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Iran repatriates 13 tons of frozen gold

- Iran has secured the release of 13 metric tons of its gold assets blocked in South Africa under US-led sanctions, central bank Governor Valiollah Seif has said. The repatriation came thanks to the Iranian negotiating team's follow-up of the matter in the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) said in a statement. - 7/2/15

Iran's Supreme Leader sets growth target at 8%

- Iran's new development plan, unveiled by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Tuesday, envisages sustainable growth of eight percent over the next five years. The Leader's blueprint for the years 2016-2021, communicated to President Hassan Rouhani and heads of the judiciary and legislature, also calls for economic diplomacy, notably in Southeast Asia, to "revive foreign investment and enter global markets". - 7/1/15

French firm snaps up Iran railway deal

- France's architectural firm AREP signed an agreement on Wednesday for redevelopment of three railway stations in Iran, marking a return of European companies as nuclear negotiations with Tehran are reaching a climax. - 7/1/15

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

- As Iran and world powers negotiate a deal to lift international sanctions in exchange for curbing the Iranian nuclear program, economists say the deal could inject more than $100 billion into Iran's coffers. The money is not enough to entirely rescue Iran's ailing economy, they say, but it may be enough to create an "economic momentum" to solidify the leadership's power base. -Heather Murdock, VOA - 6/30/15

Don't Fear Iran's Impending Windfall

- As Iran and the P5+1 look set to complete a historic nuclear agreement this week, the policy community in the US and Europe is very fearful that sanctions relief will provide Iran a dangerous windfall that it can use to expand its interventions in the region. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog - 6/30/15

Germany's petchem giant Basel to invest in Iran

- Iran's media reported on Sunday that Germany's Basel petrochemical giant plans to invest above $300 million in Iran. Reports say the investment will be made in an Iranian petrochemical project and will also include the transfer of technology. - 6/29/15

Iran holds world's largest gas reserves

- World proven natural gas reserves at end-2014 stood at 187.1 trillion cubic metres (tcm), sufficient to meet 54.1 years of global production. Proved reserves grew by 0.3% relative to end-2013. Growth in Russia (+0.4 tcm), Azerbaijan (+0.3 tcm) and the US (+0.2 tcm) accounted for all of the gross increase in global proved reserves in 2014. Iran (34.0 tcm) and Russia (32.6 tcm) hold the largest proved reserves. - 6/28/15

Record rise in foreign investments in Iran

- Iran's media reported on Saturday that foreign investments in the country had seen an unprecedented three-time rise in the second quarter of 2015. Foreign investments in Iran over the period had reached as high as $3 billion. The figure was higher than the total of $2.1 billion of foreign investments made in the country from March 2014-2015. - 6/28/15

The 2nd Europe-Iran forum: on September 24-25, 201 in Geneva, Switzerland

- In October 2014, the 1st Europe-Iran Forum became the first major international business conference dedicated to Iran's private sector commercial opportunities. Building on the success of the first event, BHB Emissary and its partners are proud to host the 2nd Europe-Iran Forum on September 24-25, 2015 at the prestigous Grand Hotel Kempinski in Geneva, Switzerland. - 6/27/15

U.S. To Continue Rights Sanctions Against Iran, Regardless Of Nuclear Deal

- The U.S. State Department says sanctions imposed against Iran in response to its violations of human rights will remain in place regardless of any nuclear deal brokered by Tehran and six world powers. Tom Malinowski, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, made the announcement on June 25 in Washington during the presentation of the State Department's 2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. - 6/27/15

Iran building major port near Hormuz Strait

- Iran is building a multi-purpose port near the Strait of Hormuz with 700 million euros of foreign investment, the state news agency IRNA reported on Thursday. The new port on the shores of Suza on the Qeshm island "will definitely become a shipping hub for international trade and transit", deputy head of the Qeshm Free Zone Organization Farzin Haqdel said. - 6/26/15

The Day After a Nuclear Deal

- Iranian president Hassan Rouhani may soon discover that negotiating a nuclear deal was the easy part of his job. He is likely to have a much more difficult time in office--with pressure from his opponents and his supporters--once the initial euphoria of a deal passes. -Hooman Majd, Politico - 6/26/15

Iran accelerates drilling of largest oilfield

- Iran has accelerated drilling of its largest oilfield which it shares with Iraq in order to catch up with its western neighbor in production, an energy official has said. The National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) has completed the drilling of six wells since taking over from the state-run China National Petroleum Corporation's (CNPC) which had its contract cancelled in May 2014 due to repeated delays. - 6/26/15

Nuclear Talks: Paradigm Shift in Iran Foreign Policy?

- During my recent trip to Tehran I had a chance to listen to and participate in discussions on both the political and societal levels about the final stages of the nuclear talks. As I discussed here in mid-February, the level of anxiety in Iran could not be higher. More importantly, the overall debate about the talks and all its details goes far beyond factional politics. -Adnan Tabatabai - 6/25/15

Not Waiting For Nuclear Deal, Shell, Other Oil Firms In Talks With Iran

- Executives from Royal Dutch Shell and Eni have met Iranian officials in Tehran to discuss investing in the country's energy industry, the first time international oil firms have publicly confirmed such talks ahead of a possible nuclear deal with the West, the Financial Times has reported. - 6/25/15

Tehran Talks Tough with India

- The Iranians, sensing a nuclear deal or a thaw at the very minimum, have in recent months become more assertive in their dealings with India. This toughening stance is most visible in sectors poised to attract tremendous foreign investment (particularly European) if sanctions are lifted. For Indian companies hoping to engage with Iran on energy, particularly upstream, recent months have been tough. -Sumitha Narayanan Kutty, LobeLog - 6/25/15

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov interested in Iran business

- Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's Renaissance Capital is interested in business in Iran and has already started scoping out opportunities in the country. The top-ranked investment bank is evaluating equity trading, deals and analyst coverage for Iran and is informing clients for possible ventures. - 6/24/15

Sistan Baluchistan MP lists distressing stats about province

- Seventy percent of people in Sistan Baluchistan province are living below the poverty line, the Khash representative to Parliament reports. He added that in that past three decades, the province has been ranked last among the country's 31 provinces in terms of development. The reports adds that unemployment remains very high. Two-thirds of the province's population does not have access to drinking water, and only 50 percent of students continue their education. - 6/24/15

iBridges: The Iranian Runaway Singularity

- iBridges, a non-profit organization incubated at the University of California, Berkeley, and powered by leading Iranian-American technology entrepreneurs, investors, and academicians, reached another milestone this month. It convened the largest- ever gathering of Iranians focused on high-tech entrepreneurship, on June 4-6 in Berlin - the start-up capital of Europe. -Jahandad Memarian, Huffington Post - 6/23/15

Iran sets goal to be second place gas producer in the world

- Iran expects its gas production to grow 71% in the next four years, putting the country on course to take over as the second biggest gas producer, an official said on Thursday. - 6/19/15

First Silk Road rail cargo enters Iran

- The first cargo carried on the Silk Road railway has entered Iran from the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan, local officials said. The cargo, including 45 freight wagons, crossed the Incha-Burun border with Turkmenistan into Iran, local officials in the Golestan province said. - 6/19/15

Europe courting Iran for business bonanza

- Western governments have started wooing Iran as their draconian sanctions on the resource-rich country - an energy superpower - appear all but crumbling. "Iran is a big country which has been for many years under a tough embargo regarding aircraft. So it would suggest there is a big potential," Airbus Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier said. - 6/18/15

How Sanctions Relief Can Help and Hurt the Iranian Economy

- Removal or relaxation of international sanctions will benefit Iran's economy just as surely as they hurt it when they were imposed. But not all sanctions have the same effect, and removing some will have a faster impact than others. President Rouhani has staked his political fortunes on reviving the economy, so how a nuclear deal benefits the economy and how quickly is of critical importance for Iran's politics, especially for the coming parliamentary elections in March 2016. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani - 6/17/15

Iran expects 'tsunami' of foreign tourists

- Iran will face a "tsunami" of foreign tourists once a nuclear agreement is concluded and sanctions on the country are lifted, an official said on Tuesday. "Nearly 20 million foreign tourists will probably visit Iran within the next five years," head of the Iran Touring and Tourism Investment Company (ITTIC) Mohsen Qarib said. - 6/16/15

Saudi stake in Iran firm under scrutiny

- A Saudi food producer's domination of the Iranian market for a basic staple is raising hackles in the Persian country, prompting the company's local partners to deny rumors that it was linked to ISIL terrorists. - 6/15/15

Iran's crude exports bounce back after sanctions stranglehold

- The International Energy Agency reports that Iran's crude exports in May of 2015 made a big jump after being dragged down three years ago by the tightening of international sanctions on the country's petroleum exports. - 6/15/15

Iran hits new record in natural gas production

- Managing director of the Iranian Gas Transmission Company says the country has hit a new record in natural gas output by producing a total of two billion cubic meters of gas per year. - 6/14/15

Deal or No Deal, Iran's Economy Will Continue to Grow

- "The official response of [Iran] to sanctions has been framed as the Economy of Resistance, but essentially, it is a blueprint for economic reform," said Dr. Bijan Khajehpour, Managing Partner at the Vienna-based Atieh International Consultancy, speaking at the Wilson Center last week on the economic significance of a nuclear deal for the Iranian economy. -Ala Hashami-Haeri, NIAC - 6/12/15

Gas superpower Iran to invest $100 billion

- Iran says it needs $100 billion of investment in its gas industry as updated BP data put the energy superpower's reserves above those of Russia as the world's largest. "Natural gas will be the main fuel in the next 20 to 30 years," international affairs director at National Iranian Gas Co. Azizollah Ramezani has said. - 6/12/15

Iran, China, Indonesia finalize refinery deal

- Iran, China and Indonesia have reached a final agreement on building a refinery on the East Java island to process 150,000 barrels per day of heavy crude oil, an Iranian official said on Wednesday. - 6/10/15

Former Ahmadinejad aide arrested on unknown charges

- Iran's judiciary has announced that Hamid Baghai, who was the executive assistant to former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was arrested on Monday June 8. When the Rohani administration took over in 2013, financial fraud charges were brought against a number of top officials in the Ahmadinejad administration. - 6/9/15

US exports to Iran rise sharply

- Figures published by the US Census Bureau reveal that US exports to Iran in the first four months of 2015 have seen a sharp year-on-year increase. According to the data, the US exports to Iran between January and April 2015 reached $98.2 million, some 60% higher than the same period in the previous year. - 6/9/15

Iranian Oil Minister: US, European firms welcome

- International oil companies have told Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh they would return quickly to Iran if sanctions were lifted, he has said. Zangeneh said both US and European companies are welcome. "Of course, Americans are higher in terms of technology. The Europeans don't have any particular advantage. But we are open for all." - 6/9/15

American 'super angel investor' says interested in Iran start-up market

- Top American start-up investor David McClure has expressed interest in investing in Iran's nascent start-up market. "I hope to visit Iran in the future. We will see how that arrangement plays out," said McClure, who has invested in more than 1,000 start-up firms all around the world and is often described as one of the super angel investors. - 6/8/15

Iran rolls out huge untapped riches

- Iran seeks to chisel out a name among the world's major miners, courting international prospectors into a sector which boasts some of the world's most stupendous riches but remains vastly underdeveloped. - 6/8/15

For Foreign-Born Entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley Is the American Dream

- In the maze of offices at Rackspace on Folsom Street, Shahin Shadfar points to a small row of disheveled chairs and overturned computer mice lined up against a grey wall of cubicle space: This is where his team sits. Shadfar walks into a lounge to talk about an app called Zurf, his latest venture, which comes on the heels of several successes in other tech projects across the nation. -Joseph Jaafari, 7x7 - 6/6/15

Iran says welcomes investments by US companies in its oil projects

- Iran's Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says the country welcomes the participation of American corporations in its oil projects. "We welcome the presence of American oil companies in Iran," Zangeneh has been quoted as saying by the country's local media. "We will definitely prepare the grounds for the presence of American oil companies in Iran". - 6/6/15

OPEC holds firm on production quotas despite price collapse

- OPEC announced, after a meeting on Friday June 5, that it is not adjusting its production quotas. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said that despite the 40-percent decrease in the price of oil in the past year, it will maintain output at 30 million barrels a day. - 6/6/15

Iranian entrepreneurs thirst for foreign funding, expertise

- The desire to do more is gripping an increasing number of young, tech-savvy Iranians, who have used their country's isolation under U.S. and EU sanctions as well as domestic censorship of foreign rivals to develop home-grown versions of Amazon, eBay or YouTube. -Georgina Prodhan, Reuters - 6/6/15

Iran startups open biggest event in Berlin

- Iranian entrepreneurs and business owners gathered in Berlin Thursday for a three-day startup conference to explore opportunities in Iran's hi-tech sector. Renowned American startup guru David McClure opened the iBRIDGE Berlin conference with a keynote speech to more than 80 business owners coming from Iran, Europe and the US. - 6/5/15

Iran, China work to resurrect Silk Road

- Iran is participating in an ambitious Chinese plan to resurrect the Silk Road which aims to connect Asia to Europe and Africa through a network of roads, railways, ports and airports. - 6/4/15

Iran's return to oil market gradual: Oil Minister

- Speaking during an address to the 6th OPEC International Seminar in Austrian capital city of Vienna, the Iranian minister added, "Immediately or one month after the sanctions are lifted, we will pump half a million barrels per day to the market and after 6-7 months, we will reach one million barrels [a day] and I don't believe that with the maturity of OPEC it will have a bad effect on the market." - 6/4/15

How to succeed in Iran: lessons from Russia and China

- As the Hassan Rouhani government woos western capitals in anticipation of a nuclear deal and the end of sanctions, foreign investors eying opportunities in Iran would do well to remember the lessons from the economies of the crumbled Soviet Union circa 1991 or gaizhi-era China over a decade later: strengthen your legal team, treat trust like a commodity, and beware of cephalopods. -Guardian - 6/4/15

Why Iran's Revolutionary Guard backs a nuclear deal: It's just business

- The Guard is known for its hard-line rhetoric. But years of presiding over lucrative enterprises have created a more business-first mentality that sees an opportunity in sanctions relief. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 6/3/15

Americans Scour Tehran for Assets as Iranians Open Doors

- He was one of about 20 foreigners brought to Tehran for a tour last month by Turquoise Partners, a local firm which asked that the visitors' names not be published for fear that competitors might swipe clients and because international sanctions remain in place. -Golnar Motevalli, Bloomberg - 6/3/15

Iran's homegrown treasure: the spice that costs more than gold

- It is the most expensive and sought after spice in the world, commonly known as red gold. At $65 per gram for the highest quality crop, Saffron can actually cost even more than the precious metal. Its value has been kept permanently high by labor-intensive harvesting methods that require around 200,000 delicate red strands to be hand-picked from 70,000 Crocus Sativa flowers for each pound. -CNN - 6/3/15

Iran's Parliament expresses concern over corruption in veterans agency

- Iranian MPs maintain that corruption at the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs when former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in office was even greater than the corruption at the office of the Social Security Fund under Saeid Mortazavi. - 5/30/15

Americans watch as Iran sanctions crumble

- The US government is warning against a rush for trade with Iran but US allies are not waiting for sanctions on Tehran to come down and the American media is taking note. France's ambassador to the US Gerard Araud says critics of the Iranian gold rush should recall that Iran's neighbors and its traditional trading partners in Europe have suffered far more from the sanctions than their American counterparts. - 5/30/15

Iran liquidity 'tsunami' poses a dilemma

- Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Valiollah Seif says liquidity growth is in check but some economists warn of a "tsunami" of cash which is inundating the market. According to the governor, Iran saw off the year on March 21 with a 21.2% growth of liquidity which snowballed to around 7 trillion rials ($250 billion). - 5/29/15

Iran's pistachio under threat from US

- Water shortage threatens Iran's pistachio crop, leaving the US to reassert itself as the biggest producer of the staple, head of the Iranian Pistachio Association Mohsen Jalalpour said on Friday. Iran, however, maintains the top position as the biggest pistachio exporter, he told the Mehr news agency. - 5/29/15

Iranian MPs ask to meet with jailed tycoon about other fraud suspects

- Forty Iranian MPs have called on the judiciary to arrange for them to meet with Babak Zanjani, the Iranian tycoon reportedly being held in Evin Prison on financial embezzlement charges. Soltani told Shargh that the MPs have urged the judiciary to publicize the identities of the major players in this case, which he said involved "a large network". - 5/28/15

Iran brings sweet treat to 100 countries

- Iran has its own treat recipe for chocolate lovers and clients in more than 100 countries have a sweet tooth for Iranian candies. As the supplies are tucked in with great relish, the industry keeps a low profile but secretary of the Chocolate, Sweets and Biscuits Association Jamshid Maghazei says Iran's chocolate sales outstrip twice its car exports in value. - 5/27/15

The Persian dream: An in-depth look at the Iranian startup scene

- In our haste to keep looking East for new tech frontiers, we forget the burgeoning innovations coming out of Middle East, like Iran -e27 - 5/27/15

Paper: US investors visit Tehran Stock Exchange

- A foreign delegation of asset managers, including Americans, have visited Tehran Stock Exchange for the second time in recent weeks as interest is building in a country being billed as the latest attractive emerging market. - 5/26/15

New 'Silk Road' could alter global economics

- Beginning with the marvelous tales of Marco Polo's travels across Eurasia to China, the Silk Road has never ceased to entrance the world. Now, the ancient cities of Samarkand, Baku, Tashkent, and Bukhara are once again firing the world's imagination. -USA Today - 5/26/15

How the Uncertain Outcome of Nuclear Talks with Iran Has Taken Its Economy Hostage

- I recently returned from a six-week trip to Iran. While the primary purpose of my trip was to visit family and friends, I also made some general enquiries into the state of the country's stagnant economy. These included informal discussions with various strata of economic agents or market players: manufacturers, bankers, shopkeepers, miners, farmers, livestock breeders, workers, teachers, and more. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 5/25/15

Iran scraps subsidized gasoline allowance

- Iranian motorists will see a monthly allotment of 60 liters of subsidized gasoline canceled from Tuesday. From Tuesday, every driver will pay 35 cents per liter at gas stations, officials said. - 5/25/15

Iran government permits 'unofficial' US trade link

- The Iranian government has given the green light to private business owners to forge trade ties with their American counterparts, an official said on Saturday. Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture Gholamreza Shafei said the government had "advised" for initial connection between the two countries' private sectors before formal trade links could take shape. - 5/23/15

US sanctions airlines for selling jets to Iran

- The US government has imposed sanctions on two aviation companies in Iraq and the UAE for selling used commercial aircraft to Iran. The Treasury Department designated Iraq-based Al-Naser Airlines and Sky Blue Bird Aviation in the United Arab Emirates as sanctions violators. - 5/22/15

Exxon lobbies US government on Iran sanctions

- Exxon Mobil is reported to have stationed lobbyists to push the envelope on Iran sanctions with the US government as Western companies are jostling for access to the Middle East country's massive oil and gas fields. - 5/22/15

President Rouhani stresses Iran's peace discourse

- Iran's President Rouhani restated his policy of peace and dialogue on Wednesday. Addressing a meeting of businessmen and investors in Tabriz, capital of the East Azerbaijan Province, President Rouhani restated his policy of peace and dialogue on Wednesday. - 5/21/15

Iran opens its largest glass production plant

- Iran has launched a glass fabrication plant described as the country's largest, with President Hassan Rouhani calling on local producers to raise their competitiveness. Sahand Float Company in Tabriz in northwestern Iran will produce 220,000 tonnes of flat glass per year for building, automotive, security and decoration use. - 5/21/15

US architect of Iran economic isolation warns sanctions could backfire

- Richard Nephew, a former senior US official who was instrumental in constructing the global sanctions wall around Iran, is now warning that Washington's fondness for sanctions as a foreign policy tool could have serious repercussions for the US. -Julian Borger, Guardian - 5/21/15

Threat of 'Snapback' Could Limit Firms' Iran Deals

- At the heart of the recent deal between the U.S. and other powers and Iran over its nuclear program is the issue of how and when sanctions will be removed. The Obama administration has described a deal that would see economic sanctions removed only if Iran is abiding by its commitments to restrict its nuclear activity. -Teresa Welsh, US News - 5/21/15

Israel ordered to pay Iran $1.1 billion: Report

- An Israeli oil company has been ordered by a Swiss court to pay $1.1 billion to Iran in compensation in a long-standing legal battle related to a joint venture before the Islamic Revolution, the IRNA news agency says. - 5/20/15

Iran spells out conditions for US oil firms

- An official says Iran's oil and gas is open to American investment but US companies have to tie up with Iranian companies under certain terms."From the government's standpoint, there is no limitation for oil investment by the Americans in Iran," deputy Minister of Petroleum Amir Hossein Zamaninia said, the Mehr news agency reported. - 5/19/15

Iran confident of quick oil output recovery

- Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi says Iran's oil exports could return to the pre-sanctions level over a period of three or four months. Talking to IRNA in Kuala Lumpur, the official said Iran must ramp up production to four million barrels per day, of which 2.3 million to 2.5 million bdp would go to exports. - 5/18/15

Iran plans massive rail network

- Iran wants to splurge up to $8 billion over the next six years to expand its rail network, Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Reza Netmatzadeh said. The country is struggling to catch up with its runaway urbanization which has generated daunting challenges both for the state planners and the populace. - 5/18/15

Iranian Shareholders blame government, exchange for stock market losses

- A number of Iranian shareholders gathered in front of the Tehran Stock Exchange on Monday to protest the investment losses they have suffered due to a steep fall in share prices. - 5/12/15

Teacher Protests Sweep Iran despite Threats by Officials Not to Participate

- Another nationwide protest by Iranian teachers swept through dozens of cities throughout Iran on May 7, with thousands taking to the streets to draw attention to wages that are below the poverty line. - 5/12/15

Iran's Banks May Have Difficult Return to Global System

- Iran may be about to restore banking links with the rest of the world after years of separation, but the process won't be easy as its Islamic financial system has evolved in ways that will complicate ties with foreign banks. -Reuters - 5/12/15

Iran trade team in rare US visit

- Iran's media reported on Sunday that a 15-member delegation comprising Iranian traders, entrepreneurs and artists is in a rare visit to the United States. The visit - which officials say started two weeks ago and is expected to end next week - has been arranged by a US-based non-governmental institution called Learning. - 5/11/15

Iranian Teachers Protest For Higher Wages

- Thousands of teachers across Iran have again taken to the streets to call for higher wages. Iran's semiofficial ILNA news agency, which focuses on labor issues, reports that silent protests were held on May 7 in more than a dozen Iranian cities, including Tehran, Tabriz, Shiraz, Isfahan, and Sanandaj. - 5/8/15

Iran plans $180 billion energy investment

- Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says Iran plans to splash out $180 billion to revive and renovate its oil, gas and petrochemical industries by 2022. Addressing an energy security summit in Berlin, the minister said Iran has always been a reliable energy supplier, adding the country wants to regain its position in the energy market. - 5/8/15

Ignoring US, India signs Iran seaport contract

- Defying US warnings, India has signed an agreement with Iran to develop a port in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan. The seaport will be located in Iranian port city of Chabahar in the Sistan-Baluchestan province on the southeastern coast of the province along the Gulf of Oman, and will give India a sea-land access route to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan. - 5/8/15
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