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With civilian drone competition, Iran battles against brain drain

- At a manicured technology park outside Tehran, drone builders vied for prize money. But the contest also sought to provide team members with hope for a future in Iran. -Scott Peterson, CSM - 9/30/16

OPEC Agreement Overcomes Saudi-Iran Rift, Spurs Rally On Global Markets

- OPEC's agreement to mend an internal rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran and curb production surprised global markets and sparked powerful rallies from Wall Street to Hong Kong. Oil analysts said the deal was a major breakthrough as it included a major concession by Saudi Arabia to let Iran keep increasing its production to levels that prevailed before international sanctions. - 9/29/16

Foreign tourist visits fetches Iran $24B in 3.5 years: Official

- Some $24 billion came into Iran over the past three and a half years because of foreign tourists, the deputy director of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO), Morteza Rahmani-Movahhed, said on Monday. More than 16 million foreign tourists have visited the country during the mentioned period, ISNA quoted him as saying. Each traveler has, therefore, spent $1,500 on average in the country, Rahmani-Movahhed explained. - 9/29/16

Austria's OeKB raises Iran export financing

- OeKB's export insurance cover for exports to Iran has increased to 1 billion euros from 280 million euros. The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CBI) says Austrian export credit agency OeKB has raised its cover for Iran transactions to 1 billion euros - 9/29/16

Oil Prices Plunge As Saudi-Iran Split On Output Freeze Resurfaces

- Oil prices plunged anew as signs of discord reemerged between Iran and Saudi Arabia over an oil production freeze being pushed by the Saudis and Russia. At a meeting of the OPEC oil cartel in Algeria on September 27, Iran rejected an offer by the Saudis to cut their oil production if Tehran agreed to freeze its output at its current level of 3.6 million barrels a day, OPEC officials said. - 9/28/16

Australia hails 'dawn of new age' in Iran ties

- Iran and Australia have signed fresh agreements to forge closer ties, with Austrian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo announcing the dawn of a new age of relationship. Ciobo is leading a trade delegation of more than 20 companies to Tehran, seeking out opportunities, buoyed by the prospects in Iran's mining, oil and gas, and other industries as well as the near 80 million population. - 9/28/16

Iran's gas exports up 3.4% in first half of 2016

- Iran's gas exports reached near 4 billion cubic meters in the first six months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-September 21), registering a 3.4 percent rise compared to the same period in the preceding year, Shana quoted a gas official as saying on Tuesday. - 9/28/16

Tehran on Mastercard's top ten fastest growing destinations list

- Tehran comes ninth among the top ten fastest growing destination cities, according to the annual Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index report which released on September 22. The bustling yet historical Iranian capital has witnessed a growth of 12.98 percent in terms of the international overnight visitor arrivals - 9/27/16

Iran, Japan seal deal to fund petrochemical plans

- Iran says Japan has agreed to fund the development of some of its petrochemical projects - a groundbreaking move that could open the way for similar funding mechanisms for other sectors in the future. - 9/27/16

Opposition against Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) gains momentum in Iran

- Iran is seeing its most vociferous outcry yet over the use of genetically-modified ingredients in food production. Opponents of food products with GMOs have recently elicited fatwas from top clerics, declaring commercial sale and cultivation of genetically-altered crops "not permitted." - 9/26/16

Iran's first online census gets into high gear

- Iranians have begun taking part in the country's first national online census, with one official saying general response on the first day was "unprecedented". Ashkan Shabbak, head of the supervisory committee on the census, told IRNA news agency on Sunday that he expected 35% of Iranians to fill out online version of the survey. Those who do not use the Internet will be surveyed in October. - 9/26/16

Iran to dispatch 3,500 skilled manpower to Ireland: Deputy Minister

- Deputy Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare Mohammad Amin Sazegarnejad said on Saturday that somer 3,500 Iranian skilled manpower in the fields of Hoteliering and culinary will be dispatched to the Republic of Ireland. Iran and Ireland have signed a memorandum of understanding to that effect. - 9/26/16

​Iran introduces own credit cards

- Iran has introduced credit cards for the first time in what appears to be a plan to encourage spending by the public. The credit cards will be presented to applicants with three limits of Rials 100 million ($3,000), Rials 300 million ($10,000) and Rials 500 million ($15,000). They can be used for purchases in shops or online, the media reported. - 9/26/16

US vows to change course on JCPOA: Iran's President Rouhani

- Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in Tehran from New York on Friday, Rouhani added that the ministerial meeting of a commission established to monitor the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) confirmed that the US is not complying with the nuclear agreement. "The Joint Commission verified the Islamic Republic of Iran's stance and did not see the US conduct as consistent with the JCPOA," the Iranian president said. - 9/24/16

Saudis offer oil production cut deal if Iran freezes output

- Saudi Arabia has reportedly announced that it is ready to reduce its oil production provided that Iran agrees to cap its own output over the remaining months to the end of 2016. Reuters has quoted unnamed sources as saying that the Saudi offer, which is yet to be accepted or rejected, was presented to Tehran earlier this month. - 9/24/16

Apple iPhone Has A One Billion Dollar Market in Iran

- There are 5M to 6M iPhones in Iran. With the recent report from the Iranian officials, 100 thousand new smuggled iPhones get activated in the country each month. That's about 1.2M new iPhones being imported illegally into the country each year which is a one Billion dollar market in Iran. -Techrasa - 9/24/16

Iran's President Rouhani Urges Implementation of Nuclear Deal at UN

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani used his speech at the U.N. General Assembly to urge the United States to step up implementation of the landmark nuclear deal and to rebuke Saudi Arabia for its actions in the region. "The lack of compliance with the JCPOA on the part of the United States in the past several months represents a flawed approach that should be rectified forthwith," Rouhani told the annual gathering of leaders - 9/23/16

​Iran, Japan to devise economic roadmap

- Iran says it is ready to work with Japan on devising a 10-year roadmap to expand economic relations between the two countries. The announcement was made by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani during his meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York. - 9/23/16

Iran says purchases from Boeing 'easier'

- Iran says it expects the proceedings to purchase planes from US aviation giant Boeing to proceed faster than those with Airbus. "Negotiations with Boeing started much longer [after Airbus] but it appears they will lead to success sooner," said Asghar Fakhriyeh Kashan, Iran's deputy minister of roads and urban development. - 9/23/16

With Boeing Deal, Americans Are Coming to Iran

- Long before the first newly purchased Boeing airliner lands at Imam Khomeini International Airport, Iran and the United States will have had to come to terms with a new reality: American citizens will once again be taking up residence in Tehran, the first to do so since the Islamic Revolution and subsequent hostage crisis in 1979 and 1980. -Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times - 9/23/16

Airbus, Boeing Get U.S. Approval To Sell Planes To Iran

- The U.S. Treasury Department has granted licenses to Airbus and Boeing to sell jet planes to Iran in multibillion-dollar deals. - 9/22/16

Mark Kirk's Surprising Disinterest In Boeing's Iran Sales

- Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) opposes pretty much anything that might take the pressure off Iran. He called Obama the "drug dealer in chief" for delivering $400 million in cash to the Islamic Republic as part of a settlement for money owed to Iran since 1979. He has gone so far as to say that "it's okay to take food out of the mouths" of the Iranian people to punish their government for its behavior. -Eli Clifton - 9/21/16

President Rouhani visits Havana, urges enhanced Iran-Cuba trade ties

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stressed the need for the promotion of all-out relations between the Islamic Republic and Cuba, particularly trade ties, following a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers. Rouhani arrived in Havana on Monday September 19, 2016 and was officially welcomed by President Raul Castro - 9/20/16

Iran's exports to EU rise despite hurdles

- Official figures show Iran's non-oil exports to Europe are increasing in what is interpreted as a sign of growing interest of European consumers in Iranian products. Figures released by Iran's Customs Administration show that the value of the country's non-oil exports to Europe stood at $643 million over a period of five months starting March 20, 2016. - 9/20/16

First Boeing Jet Joins Iran's Naft Airline: Report

- Iranian Naft Airlines, a homebound charter airline providing passenger and cargo services to Iran's Ministry of Petroleum, says it has received the first Boeing jet. The aircraft, one of the four Boeing 737 single-aisle jetliners bought from the US aviation company, was delivered to Naft Airlines on Sunday - 9/20/16

Iran urges U.S. to unblock aircraft deals, seeks investors

- Iran urged the United States on Sunday to remove remaining obstacles to buying passenger planes following the lifting of international sanctions and it spread out the welcome mat to foreign investors as it seeks to boost its aviation sector. -Reuters - 9/19/16

Iran's largest aviation event opens in Tehran

- Airline companies from around the world are attending a major conference in Tehran, scoping out what many believe is set to be a promising market. The two-day CAPA Iran Aviation Finance Summit opened at Novotel Imam Khomeini International Airport on Sunday with the participation of business leaders and representatives of 150 aviation companies such as Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer. - 9/18/16

12 Organizations Write Congress on Potential Iran Sanctions Act Debate

- Washington, DC - A dozen national organizations that have supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) delivered a letter to Congress today outlining key considerations for any potential debate over legislation to extend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (ISA), which is set to expire at the end of the year. - 9/17/16

Iran parliament endorses new oil contract

- Iran's parliament has given the go-ahead to the government to put a new oil contract model into effect, the Ministry of Petroleum's Shana news agency reported on Saturday. The new formula, which has drawn criticism from some politicians and experts, was reviewed by a parliamentary panel but not voted by lawmakers. - 9/17/16

Flowers for Ahmadinejad

- The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") today fined a company a whopping $4,320,000 for selling things to Iran. Oh wow, you say, this must have been some really bad stuff like, say, high-powered computers or drones, right? Yep, really dangerous stuff -- flower seeds. As in, the things you bury in your backyard and hope sprout up as zinnias. -Export Law Blog - 9/16/16

Iranian MP backs FATF deal, calls it a banking must

- The opponents say if Iran becomes a member of the FATF, then it should consider restrictions for some organizations, including the IRGC-controlled Khatam al-Anbiya construction company, as long as they are backlisted by the U.S. There are others who also cite accession to the money laundering body a national security threat, fearing disclosure of the Iranians' banking information. - 9/15/16

UK blocks Iran's gas revenues over sanctions

- The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) says Britain has blocked the revenues it has been paid from selling the natural gas of a field it jointly owns with BP in the North Sea. - 9/15/16

4 injured as fire breaks out at petrochemical plant in southern Iran

- Fire has erupted at a petrochemical plant in the southern Iranian province of Bushehr, injuring four people, one of whom is in critical condition. The blaze engulfed the pressure control station at a facility belonging to the Mobin Petrochemical Co. at around 11:00 local time in the province's Asaluyeh County on Wednesday. The incident came in the wake of at least three fires at petrochemical and oil installations in recent months. - 9/14/16

Iran studying Europe gas export plans

- Alireza Kameli, the managing director of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC), says Iran is studying various options for exports of natural gas to Europe thus again reviving an ambitious plan that had been previously shelved due to sanctions as well as technical problems. - 9/12/16

Iran, China finalize deal on $1.2b refinery project

- China's Sinopec and Iran's Oil Ministry have finalized an agreement regarding the development project of Iran's Abadan refinery, Mehr news agency reported on Saturday. Based on the report, according to Iranian Deputy Oil Minister for Refining and Distribution of Oil Products Abbas Kazemi, the first phase of the $1.2 billion project will start in the near future. - 9/12/16

US lawmakers rush to bar returning Iran money

- US Republicans are pushing new bills through Congress to prevent further return of Iranian money held since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Those measures are in response to President Barack Obama's cash payments to Iran this year following a nuclear accord which requires Washington to lift its sanctions on Tehran. - 9/11/16

Iranian Judiciary Must Stop Punishing Media for Reporting Officials' Corruption

- Iran's Judiciary must halt the prosecution of media outlets which carried out their journalist duty in publishing reports on alleged corruption in the Tehran Municipality and City Council, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said in a statement today. Unless they are found guilty of a crime in court, the websites of these news organizations should be unblocked, the statement added. - 9/10/16

Iran's steel exports up 51% last 5 months

- Iran's exports of steel ingots and steel products experienced a 51 percent hike in the first five months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-August 21) compared to the same period of time in the past year. According to WSA, Iran was the biggest producer of crude steel in the Middle East in 2013. The country's rank was 14th in the world in 2014. - 9/9/16

Russian banks ready to rush to Iran: Report

- Russian banks say they are ready to enter Iran's banking sector and help facilitate the country's overseas transactions particularly now that Western financial institutions are dragging their feet to do so even though sanctions against the country have been lifted. - 9/9/16

Iranian Minister Says Tehran Backs OPEC Moves Toward Stability

- Iran's oil minister says Tehran would support any decision by OPEC that would add stability to the international oil market. Bijan Namdar Zangeneh made his comments on September 6 after talks in Tehran with OPEC head Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Iranian state TV reported. - 9/7/16

Women's cooperatives in Iran create some 119,000 jobs

- Some 119,000 Iranian female employees are working in women's cooperatives across the country, Vahideh Negin, an advisor to the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare said in Tehran on Friday. - 9/6/16

Japan agrees to boost Iran investment: Kyodo

- Japan has agreed to boost investment in Iran following a visit by a senior Japanese official to Tehran, the Kyodo news agency has reported. Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi on Saturday met his Japanese counterpart Kentaro Sonoura in Tehran where they discussed how to ensure that transactions between the two countries do not fall foul of US laws. - 9/5/16

Russian President Putin urges compromise on Iran oil production

- Russian President Vladimir Putin has said a potential oil output freeze deal among oil-exporting countries should involve some compromise on Iran's production levels. "I think that from the point of view of economic expediency and logic, it would be right to find some sort of compromise" on the Iranian output level, Putin told Bloomberg. - 9/2/16

Why cheaper rial could actually help Iran

- To help boost economic growth, Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Valiollah Seif has announced that he plans to unify the dual currency exchange rates before the end of the current Iranian calendar year. If realized, the move will be a major step toward effectively floating the rial and ending state control over the foreign exchange market. -Navid Kalhor, Al Monitor - 9/2/16

EU-Iran trade up 43% in first half 2016: Eurostat

- The European Union's trade with Iran amounted to 5.107 billion Euros in the first half of 2016, a 43 percent rise year on year, based on the latest figures released by the European Union's statistics agency Eurostat. - 9/1/16

India firm raises Iran oil imports, pays over $500M of debt

- Iran's crude sales to Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) has risen four folds, reflecting the country's success in raising exports in order to claw back its market share after the lifting of sanctions. - 8/31/16

Seedstars to gather startups in Tehran in September

- Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is returning to Tehran on September 15, 2016 to host a startup competition at the Incubator of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. Up to 12 startups will compete to win the title of Iran's Best Startup and one will be chosen to represent the country at the Global Summit in Switzerland. - 8/30/16

Iran draws closer to OPEC's number 2 position

- Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says Iran's oil exports have risen to 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd), bringing the country closer to its former position as the second biggest OPEC producer. "Our crude oil and condensate exports have now reached 2.5 million barrels per day and crude oil (exports) have solely hit 2.1 million barrels per day," Zangeneh told the state television on Monday night. - 8/30/16

US 'terrorizing' Europe into avoiding Iran: Official

- A senior Iranian official says the US is terrorizing the Europeans into shunning business with Iran despite the lifting of sanctions under a landmark nuclear deal. Deputy Petroleum Minister for trade and international affairs Amir Hossein Zamaninia has said US officials are deliberately keeping the terms of engagement with Iran opaque. - 8/30/16

Iran and Venezuela sign economic agreements, announce new era of bilateral relations

- Venezuela and Iran agree to increase economic cooperation, signing agreements between the two countries' central banks and announcing a new dynamic era in bilateral relations. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who was in Caracas on the last leg of a Latin America tour also taking him to Cuba, Bolivia, Chile, Nicaragua and Ecuador. - 8/29/16

Iran, Russia ink oil rig deal worth $1 billion

- Iran's Tasdid Offshore and Onshore Development Company and Russia's OJSC Krasnye Barrikady Shipyard signed a deal worth $1 billion to cooperate in building jack-up rigs in Iran, Tasnim news agency reported on Saturday. - 8/29/16

Iran Confirms It Will Join OPEC Talks To Support Oil Prices

- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh confirmed that Iran will take part in an OPEC meeting next month in Algeria to discuss ways to support global oil prices. Zanganeh's remarks to the ministry's Shana news service on August 25 helped spur a jump in oil prices, with premium crude rising 62 cents to $49.67 a barrel in London trading. - 8/26/16

Armenia, Iran Creating Free Economic Zone To Expand Exports

- Armenia's government is working with Iran to create a free economic zone in the country's southernmost Meghri region, Economy Minister Artsvik Minasyan said on August 25. - 8/26/16

Iran softens to oil production freeze?

- Iran has been ramping up output since the lifting of sanctions in January to reclaim its lost market share, dismissing demands to join the freeze initiative. On Tuesday, Reuters cited unnamed sources as saying that Iran was sending "positive signals" that it might get behind the push to curb production. - 8/24/16

Iran's foreign trade exceeds $35.8B in 5 months

- According to a Tuesday report by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), the country's non-oil exports in the aforementioned five months reached $19.108 billion, showing a 10.22-percent increase in comparison with the similar period the previous year. - 8/24/16

Upro Nature taps Iranian promise

- The new joint venture between Iran's Upro Tarh Pouya Kish and Italian firm Nature aims to bring Iran's agriculture sector into the modern era -Fruitnet - 8/24/16

Iranian FM Zarif meets Cuban President Castro

- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has met with Cuba's President Raul Castro while on the first leg of a six-nation tour of Latin American countries. Zarif leads a group of 120 businessmen and financial executives from government and private sectors. - 8/23/16

PHOTOS: 25th Iran Handmade Carpet Exhibition kicks off in Tehran

- Iran exported $82.9 million of hand-woven carpets, registering 39.5 percent rise, in the first four months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20- July 21, 2016), compared with the same period last year, the Head of Iran National Carpet Center said on August 17. - 8/23/16

German exports to Iran soar in H1 2016

- Official figures show that Germany's exports to Iran soared in the first half of 2016 after a series of US-engineered sanctions that had been in place against the Islamic Republic for several years were eventually lifted. - 8/23/16

NIOC, Chinese CNPCI sign new deal on southern Iranian oil field

- Chinese CNPCI has been given a chance to participate Masjed Soleiman oil field recovery rate for the second time after an aborted deal in 2011. - 8/23/16

How Parasitic Finance Capital Has Turned Iran's Economy into a Case of Casino Capitalism

- Critics have often blamed President Rouhani of Iran for blindly following the neoclassical-neoliberal model of capitalism. The critical problem with Mr. Rouhani's economic policies, however, is more than just following the dominant economic model of neoliberalism; more gravely, it is following the worst aspects of that model. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 8/22/16

Iran to award two key oil deals to China

- Gholam-Reza Manouchehri, the deputy director for engineering and development affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has been quoted by the media as saying that China's CNPC will be awarded the development of the second phase of North Azadegan project. Manouchehri added that the second company - Sinopec - will be awarded the development of the second phase of Yadavaran project. - 8/22/16

Iran Launches its First Private Cloud Data Center

- Iran's first private cloud data center gets launched in Tehran during a ceremony attended by the Minister of Communication and Information Technology. The construction for this data center took 3 years and 12 million dollars. -Hamed Jafari, Techsara - 8/22/16

Banks become Iran's economic nightmare

- In recent years, banks and financial institutions have mushroomed in Iran, engaging more in speculative activities than finance. A number of manufacturing corporations, pension funds, charity foundations as well as civil, military and state organizations have established their own banks to cash in on the lucrative speculative sector. - 8/21/16

Iran pitches huge gas reserves for Asia markets

- Iran is pitching its massive gas sector for trade with Asia where it sees a better market for exports than Europe. "Gas prices are more attractive in East Asia than in Europe," Deputy Petroleum Minister for trade and international affairs Amir-Hossein Zamaninia has said. - 8/21/16

First Medical Biotechnology Accelerator Established In Iran

- The first accelerator in the fields of medical biotechnology (medicines and equipment) and regenerative medicine (stem cells) and the ninth accelerator member of the Innovation Acceleration Center of Pardis Technology Park started its activity. - 8/20/16

Iran's pharmaceutical ambitions are a Catch 22

- Iran's pharmaceutical industry has found itself in a catch-22. On the one hand, the country is trying to grow its pharmaceutical exports and attract investment in the industry. But on the other hand... -Chloe Pfeiffer, Business Insider - 8/19/16

Norway To Fund 1 Billion Euro Development Projects In Iran

- Norway has opened a line of credit worth 1 billion Euro aimed at funding development and infrastructure projects in Iran. The Export Guarantee Fund of Iran and the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency signed three deals in the presence of Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif with his Norwegian counterpart Borge Brende in Tehran on Wednesday. - 8/18/16

Olive: The World's First Intelligent Suitcase

- A team of Iranian researchers at Tehran's Pardis Technology Park (PTP), using tracking algorithms, have recently presented a robotic intelligent suitcase. According to the public relations department of PTP, Olive Intelligent Robotic Suitcase is the outcome of efforts by the engineers at Idea Kavan San'at Pardis Company (IKAP) . - 8/17/16

Iranian carpets recapture US market

- According to head of the Iranian National Carpet Center Hamid Kargar on Tuesday, Iran's carpet exports to the US significantly grew in the four months since the beginning of the Persian year on March 21, totaling $27.6 million. - 8/16/16

President Rouhani: Iran removed bases for sanctions with JCPOA

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his administration pulled off the task of removing the bases for sanctions against the Islamic Republic, not just the bans themselves, by achieving a nuclear deal with six world powers. - 8/15/16

Iran to introduce MasterCards: Communications Minister

- Iran is about to introduce credit card services processed by global payment operator MasterCard for the first time, Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi says. - 8/15/16

Boeing representatives in Tehran: Iranian Minister

- Boeing representatives are currently in Tehran, discussing the US plane maker's planned sale of commercial aircraft to Iran, an Iranian minister says. "Right now, Boeing representatives including three financial, legal and technical groups are in Tehran and negotiating" the sale of jetliners to Iran, Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi said on Saturday. - 8/14/16

Iran oil fires raise cyber sabotage fears

- Iran's cyberspace security authorities are looking into possible sabotage by the US or Israel following a recent string of fires in Iranian oil and gas facilities. - 8/14/16

Iran's Foreign Minister Boosts Ties During Ankara Visit

- The foreign ministers of Turkey and Iran agreed Friday to boost trade relations and pledged greater cooperation on resolving the Syria crisis despite their differences on the issue. -VOA - 8/13/16
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