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Azar 27 1393
December 18 2014
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Nuclear Program Has 'Hurt Iran More Than Iraq War'

- Iran's nuclear activities and ambitions faced rare, blunt criticism at a roundtable at Tehran University, where one of the speakers said the damage done by the nuclear program was greater than that by the 1980-88 war with Iraq, which left tens of thousands dead and caused much devastation. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 12/18/14

Reports of Ahmadinejad administration's corruption called "tip of iceberg"

- The head of Iran's Expediency Council said on Tuesday December 16 that the administration cannot fully report on the depth of the problems it has inherited from the former administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, adding that only "the tip of the iceberg of corruption" has been revealed so far. - 12/17/14

Iran exports $954M pistachios in eight months

- Iran exported $954 million of pistachio in the first eight months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 21, a 67 percent rise compared to the same period last year, the Fars news agency reported on Monday. - 12/17/14

Western-style stores growing in Iran

- When Thomas Cristofoletti walked into the Hyperstar supermarket in Shiraz, Iran, he was stopped at the door. He had his camera over his shoulder, and the international-style grocery store was built inside a large mall with a strict policy against photography. -Allison Love, CNN - 12/17/14

Iranian MP slams "completely overt" corruption

- Iranian MP Abed Fatahi has spoken out against the widespread nature of corruption in the country, saying it is has become a matter of course in every branch of life. Fatahi told ISKA news on Sunday December 14: "It has now gone beyond under-the-table handouts, it is completely overt." - 12/15/14

Iranian economy to grow 2.8% in 2014: Business Monitor

- The Iranian economy will grow 2.8 percent in 2014, Business Monitor said in its latest report. Meanwhile, the country's inflation rate is estimated at 23 percent in 2014, according to the report. The Iranian economy will grow by 3.3 percent on average by 2018, the report added. - 12/15/14

Iran's 300% Stock Rally Fades as Nuclear Deal Eludes Rouhani

- The Tehran Stock Exchange Index has lost 20 percent in 2014, set for the first yearly decline since 2008, as petrochemical companies and lenders plunged, bourse data show. Over the previous five years, shares soared 910 percent, or about 300 percent in dollar terms after factoring in the rial's declines. -Business Week - 12/15/14

Iran to resume petchem exports to Europe

- Iran will soon resume exports of petrochemical products to Europe, which have been banned under the US-led sanctions in recent years. The ban was lifted last year following breakthroughs in nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers. - 12/14/14

Sensing a Deal on Sanctions, Iran Is Bullish

- The confidence is beginning to take on a life of its own, with executives in the major export industries - oil and gas, transportation and carpets - feverishly preparing for what they envision as gloriously prosperous days ahead. -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 12/13/14

Oil prices fall below $60 for first time since July 2009

- Oil prices have fallen below USD 60 for the first time since July 2009 amid mounting evidence that global supplies are far outstripping demand. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for January delivery decreased by 86 cents to USD 59.09 in Friday morning trade in Asia. Brent was also down 52 cents at USD 63.16. - 12/12/14

Iran rejects claim of oil-for-goods swap deal with Russia

- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has rejected Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev's claim that Iran and Russia have made an oil-for-goods swap deal. - 12/11/14

Iran's President Rouhani Calls Global Oil Price Fall Political Scenario

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has warned that the current drop in global crude prices is not simply an economic issue, but rather a political plot by some countries. "The fall in crude price is not merely an economic issue. Rather, it is caused by a plot and political planning by certain countries," Rouhani said at his Wednesday cabinet meeting. - 12/10/14

Arrests announced in fraud case from Ahmadinejad era

- Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi has announced the arrest of 20 middle managers of the former administration in connection with a financial fraud case. Alavi reports that the scheme took place from 2010 to 2013 during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's second term as president. - 12/10/14

Iran's President Rohani warns of corruption from concentration of power

- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has referred to the concentration of power as a cause of corruption and he criticized the combination of arms, money, power and the media controlled by one institution. It appears that President Rohani is referring to Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which in addition to extensive military power is also widely active in economic projects and the media. - 12/9/14

Iranian oil giant seeking billions in foreign investment

- The National Iranian Oil Company says it will attend a London conference with the goal of attracting $40 billion of investment in 40 oil industry projects The conference is reportedly set for two days in March of 2015. - 12/9/14

Photos: Saffron Farms in Ghaenat, Iran

- Iran has long been a significant source of high-quality saffron production and export which accounts for up to 95 percent of saffron production in the world. These photos by Mohsen Noferesti show saffron farming in the city of Ghaenat in northeastern Iran. - 12/4/14

Photos: Iran, Turkmen, Kazakh presidents attend landmark ceremony to open joint railway

- Iranian, Turkmen and Kazakh Presidents met and conferred in Incheborun railway station on Wednesday in a landmark ceremony to celebrate putting into operation of joint railway networks. President Rouhani said the project will pave the way for economic development of the three nations and the entire region. - 12/3/14

Is Iran's Rial in Free Fall?

- The decision announced last Monday in Vienna to extend the talks aimed at a compressive agreement on Iran's nuclear program for an additional seven months has resulted in Iran's currency taking dive. In one week, the rial lost more than 5% of its value in the unofficial market. The devaluation has clear political and economic implications -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani - 12/3/14

Iran wary of oil 'shock therapy' as OPEC vies for market

- The "shock therapy" of a steep drop in crude prices, which have fallen to a five-year low, is no solution for OPEC's loss of market share to U.S. shale producers, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. - 12/2/14

Iranian currency tumbles further in wake of nuclear extension

- The exchange rate for the dollar rose even higher in Tehran with every dollar being traded at 3,520 toumans on Sunday November 30 Mehr News Agency reports. ISNA reported the dollar was traded at 3560 toumans on Sunday afternoon which is the highest rate of exchange for the dollar since Hassan Rohani took power last year. - 12/1/14

Iranian, Russian export funds ink MOU

- The Export Guarantee Fund of Iran (EFGI) and the Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR) signed a memorandum of understanding in Tehran on Sunday to boost cooperation. - 12/1/14

Oil at $40 Possible as Market Transforms From Caracas to Tehran

- Oil's decline is proving to be the worst since the collapse of the financial system in 2008 and threatening to have the same global impact of falling prices three decades ago that led to the Mexican debt crisis and the end of the Soviet Union. -Bloomberg - 12/1/14

Foreign automakers find Iranian market has gone local

- Foreign automakers seeking a return to the potentially huge Iranian market with the lifting of international sanctions will find the business environment has changed: former joint venture partners now want to play the game by their own rules. -Cyril Julien, AFP - 12/1/14

New Era of Cheap Oil Tilts Geopolitical Power Toward U.S.

- A new age of abundant and cheap energy supplies is redrawing the world's geopolitical landscape, weakening and potentially threatening the legitimacy of some governments while enhancing the power of others. -Bloomberg - 11/29/14

OPEC Maintains Output, Prices Hit 4-year Low

- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has decided to maintain current levels of production, despite a worldwide oil glut that has driven market prices down more than 30 percent since June. Meeting Thursday in Vienna, Austria, OPEC oil ministers decided to maintain the present output target of 30 million barrels a day. - 11/28/14

U.S. follows EU example on Iran sanctions relief

- Following the European Union's suspension of sanctions against Iran, the US Treasury announced that it will also extend the sanctions relief provided for in the plan of action implemented by the parties. - 11/28/14

India Group's Oil-for-steel Deal to Test Iran Sanctions

- NEW DELHI-- Essar Group, a $39 billion Indian conglomerate, is looking to tap frozen Iranian oil revenues to pay for its steel exports to Tehran, in a novel attempt to work around Western financial sanctions against the OPEC member state. -Reuters - 11/28/14

Iran's next budget adjusted for continued sanctions, low oil price

- Iran's Minister of Economics has announced he is prepared to present the country's budget to Parliament now that the outcome of Iran's nuclear talks has determined that international sanctions will persist. The budget for the coming year reportedly assumes an oil price of $70 per barrel. - 11/26/14

Iran nuclear deal could spur rapid growth

- Companies and global investors are sizing up Iran's economic potential in anticipation of a deal that could end years of isolation. -CNN - 11/23/14

Two Futures: With An Iran Nuclear Deal, And Without

- As the six world powers and Tehran try to reach a deal in Vienna, there is more at stake than simply ending the crisis over Iran's nuclear program. Equally important is how the success or failure of the negotiations could set the stage for determining the West's relations with Iran for years to come. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 11/21/14

Iran: Thousands rally against legislative attack on workers' rights

- Thousands of Iranian workers took part in a rally on Thursday November 20 organized by Tehran Manufacturing and Service Workers, protesting the government's attempts to change the country's employment legislation to the benefit of employers. - 11/21/14

Photos: International Air Show kicks off in Kish, Iran

- The Kish Development and investment company fully supported by Kish Free Zone Organization is holding the 7th edition of the International Iran Kish Air Show with the cooperation of Civil Aviation Organization of Islamic Republic of Iran (CAO-IRI) from 18-21 Nov. 2014 on Kish Island in Persian Gulf. - 11/20/14

IRNA: Iran to Hold Market Share Talks With Saudi at OPEC

- Iran's oil minister said he will talk with top oil exporter Saudi Arabia about market share when OPEC meets next week in Vienna, as Tehran plans for the possible end of sanctions and unfettered crude exports. -Reuters - 11/20/14

Iran allows private sector to import aircraft

- Iran Civil Aviation Organization Director Alireza Jahangirian announced that Iranian private entities are allowed to import aircraft. He made the remarks on the sidelines of the 7h International Air Show of Iran (Iran Air Show 2014), which is underway ON THE Persian Gulf island of Kish - 11/19/14

Iran's Kish Air Show: Investment Opportunities

- The 7th Biennial Kish Air Show opens on November 18 on the Persian Gulf Island. The 4-day exhibition is aimed at helping participants understand changes in the Iranian aviation industry, discover attractive business opportunities and meet new partners as well as competitors. - 11/17/14

Iran's wheat imports up 124% in 7 months

- Iran imported over 3.753 million tons of wheat in the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-October 22), a 124 percent rise compared to the same period in the previous year. - 11/17/14

Photos: Iran opens largest Middle East gold plant, doubling production

- First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri inaugurated the largest gold plant in the Middle East in Zareh Shuran of Takaab in West Azarbaijan Province on Saturday. With the operation of the plant the gold bullion production capacity in the country will be doubled and reach 5.5 tons. - 11/15/14

Energy agency sees lower oil prices continuing

- The latest estimate by the International Energy Agency, published on Friday Nov. 14, foresees that depressed oil prices on the international market will continue until 2015. The agency cites falling demand as the reason for the drop in oil prices. - 11/15/14

Stewarding the Deal: Business Diplomacy and Iran's Private Sector

- It's no secret that business leaders worldwide are eagerly awaiting the announcement of an agreement on Iran's nuclear program this month. "Apart from Mars and the Moon, Iran is the only remaining opportunity for [our] clients," declared Sir Martin Sorrell, the CEO of British advertising giant, WPP, last month at the Europe-Iran Forum in London. Business owners in Iran are meanwhile looking forward to sanctions relief and a flood of foreign investment, as are average Iranians. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj - 11/14/14

NIAC Urges President Obama to Establish U.S.-Iran Banking Channel

- ith a potential nuclear deal only weeks away, the National Iranian American Council is urging that a direct banking channel be established between the U.S. and Iran. Such a channel would allow for humanitarian transactions, the sale of licensed goods like phones and computer software, and the transfer of personal remittances and inheritances between the U.S. and Iran. -Tyler Cullis and Jamal Abdi, NIAC - 11/14/14

Renault negotiating to buy stake in Iranian carmaker

- French carmaker Renault is negotiating with Iranian carmaker Saipa to acquire a stake in Saipa's subsidiary Pars Khodro, according to Majid Souri, the Saipa investment management director. - 11/12/14

Foreign insurance companies resume business in Iran

- The new round of activities by foreign insurance companies in Iran has started with Nasco Insurance Group of France opening its office in Tehran. The French insurance company this week hosted a number of activists from the private sector and those engaged in insurance industry. - 11/12/14

Iran divests state shares worth over $9.2b in 18 months

- Iran has transferred 300 trillion rials (about $9.2 billion) of shares of state-run companies to the private sector over the past one and a half years, Iran Privatization Organization Director Abdollah Pouri Hosseini said. - 11/11/14

Policy Memo: Establishing a Direct Financial Channel between the United States and Iran

- On the eve of a potential settlement to the Iranian nuclear dispute, the United States must be prepared to provide Iran the sanctions relief pledged it under a nuclear deal. Unwinding the sanctions will be crucial to ensuring that Iran upholds its commitments under a final deal and remains compliant with its nuclear non-proliferation obligations, while also setting the stage for the White House to pursue a broader opening to Iran. -Tyler Cullis, NIAC - 11/9/14

Iran slams EU's fresh bans against Iranian institutions, companies

- Iran has strongly condemned the European Union's latest move to impose fresh sanctions on a number of Iranian institutions and companies despite the ongoing negotiations between representatives of Iran, the US and the EU in the Omani capital, Muscat. - 11/9/14

Falling Oil Prices May Not Pressure Iran, Russia

- The global price of oil fell sharply in recent months, providing some benefits to consumers and putting economic pressure on exporting countries, including two that are involved in disputes with the West. But analysts say the impact on those two countries - Iran and Russia - may not be as great as some might expect. -Al Pessin, VOA - 11/8/14

Direct US-Iran banking channel could cement nuclear deal

- As nuclear talks enter a crucial period ahead of the Nov. 24 deadline, one of the incentives the Barack Obama administration is dangling before Iran is a direct banking channel between a US and an Iranian financial institution, Al-Monitor has learned. -Barbara Slavin, Al-Monitor - 11/6/14

German trade with Iran springs back to life

- German exports to Iran rose by 32.7 percent in the first eight months of 2014. Reuters reports that according to German statistics, exports to Iran from Germany reached 1.6 billion euros in the first eight months of 2014. - 11/5/14

American carmakers invited to Iran's Auto Expo

- Secretary of Iran's Second International Auto Exhibition Sasan Qorbani said Benz, Volkswagen, Volvo, Fiat and Skoda auto makers would take part in the Iranian auto expo, adding that the US car-manufacturers may also join the event. - 11/4/14

Iran's Culture Ministry Defends 'Successful' U.S. Presence

- Iran's Culture Ministry has defended the "successful presence" of an Iranian delegation in an October 28 conference in Pittsburgh that was reportedly also attended by State Department official Greg Sullivan. The conference, "Growing Business between the U.S. and the Middle East," was organized by the American Middle East Institute. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/4/14

Iran plans to double gas production by 2017

- Over the next three years, our plan is to increase production to 1 billion cubic meters (bcm) per day," Managing Director of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamid Reza Araqi told Bloomberg. He added that Iran's daily gas output will increase to 680 mcm in winter, up from 550 mcm. - 11/4/14

12.000 European tourists register to visit Iran

- Head of Iran Tourism Operators' Association Ebrahim Pour-Faraj said 12.000 European tourists have registered for visiting Iran via Golden Eagle Danube Express. The luxurious train with 13 wagons can carry only 150 passengers, and it should arrive in Iran 80 times if it wants to bring all of the tourists to Iran. - 11/2/14

Iran looks at legislation protecting intellectual property

- President Hassan Rohani has presented to the parliament a bill to protect of intellectual property which includes artistic, industrial and scientific property. Iran is not a signatory to the Berne Convention and international copyright laws. - 11/2/14

Iran was OPEC's 3rd largest oil producer in first half of 2014: EIA

- Iran was the third-largest crude oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in the first half of 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The largest buyers of Iranian crude and condensate are China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey, the EIA stated. - 11/2/14

Iran advised to cut expectations for oil revenue

- The National Oil Company of Iran says the Iranian government should abandon scenarios based on oil selling for $100 a barrel and instead base its budget on a price of $70 per barrel. - 11/1/14

US Tech And Aerospace Companies Could Miss Out If Iran Sanctions Are Suspended

- "Iranians have by and large maintained good trade and economic ties with European countries," said Alex Vatanka, an Iranian analyst at the Middle East Institute. "Those connections are much easier to revive should sanctions be removed than for the American side, which needs to go out and recover 35 years of lost time." -Erin Banco, IBI - 11/1/14

U.S. firms eager to sell to Iranians after sanctions lifted

- Apple, Boeing and General Electric are prepared to officially enter the Iranian market as soon as international sanctions against the country are lifted. According to The Wall Street Journal, the three companies have already entered preliminary talks for offering iPhones and spare parts in Iran. - 10/31/14

How Much is Iran's Economy Recovering?

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani could not wait for the quarterly Economic Trends report published by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) to be issued. It showed that from March 2013 to March of this year, Iran's GDP increased by 4.6 percent. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, LobeLog - 10/31/14

Iran rises in World Bank Doing Business rankings

- The Doing Business 2015 report updates all indicators as of June 1, 2014, ranks economies on their overall ease of doing business, and analyzes reforms to business regulation - identifying which economies are strengthening their business environment the most. - 10/30/14

Iranian Entrepreneurs Make Pitches That Are Just Practice, For Now

- Imagine this: You have a great idea for an Internet startup. You're sure it will work. You are ready to be part of the global market. There's one big problem: You live in Iran, a country facing some of the most extensive financial sanctions imposed on any country in the world. -Deborah Amos, NPR - 10/29/14

Iran foreign trade value tops $57.214bn in 7 months

- Based on latest statistics of the Customs Administration's Public Relations Department, value of Iran's foreign trade reached $57.214 billion in the first seven months of the year. - 10/28/14

Iran to increase oil production capacity to 4.3m bpd

- Deputy Oil Minister Mansour Moazami said oil production capacity will increase to 4.3 million barrels per day in a near future, noting that by the yearned 100 million cubic meters will also be added to the county's gas production capacity. - 10/27/14

Cage fish farming in Caspian, catastrophic or beneficial?

- While some lecturers describe implementation of the plan for farming rainbow trout in cage in the Caspian Sea unprincipled and catastrophic for the environment, executive officials believe the plan is beneficial in creating job opportunities. - 10/27/14

Iran nuclear deal would open last big frontier stock market

- Years of economic sanctions and isolation have ravaged Iran's economy but created one of the last unexploited opportunities for international portfolio investors, who could start moving their money in this year if geopolitics permit. -Andrew Torchia, Reuters - 10/27/14

Decoding Iran's economic indicators

- In the past few weeks, there has been a major debate in Iran about the validity of economic data presented by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and government officials. It all started with a detailed report by the CBI stating that the Iranian economy grew by 4.6% in the 12-month period ending in spring 2014. -Bijan Khajehpour, Al-Monitor - 10/24/14

Iran, Russia to open new chapter in trade ties

- Iran and Russia are considering possibilities of opening a new chapter in their trade relations, with experts saying the new measures could break the domination of Western currencies over bilateral exchanges, Press TV reports. - 10/22/14

Iran, Armenia to form joint commission to boost trade ties

- The Armenian prime minister arrived in Tehran on Monday to discuss bilateral ties and the latest regional and international developments with high-ranking Iranian officials. A host of topics, particularly energy issues, is slated to be discussed during the two-day visit of the Armenian prime minister. - 10/21/14

Over 800 firms participating in 2 international trade fairs in Tehran

- Two international trade exhibitions were inaugurated on Friday at the Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds. Over 800 Iranian and foreign firms are participating in the exhibitions. - 10/18/14

Explainer: The Oil Price Plunge

- In the past several days-despite the conflicts affecting Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia-oil prices have been on a downward trend, hitting their lowest number in the past four years. As of October 2014, oil prices are more than 20 percent lower than June. -Sara Vakhshouri, LobeLog - 10/17/14

Iranian investment scene 'improving' as relations thaw

- International investors looking to exploit opportunities in Iran have been meeting for the first time in concert since the country's 1979 revolution. Hundreds of people gathered at The 1st Europe-Iran Forum in London to hear from the likes of former foreign secretary Jack Straw and meet members of Iran's top business families. -hilip Hampsheir, BBC - 10/17/14

1st Europe-Iran Forum kicks off in London

- With the prospect of improved political relations and a new business climate between Europe and Iran, the 1st Europe-Iran Forum kicked off in London Wednesday morning. The two-day event, organized by European Voice aims to "properly prepare and evaluate the post-sanctions trade framework and investment opportunities", according to a brochure released by the organizers. - 10/16/14

Falling Oil Prices Spell Trouble For Some, But Could Also Boost Global Growth

- Suddenly, the world seems to be awash in oil, with benchmark Brent crude that sold for $110 a barrel in June dropping to under $88 a barrel on October 13. That's a 20 percent price plunge and one that bodes serious economic trouble for countries whose revenues depend heavily on their oil exports. -Charles Recknagel, RFE - 10/15/14

Why President Rouhani's "Economic Package" is Empty

- Tired of the oppressive financial hardship, wrought largely by the imperialist economic war against Iran, the Iranian people elected Hassan Rouhani president (June 2013) as he promised economic revival. He premised his pledge of economic recovery mainly on his alleged ability to bring the brutal sanctions against Iran to an end and integrate the Iranian economy into the world capitalist system. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 10/14/14

Iran oil price cut nothing to do with rivalry with Saudi Arabia: NIOC

- In a recent report, Bloomberg reported that Iran has slashed its crude prices in an attempt to attract Asian customers following Saudi Arabia's decision to cut its oil price to the lowest level since 2008. - 10/13/14

Iran needs to create 8 million jobs in near future: Finance Minister

- Iran's minister of finance and economic affairs says that the administration of President Hassan Rouhani has made the task of creating jobs one of the core pillars of its new economic policy package. In recent remarks, Ali Tayyebnia said that one of the main policies of the government of prudence and hope is to create jobs. He also added that 8 million jobs need to be created in the near future. - 10/12/14
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