at American bases in Iraq (which left no casualties), Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced that Iran has "concluded" its operation. U.S. President Donald Trump, for his part, let it be known that the U.S. did not plan further military actions. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, Responsible Statecraft 1/16/20

Sanctions Have Often Backfired And May Yet Again

In his address to the nation on Wednesday about Iran's response to the U.S. assassination of a senior Iranian military leader, President Trump pledged that the United States "will immediately impose additional punishing sanctions on the Iranian regime." Two days earlier, angered by Iraqi threats to expel U.S. troops because the assassination of the Iranian general was carried out on Iraqi territory, Trump promised to hit Iraq with "sanctions like they've never seen before, ever." -Thomas W. Lippman, Responsible Statecraft 1/15/20

Iran recession to deepen, reserves to fall to $73 billion by March: IIF

Hit by sanctions curbing oil sales, Iran's economy is set to fall deeper into recession this fiscal year and foreign reserves could drop to $73 billion by March, a loss of almost $40 billion in two years, the Institute of International Finance said. The economy shrank by 4.6% in the 2018-2019 fiscal year and the contraction is expected to deepen to 7.2% in the current fiscal year, the IIF, a finance industry body, said this week. -Reuters 1/15/20

Iran opens truck production plant after Germans leave

Iran has opened a heavy-duty truck manufacturing plant that will employ 5,000 people at full production, official news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday. The first phase of the plant for production of Chapar (Carrier) trucks came online during a ceremony attended by President Hassan Rouhani in Meshginshahr in northwest Iran. -Press TV 1/2/20

A new year, a new Iran nuclear deal?

This video made the rounds on Iranian social media in recent weeks. It shows a young woman in a bright orange headscarf, dancing and singing loudly on the subway in Tehran. Other passengers join in, and soon, the whole cabin is singing, clapping and dancing. To most Americans, this video wouldn't seem out of the ordinary. But there are a few reasons why it got so much attention. It was a rare moment of joy at a time the Iranian economy has shrunk significantly - and people are in no mood to celebrate. -Shirin Jaafari, PRI 1/1/20

Iran's President Rohani Says U.S. Sanctions Have Cost Country $200 Billion

Iran's president has said that U.S. sanctions have cost Iran $200 billion in lost foreign income and investment over the past two years. President Hassan Rohani made the comments while launching a railway project near Tehran on December 31. "Iran would have earned $200 billion surplus income...if the country were not involved in an economic war," he said. 12/31/19

Iran, China boosting strategic partnership as FM Zarif visits Beijing

In a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Beijing on Tuesday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that establishing strategic ties shows the two sides' keenness to reinforce their cooperation. "We need to keep up regular bilateral consultations on a variety of issues and this trip serves that purpose," he added. Zarif further hailed China for supporting Iran's stance on the international stage. -Press TV 12/31/19

Find out why medical tourism is to be big business in Iran

Nowadays, medical tourism is considered as a booming industry on the global scene as some 20 to 24 million patients are traveling for medical treatments annually. Estimates on market size vary but the Patients Without Borders publishing group puts its value at around 60 to 80 billion Euros worldwide. But why Iran? Here we briefly try to answer. Iran boasts credible surgeons and physicians, cutting-edge medical technologies, high-tech medicine and diverse specializations, super affordable procedures within a trusted health system, and finally it is home to many hospitable people. -Tehran Times 12/31/19

Russia's Foreign Minister Says Either Abide By Iran Nuclear Deal Or Kill It

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that the United States and the European Union should either comply with the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran, or recognize it as nonexistent. Lavrov made the comments on December 30 after meeting in Moscow with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who said that the European signatories to the deal were "not taking any practical steps" to support it. -RFE/RL 12/30/19

Has Iran Found A Way Around U.S. Sanctions On Aircraft Deals?

Iran is due to receive three Airbus planes in the "very near future", according to the country's transport minister Mohammad Eslami, as quoted in the local press. The development is a surprise, given the tightly restrictive U.S. sanctions in place on Iran, which led to the collapse of several lucrative aircraft orders in late 2018, including ones with Airbus and Boeing. -Forbes 12/30/19

America's Maximum Recklessness Policy Against Iran

In a major speech on Iran on December 19, in reaction to the protests sweeping the country, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo proclaimed support for the protestors and announced new sanctions against Iranian officials and their family members. He also designated Iran a "country of particular concern" under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), a status reserved for the worst violators of religious freedom in the world. All of these measures were cloaked, as usual, in the language of support for the Iranian people against despotic theocracy. -Eldar Mamedov, Responsible Statecraft 12/28/19

After US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal, restored sanctions put cancer patients at risk

Limited access to medicine has frustrated Iranian patients and their families, especially after President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal in 2018. The U.S. withdrawal led to the return of economic, trade and financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic. While humanitarian goods are exempt from sanctions, medication manufacturers in Iran face many challenges because of other sanctions, including banking and transaction restrictions. -Somayeh Malekian, ABC News 12/27/19

Struggling Iranian Nurses To Boycott Government Ceremonies Honoring Them

Since the Islamic Republic government and its Ministry of Health have neglected to address the problems Iranian nurses are struggling with, they will not attend any ceremony held on the Nurses' National Day across the country. Dismissing the ceremonies as a "show-off", the House of Nurse has reiterated in a statement that none of its members will participate in the annual ceremonies. -Radio Farda 12/27/19

Russia, China want Iran to adopt FATF rules: Central Bank Chief

Iran's chief banker says adopting FATF laws would be beneficial for Iran's trade with allies. The governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has said that China and Russia have urged Tehran to adopt a series of rules by the global money laundering watchdog FATF to allow trade between Iran and allies to continue smoothly. -Press TV 12/26/19

Iran's EB patients: The most oppressed victims of U.S. sanctions

Although food and medicine are claimed to be exempted from U.S. sanctions, financial and banking sanctions have limited the life-saving medicine trade which harshly targeted the patients suffering from Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare genetic disease that causes painful blistering of the skin. -Faranak Bakhtiari, Tehran Times 12/24/19

India, Iran To Accelerate Chabahar Port Project: Indian Foreign Minister

Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar currently on a visit to Iran says an agreement to accelerate the Chabahar port project was reached with the Iranian side. He added that within two hours during a meeting of the 19th India-Iran Joint Commission co-chaired by his Iranian counterpart Mohammad-Javad Zarif the agreement was concluded. 12/23/19

Iran's 2019 Inflation Rate at 40 Percent

The Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) announced that the inflation rate in the twelve-month period ended on December 21, which marks the end of the ninth Iranian calendar month of Azar, stood at 40 percent. The SCI said that the inflation rate has fallen 1.1 percent in the mentioned time span from the twelve-month period ended in the last day of the eight Iranian month of Aban, IRNA reported on Sunday. 12/23/19

Iran investing over $1.5bn on gas network in deprived region

Iran's Oil Ministry is investing more than $1.5 billion on completing the national gas grid in the deprived and remote regions bordering Pakistan. Head of the National Iranian Gas Company said on Sunday that works to link up cities and towns in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan to the national gas network had made a significant progress over the past months. 12/23/19

Europeans to toughen up Iran stance but shy away from sanctions - diplomats

European parties to the Iran nuclear deal are likely to trigger a dispute resolution process in January to force Tehran to rollback violations, but would stop short of rushing to restore U.N. sanctions that would kill off the accord, diplomats said. Iran has criticized Britain, France and Germany for failing to salvage the 2015 pact by shielding Tehran's economy from U.S. sanctions, reimposed since last year when Washington exited the agreement between Iran and six major powers. -Reuters 12/23/19

Analyzing Iran's new state budget

On Dec. 8, President Hassan Rouhani presented his budget bill for the next Iranian year - starting March 21 - which he termed a tool of "resistance against US sanctions." Will the bill's new approaches positively impact Iran's sanctions-hit economy? Iran's budget bills consist of two parts, i.e., a smaller part that reflects the government's financial framework and a much larger segment that covers the forecasts for all public entities. -Bijan Khajehpour, Al-Monitor 12/20/19

Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019: Iran's Rohani Urges Muslim Countries To Fight Against U.S. 'Hegemony'

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has used an Islamic conference in Malaysia to urge Muslim nations to deepen cooperation in order to counter U.S. "hegemony." Speaking on December 19 at the opening ceremony of the event in Kuala Lumpur, Rohani reiterated Iran's view that the United States is using economic sanctions as the "main tools of domineering hegemony and bullying" of other nations. 12/19/19

Iran offers discounts of up to $8.5 a barrel for oil sold at local bourse

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is offering significant discounts for a planned sell-off of crude and condensates in a local energy bourse as the government tries to use the mechanism to bypass the American sanctions imposed on direct oil exports. An NIOC agent said on Wednesday that the company will start offering price discounts and other favorable conditions to those buying oil and gas condensate, a very light type of oil, at Iran Energy Exchange (IRENEX). -Press TV 12/19/19

Iran Looks to Central Asia in Effort to Grow Exports

Over the past year, Iran has faced disruptions in its foreign trade relations following the withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Trade with partners like Europe and China has suffered because of U.S. secondary sanctions. In the face of these uncertainties, Iran has adopted a "neighborhood policy" as it seeks to protect trade flows. The policy has been recently expanded to Central Asian states, which serve both as an export market as well as the geographic bridge as Iran seeks to strengthen integration with Russia and China. -Omid Rahimi, Bourse & Bazaar 12/19/19

Iran's dealings with INSTEX entering its final stage: Araghchi

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Monday that transactions within INSTEX barter mechanism is entering its final phase. INSTEX - the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges - is designed to circumvent U.S. sanctions against trade with Iran by avoiding the use of the dollar. It was introduced by the European trio of France, Germany, and Britain on January 31. 12/18/19

U.S. expands sanctions on metal trade with Iran

The US government has warned against exports of steel-making materials to Iran, the latest salvo in Washington's campaign to target everything from oil sales to civilian transportation and financial activities. In a sanctions advisory issued on Monday, the US State Department warned entities and individuals to avoid exporting graphite electrodes and needle coke to Iran. -Press TV 12/17/19

Landmine survivors feel the pinch of sanctions

An estimated 20 million anti-personnel landmines were planted on roughly 16,200 square miles along the 680-mile Iran-Iraq border during the bloody eight-year conflict. Though the war ended thirty-one years ago, it still continues to claim lives. According to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, by 2016, almost 10,000 Iranians had been indiscriminately killed. Still, the average Iranian isn't even aware that these killing fields exist in border provinces such as Ilam, Kermanshah, Khuzestan, Kurdistan, and West Azerbaijan. -Holly Darges, Atlantic Council 12/17/19

Fewer Iranians Go To Doctors And Hospitals Due To Declining Incomes

The number of people visiting national health centers in Iran has dropped 30% in the last Iranian calendar year (ending March 21, 2019), says the deputy head of the Salamat (Health) Insurance and Health Services, Kourosh Farzin. "Health services' costs have increased in Iran so significantly that they are not proportional to the families' income," Farzin noted, adding, "People do not visit physicians for their routine health problems, anymore." 12/17/19

American Drug Companies Obtain Permission To Export Medicines To Iran - Report

A member of Tehran's Chamber of Commerce has told local media that a few American drug companies have obtained permission from the U.S. government to export medicines to Iran. ILNA news website in Tehran quotes Alireza Kolahi as saying that the drug companies have also proposed the names of several Iranian banks as payment channels and the U.S. government has approved two banks. -Radio Farda 12/16/19

Iran Says Second Cyberattack Defused Within Week

A senior government official in Tehran says Iran has "defused" a second cyberattack against the country in less than a week. Iranian Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi said in a Twitter post on December 15 that the alleged attack was "identified and defused by a cybersecurity shield." 12/15/19

Intelligence bodies investigating "drugged" cakes: Iran's Health Minister

Health Minister Saeed Namaki has said Iran's intelligence bodies are investigating the case of contaminated cakes. "This is a security issue and the Health Ministry along with security and intelligence bodies are investigating this issue," Namaki said on Sunday. "A group took systematic actions to manipulate public opinion and cripple the country's food industry, especially the cake and chocolate industry," he said. 12/15/19

New sanctions to ban humanitarian trade with Iran: US Treasury

The US Treasury Department has stressed that Washington's newly announced sanctions targeting Iran's air and maritime transport industries will lead to the restriction of trade related to humanitarian goods. "US persons will be prohibited from engaging in transactions involving Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) or E-Sail, including transactions for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices," the Treasury's guidelines on Iran sanctions read. -Press TV 12/13/19

How foreign football coaches in Iran are collateral damage to US sanctions

Hundreds of Iranians took to the streets of Tehran on Monday but unlike recent protests decrying a jump in the price of petrol, this particular rally demanded the return of an Italian football manager. Andrea Stramaccioni, who previously managed Inter Milan and Udinese, quit as head coach of Tehran's Esteghlal FC on Sunday over failed payments. The reason? US sanctions. -Euro News 12/13/19

Tribal tourism gives a chance to discover another face of Iran

For both domestic and foreign travelers, tribal tourism is all about opening eyes to new places, traditions, cuisines, beliefs, and ways of life. Also called ethno-tourism, ethnic tourism or tribe tourism, it lays the ground for you to feel indigenous people by living with a nomad or rural family or enjoying an independent stay. However, as the name implies, it's a trip for recreational purposes rather than being an expedition for anthropological research! -Afshin Majlesi, Tehran Times 12/13/19

ANALYSIS: U.S. and Europe Apply Dueling Band-Aids to Iran Trade

The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) announced on January 31, 2019 launched as an initiative by France, Germany, and the United Kingdom to facilitate European trade with Iran. According to the initial joint statement on INSTEX, the special purpose vehicle will "support legitimate European trade with Iran, focusing initially on the sectors most essential to the Iranian population-such as pharmaceutical, medical devices and agri-food goods." The long-term plan for INSTEX, which is registered in France and led by a former head of Germany's Commerzbank, includes potential expansion to exporters from additional countries. -Robert Kim, Bloomberg 12/13/19

Swiss channel to ease humanitarian exports to Iran: Report

A Swiss channel for the export of food, medicine, and other humanitarian goods to Iran is to open "within months", officials have told Reuters, amid Europe's failure to launch its long-awaited Iran channel known as INSTEX. Senior Swiss and American officials have told Reuters that Bern is "working hard" to make its special humanitarian channel operational within the coming months. 12/12/19

Outspoken Iranian Lawmaker Harshly Attacks Khamenei-Controlled Bodies

An outspoken lawmaker in Iran has attacked the entities under Khamenei's control for undermining the authority of the Parliament and warned that weakening the Majles can lead to the downfall of the regime. In a fiery speech in Majles on Tuesday Ali Motahari harshly criticized the involvement of entities appointed by Khamenei in legislation and called for the dissolution of the Economic Coordination Council (ECC) which consists of the President, Chief Justice and Majles Speaker. -Radio Farda 12/11/19

Foreign tour operators, travel marketers astonished by safe, modern Iran

International tour operators and travel marketers, who have recently made a familiarization tour across Iran, are astonished by seeing a country that is far more safe and modern than that they previously thought. A weeklong Famtrip organized by an Iranian tour operator brought 17 travelers from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Peru and China. 12/11/19

Iran exports $27B of non-oil products in 8 months

Iran exported $27 billion of non-oil commodities during the eight-month period from March 21 to November 23, IRIB reported on Tuesday citing the data released by Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA). The IRICA's data put the weight of the country's non-oil exports at 88 million tons during the mentioned time span, which indicates a 16-percent rise from the figure of the same period of time in the previous year. 12/10/19

Iran unveils 'budget to resist US sanctions' with help from $5bn Russian loan

Iran's president has presented a draft state budget of about $39bn to parliament, saying it was designed to resist US sanctions by limiting dependence on oil exports. Officials have not given figures for the oil price and export volumes used in the calculations, although the International Monetary Fund has indicated Iran would need oil prices to be triple current levels to balance its budget as its crude exports have plunged. -Guardian 12/9/19

International arrivals in Iran at 6.7 million since March

Some 6.7 million foreign nationals have visited Iran since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21). Iran welcomed some 7.8 million foreign nationals last year, achieving 52.5 percent increase year on year. 12/6/19

Foreign Minister Zarif condemns medicine embargo on Iran

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday that those countries which seemingly support the 2015 nuclear deal are unfortunately preventing exports of medicines for special patients in Iran. "As the issue is necessary and important, I am telling to the Europeans once again that Iran does not expect a country which has voiced support for the JCPOAto prevent a pharmaceutical company from exporting medicines for patients suffering from special diseases," Zarif said 12/5/19

Iran's Currency Drops 8 Percent In Wake Of Protests, Fuel Hike

Iran's currency rial lost more value Wednesday against major currencies reaching a low of 130,100 against the U.S. dollar. One month ago, the rial was trading at around 120,000 to the dollar, but since an increase in gasoline prices and widespread anti-government protests in November, the currency has steadily lost about 8 percent of its value. 12/5/19

Iran says still selling oil despite US sanctions; global traders agree

International energy news providers say Iran's announcement that the country is still selling its oil despite US sanctions is not without foundation. Since September, the United States has been working to bring Iran's oil exports down to zero as part of Washington's "maximum pressure" on Tehran. But Iran's Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri asserted on Monday that the policy has failed because the Islamic Republic continues to send its oil to the market. -Press TV 12/3/19

Background And Consequences Of Protests In Iran: A Look From Within

Two weeks after the eruption of protests in Iran due to the rise in petrol prices, the unrests may have subsided but discontent is still on the rise, like the clam before the storm which may erupt once more in the not so distant future.Based on official reports, 28 out of 31 Iranian provinces and over 100 cities were engulfed by protests. -Amir Delshad, LobeLog 12/3/19

Sanctions May Have Fueled Iran Protests, but Have Yet to Further U.S. Goals

President Trump likes to say that Iran is "a different country" after 18 months of punishing American sanctions, and the protests sweeping Iranian cities suggest he may be right. Even his most vociferous critics acknowledge that Mr. Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign helped fuel that unrest. But it is far from clear that what is unfolding on the streets today will make Iran more likely to renegotiate its nuclear deal or dial back its malign actions in the region, the two major American goals in dealing with the country. -David E. Sanger, New York Times 12/3/19

Will Iran's 50% gas price hike pay off for the economy?

On Nov. 15, Iran announced a shift in its gasoline subsidy policies that led to massive social protests and the unprecedented government response of a weeklong internet shutdown. Though it's too early to have a complete analysis of the recent wave of anti-government protests, it is valid to argue that the political, economic and social costs of the recent decision were very high. -Bijan Khajehpour, Al-Monitor 12/2/19

Iran seeking major share in global copper trade: Report

The IRNA agency said in a Sunday report that more than $3 billion will be invested in various copper industry projects across the country in the next five years, allowing the country to have a better share of an international market that is facing a surging demand for the precious metal. 12/2/19

U.S. Sanctions on Iran are Affecting Impoverished Iranians

Roughly a year ago, the United States Government decided to leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. After leaving the agreement, the Trump administration decided to reimpose U.S. sanctions on Iran. This decision has had three main impacts on Iran with the brunt of the effects felt by impoverished Iranians. -Borgen Magazine 12/2/19

Six European countries join EU-Iran financial trading mechanism INSTEX

Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden will join the INSTEX mechanism for trade with Iran, the six countries declared in a joint statement on Friday (29 November) ahead of further talks between parties to the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna next week. -Alexandra Brzozowski, Euractiv 11/29/19

Can The Iran Crisis Be A Blessing In Disguise For Europe?

Popular protests in Iran came at a particularly delicate time for the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA). More than one year after the United States unilaterally withdrew and re-imposed extraterritorial sanctions against Iran, the JCPOA is hovering precariously on a brink of collapse. Currently, the only obvious path available for Iran and the U.S. to avoid a direct confrontation is the French President Emmanuel Macron's initiative to mediate between them, and to issue a $15 billion credit line to Iran to cover its basic needs. -Eldar Mamedov 11/27/19

Iran's Interior Minister Says Protests In Five Provinces Turned Into Intense Unrest

The Islamic Republic Minister of Interior says that the recent protests across Iran turned into "special" cases of intense unrest in five provinces of the country. One hundred spots in the capital city, Tehran, were also the scene of intense protests. -Radio Farda 11/27/19

Khamenei: Iran Protests Were Deep-Rooted, Widespread, And Very Dangerous

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says the November protests in Iran have been "deep-rooted, widespread and very dangerous". Khamenei was addressing the IRGC-linked Basij militia members and commanders who have played a substantial part in the violent suppression of the protests. -Radio Farda 11/27/19

Trump's Sanctions Have Solidified The IRGC's Economic Empire

...with the Trump administration's imposition of an ever-tightening sanctions regime, hardliners inside Iran's government have grown stronger. The same critics who argued the United States should not be trusted feel vindicated in their beliefs and have lambasted Rouhani for signing the JCPOA in the first place, undermining his administration's efforts to curtail the IRGC's involvement in Iran's economic affairs. -Shervin Ghaffari, LobeLog 11/22/19

Huge investment attracted at Kish Invex 2019: Iranian Official

Iranian officials have hailed an investment opportunity event held south of the country as a major success at a time many foreign investors are avoiding the country due to the American sanctions. Gholamhossein Mozaffari, the top government official at Kish Island, said on Wednesday that over 350 business and investment meetings had been organized at Kish Invex 2019, a four-day event that had opened in the Persian Gulf resort on Monday. -Press TV 11/21/19

Almost a fifth of Iran's gasoline output smuggled abroad: Report

A new report citing data from the Iranian government shows that almost a fifth of the daily production of gasoline in the country falls into the hands of smugglers who ship the fuel to the neighboring countries. The findings come days after Iran decided to increase the price of gasoline and impose restrictions on the regular delivery of the fuel to the motorists. -Press TV 11/20/19

At Least Six Killed In Iranian Protests Over Gas Price Hike

Tensions remain high in Iran three days after a sharp hike in fuel prices sparked deadly protests in dozens of towns and cities across the country. The situation on the streets was unclear on November 18, however, largely due to an Internet outage imposed by authorities that has stemmed the flow of videos and communications shared on social media. -RFE/RL 11/18/19

Iran's President says people have right to protest, but vandalism will not be tolerated

President Hassan Rohani said on Sunday that the people have the right to protest, however, vandalism will not be tolerated. Late on Thursday, the government announced a partial cut in petrol subsidies. The decision went into force on Friday morning. However, some groups of people in certain cities, including Ahwaz, Tehran, Sirjan, Karaj, poured into the streets protesting the move. 11/18/19

PHOTOS: Outrage In Iran Over Hike In Gas Prices As Economic Woes Worsen

Iranians are blasting their government for rationing gas and greatly increasing its price, with many concerned that the move will lead to inflation and greater hardship in a country where so many people are struggling to make ends meet. Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 11/17/19

Iranian Startups: Komodaa's Success Story Is Heard From Shiraz

Sana Khalesi, founder of Komodaa, formerly a content writer in the UK and Greece, says of launching komodaa Startup in Shiraz and that she and her team are thinking of a market of 3,600 billion Tomans (about 300 million dollars). Komodaa is the first Eco-friendly and online fashion marketplace in Iran that tackles this issue by making it super simple to buy/sell pre-owned wearables. -Tahereh Khajegiri, Shanbe Magazine 11/17/19

Iran Imposes Gasoline Rationing, Raises Prices As U.S. Sanctions Continue To Bite

Iranian authorities have imposed rationing on gasoline purchases and have increased the price of fuel substantially as the economy continues to be hit by U.S. financial sanctions. The National Petroleum Products Distribution Company on November 14 said a 60-liter monthly limit of gasoline will be set on every private automobile and that prices will go up to about 12.7 cents a liter from nine cents. -RFE/RL 11/15/19

Iran chief banker warns against speculation as currency prices surge

The governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has warned the people against engaging in fresh round of speculative trade of foreign currencies, saying a slight weakening of Iran's rial over the past days is nothing to worry about. -Press TV 11/15/19

OPEC Says Iran's Oil Production Down By 1.65 Million bpd Since U.S. Sanctions

The latest OPEC monthly report published November 14 says that not only Iran's oil production fell in the first ten months of 2019, but also the price of the most exported type of Iranian oil fell. Iran's oil production in October decreased by 18,000 barrels, reaching 2,146,000 barrels per day. Iran was producing 3.8 million bpd before the United States imposed sanctions in November 2018. -Radio Farda 11/15/19

If Iran cannot reap JCPOA benefits others will suffer too: FM Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced in the Astana Club meeting on Tuesday that if Iran cannot reap the economic benefits of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) definitely the other sides will suffer too. Under the JCPOA, commonly called the Iran nuclear deal, Iran was tasked to limit its nuclear program in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions. 11/14/19

President Rohani Admits Without Oil Exports The Government In Iran Is Broke

Iran's President Hassan Rohani says his country's situation has never been as "difficult and complicated" as it is today. Rohani admitted that U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil exports are making it difficult to run the affairs of the country. The remarks are in sharp contrast to Rohani's previous statements in which he portrayed a promising picture of the country's economy. -Radio Farda 11/13/19

President Rohani Repeats Criticism Of Iran's Judiciary, Says Won't Remain Silent

President Hassan Rohani has defended his criticism of the Iranian Judiciary about the way it deals with financial corruption in Iran, vowing not to remain silent before parliamentary elections. In a speech on Monday, when Rohani was heckled by protesters, he attacked Iran's Judiciary controlled by hardliners for pursuing corruption cases selectively. -Radio Farda 11/13/19

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