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April 21 2019
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President Rouhani: Floods in Iran proved 'worst historic test' for U.S.

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that the recent devastating floods in Iran have proven the "worst historic test" for the Trump administration. "The U.S. regime's rulers have revealed their nature. If they were wise, they would announce suspension of sanctions because of the flood incident. In that case, the Iranian people may have believed that they [the U.S. officials] are not against them (people) when 25 provinces of the country were hit by flood," Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting. - 4/18/19

University of Tehran's 6th Startup Weekend: Sustainable Tourism

- The 6th Startup Weekend, which has adopted "Sustainable Tourism" as its focal theme, is to be hosted by the Faculty of Entrepreneurship of the University of Tehran. Organizers of the event aim to put into practice and develop ideas evolved by participants while [they are set to] teach basic concepts of entrepreneurship together with running practical workshops and promoting the spirit of team working, IRNA reported. -Tehran Times - 4/15/19

Iranian oil exports recover close to pre-sanction levels: S&P Global Platts

- Iranian exports of crude oil and condensate have surged to levels near before sanctions, surprising market observers and affording the country an important victory in a US "economic war" on Tehran. Iran exported 1.70 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in March, the highest since October when shipments fell to 1.08 million bpd, data from shipping sources compiled by S&P Global Platts showed. -Press TV - 4/10/19

Iranians Travel Less As U.S. Dollar Rose Fourfold In One Year

- The representative of a travel trade association in Iran says that because of the fall in the value of the Iranian currency, travel abroad declined 45 percent during Norooz holidays last month. The official government IRNA news agency quoted Hormatollah Rafiei as saying that both ground and air travel declined as the U.S. dollar rose against the Iranian currency. - 4/10/19

US blocking humanitarian aid to flood-hit Iranians: FM Spokesman

- Tehran says the United States has frozen the accounts of the Iranian Red Crescent Society as part of its cruel sanctions against the Iranian people, thus preventing other countries from sending humanitarian aid to people in Iran's flood-stricken areas. - 4/3/19

Maximum Pressure On Iran Still Isn't Working

- Almost a year after President Trump reneged on U.S. commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, there is not the slightest sign that this move is achieving the declared objective of Iran crawling back to the negotiating table to negotiate a "better deal." -Paul R. Pillar - 4/2/19

Foreign Minister Zarif says US is waging 'economic terrorism' against Iran

- Iran's foreign minister says the US is waging "economic terrorism" against the Islamic Republic by employing restrictive measures that are troubling the relief efforts targeting flood-stricken people across the country. - 4/2/19

Parliament Speaker Says Iraq Will Need To Buy Iranian Electricity For Three Years

- The speaker of Iraq's parliament wants the United States to extend a waiver that allows it to buy electricity from Iran for at least three years, saying it will take that long before the oil-rich country can manage on its own. "Hopefully, this waiver will be extended until Iraq can stand on its feet economically," speaker Muhammad al-Halbusi said on March 29 at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington. - 3/31/19

ICJ sets mid-May as deadline for US to explain measures on Iran sanctions removal

- Iran says the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has set May 15 as the deadline for the US to give detailed accounts of its measures to lift sanctions on humanitarian supplies to the country. The ICJ has informed the US of the deadline in a letter, Iranian legal representative at the ICJ Mohsen Mohebbi told IRNA on Saturday. - 3/31/19

Iran Bans Export Of Onions And Potatoes To Keep Prices Low

- The Iranian Ministry of Industry, Mining and Commerce has banned the export of onions and potatoes. The ban will become effective on April 4. Prices for for onions and potatoes have risen to unusual levels in the Iran in recent weeks. One kilogram of onions is now 160,000 rials (roughly $1.25), which is a high price as minimum wage earners make ends meet with around $100 per months. The ministry said the ban was imposed in order to regulate domestic markets. -Radio Farda - 3/31/19

Luxembourg court rejects US request to seize Iran assets over 9/11 attacks

- A Luxembourg court has rejected a US request to compensate victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks by seizing Iranian assets, seven years after a New York court claimed there was evidence of Iran's involvement in the incident. - 3/28/19

Iran'a Ansar Bank dismisses new 'desperate' US sanctions

- The US government has imposed new sanctions on an Iranian bank and its subsidiaries, accusing them of using front companies in three countries to evade the previous sanctions -- allegations which the lender has dismissed as "sheer lies." The US Treasury said it had targeted 25 people and firms for allegedly helping Iran's Ansar Bank evade unilateral American sanctions on the Islamic Republic. -Press TV - 3/27/19

Turkey defies US with more imports of Iranian gas

- Iran is increasing its natural gas exports to a number of countries, including Turkey which plans to raise imports from its energy-rich neighbor, a senior official says. "Based on previous agreements, Iran is currently increasing gas exports to a number of countries including Turkey, Iraq, Armenia and Azerbaijan," head of the National Iranian Gas Company Hassan Montazer Torbati told IRNA. -PRESS TV - 3/26/19

Latest Report Says Annual Inflation Close To 50 Percent In Iran

- At the end of the Iranian year on March 20, inflation figures heralded a tough time ahead for ordinary Iranians, as price rises neared 50 percent in the last 12 months. From March 2018 to March 2019, goods and services became 47.5 percent more expensive, in what is the worse inflation number in the past five years, Iran Statistical Center reported on March 21. - 3/22/19

Iran's Supreme Leader likens European financial mechanism to a 'bitter joke'

- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on Thursday likened the European financial mechanism for trade with Iran to a "bitter joke". "Europe's financial channel introduced recently is more like a bitter joke," the Khamenei remarked. -Tehran Times - 3/22/19

U.S. Extends Waiver To Allow Iraq To Buy Iranian Energy Supplies

- The United States is extending a waiver to allow Iraq to continue to buy electricity from Iran, despite sanctions imposed by Washington targeting Tehran's energy sector. The original waiver, issued in December 2017, expired on March 19. -RFE/RL - 3/20/19

Iran ranked 13th most powerful country in the world

- Iran has been ranked 13th most powerful country in the world, according to an annual ranking by U.S. News and World Report that looked at a country's political and financial influences, as well as its international and alliances, its military strength and how it acts as an international leader. - 3/18/19

Defying US sanctions, Iran inaugurates new South Pars gas field phases

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has inaugurated four new phases of the huge offshore South Pars gas field in a move, which has been seen as a clear sign of the failure of US sanctions against the country. During an inaugural ceremony in the southern coastal city of Kangan on Sunday, Iran's president officially launched phases 13, 22, 23, and 24 of South Pars gas field, noting that despite all the US pressures on the Iranian nation, especially through the imposition of unilateral economic sanctions, Iranians remain steadfast and resistant and continue to progress. - 3/17/19

Tehran Ranks Near Bottom In Mercer's 2019 Quality of Living Report

- Western European cities dominated Mercer's 2019 Quality of Living report comparing the quality of life in cities around the world, while Tehran ranked near the bottom, at 199 out of 231 cities surveyed. Dubai (74) and Abu Dhabi (78) in the United Arab Emirates, Tel Aviv (104) in Israel, and Muscat (105) in Oman were among the cities in the Middle East that were ranked higher than Tehran. - 3/17/19

Tehran Says Renault Will Resume Operations In Iran

- Following lengthy negotiations, giant French carmaker Renault will return to Iran, Deputy Minister of Industry, Mines, and Trade Farshad Moqimi (Moghimi) announced March 14. Moqimi was cited by state-run media as saying that a new "mechanism" had been devised for Renault, enabling it to resume manufacturing in Iran despite U.S. sanctions targeting companies doing business in Iran. Representatives of Renault have neither confirmed nor denied the minister's statements. -Radio Farda - 3/15/19

Iran Asking Canada For Extradition Of Marjan Sheikholeslami In A Financial Case

- Iran's General Prosecutor says that Tehran has referred to Interpol the case of a woman in Canada accused in his country's petrochemicals scandal and expects extradition. The news website of Iran's Judiciary quotes Mohammad Jaafar Montazeri as saying that an arrest warrant for Marjan Sheikholeslami has been issued and sent to Interpol, and he hopes "they will cooperate". -Radio Farda - 3/14/19

U.S. Looks To Cut Iran Oil Exports '20 Percent' To Below 1 Million Barrels A Day

- Reuters on March 13 quoted two sources familiar with the matter in its report, quoting one as saying the "goal right now is to reduce Iranian oil exports to under 1 million barrels per day." The source added that the administration of President Donald Trump was concerned that if it pushed for a complete and immediate shutdown of Iran oil purchases, it would cause a large rise in prices on the world market. -RFE/RL - 3/14/19

Billions Of Dollars Involved In Two Corruption Trials In Iran

- The court has brought charges against 14 individuals, three of whom who are living abroad and are represented by their lawyers, said the prosecutor. It is still not known if the lawyers have been appointed by the suspects or the court. Tehran prosecutor Dolatabadi added that a major part of the case is about a "runaway suspect" he has named as Marjan Sheikholeslami, who has been referred to in the indictment as the main partner of Reza Hamzehlou, the prime suspect. -Radio Farda - 3/14/19

Iran overtakes Qatar in South Pars with new gas phases

- Iran on Sunday will launch four new development phases of the world's largest gas field at South Pars with a capacity to produce 112 million cubic meters per day, the Ministry of Petroleum says. President Hassan Rouhani will travel to Bushehr in the Persian Gulf to inaugurate two refineries built with $10 billion of investment. With their launch, Iran's daily gas production will surpass that of Qatar with which it shares the offshore field. -Press TV - 3/13/19

Iran: Countering Extremism Through Inclusiveness

- The Iranian government has long accused some of its neighboring states of using terrorism and insurgency to destabilize the country. There may be some truth to these accusations. But Iran's treatment of minority groups has also contributed to the rise of militancy. -Fatemeh Aman - 3/12/19

Prime Suspect In Large Corruption Case Linked To Khamenei-Led Enterprise

- Reports from Tehran say the prime suspect in the financial corruption case involving Iran's petrochemical industry is linked to a body under the aegis of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. - 3/12/19

Billionaire Iranian Football Sponsor On Trial For Financial Corruption

- The prosecutor in the corruption trial of a super-rich sponsor of major Iranian football (soccer) clubs, says one of the suspects in the case had opened 242 bank accounts within a day in his 8-year-old son's name, Iranian news agencies reported. -Radio Farda - 3/11/19

Thousands of Iranian Teachers Launch Third Strike Demanding Fair Pay, Universal Education

- Thousands of teachers went on throughout Iran for the third time in less than a year March 3-5, 2019, to demand fair pay, the release of their imprisoned colleagues and free, universal education. "The most important reason for the strike is that the government does not feel obligated to implement Article 30 of the Constitution," Javad La'l Mohammadi, an activist teacher based in the city of Mashhad, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on March 5. -CHRI - 3/10/19

Labor Groups In Iran Ask For A Five Fold Increase In Minimum Wage

- Three independent labor groups in Iran have demanded a minimum monthly wage of 70 million rials for the coming Iranian year. Based on current free market exchange rates, the requested amount would be equal to approximately $540 monthly. - 3/8/19

Iranian Teachers Begin 4th Nationwide Strike Since October

- Iranian teachers have begun their fourth peaceful nationwide protest since October to demand better working conditions for their poorly paid profession and the release of jailed education activists. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 3/5/19

Iran Ranks Near Bottom On World Bank's Index Of Women's Equality

- Women in Iran are paid less than three-quarters of the salaries paid to their male compatriots, the World Bank said in a study published February 28. In terms of economic equality for women, Iran ranks 185 out of 187 countries included in the study, behind only Saudi Arabia and Sudan. -Radio Farda - 3/4/19

Saudi gas export plans shine new light on efforts to isolate Iran

- Saudi plans to become a major gas exporter within a decade raise questions about what the real goal of the kingdom's policy, and by extension that of the United States, is towards Iran. Officially both Saudi Arabia and the US, which last year withdrew from the 2015 international accord that curbs the Islamic republic's nuclear program and imposed harsh economic sanctions, are demanding a change of Iran's regional and defense policies rather than of its regime... -James M. Dorsey - 2/28/19

Iran, Armenia sign two economic cooperation agreements during PM visit to Tehran

- Tehran and Yerevan have signed two economic cooperation agreements during a visit by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to the Iranian capital. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Pashinyan held talks on Wednesday and later attended a ceremony during which the two officials oversaw the inking of the agreements between the Armenian Ministry of Economic Development and Investments, and the Iranian National Standards Organization and the Supreme Council of Iran's Free Trade, Industrial and Special Economic Zone. -Press TV - 2/27/19

Austrian nationals on tour of Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan

- A group of Austrian travelers has commenced an eight-day tour of Iran's southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province, which was once shunned by potential foreign travelers. "A group of 20 Austrian travelers arrived in the province on Saturday in order to visit historical and cultural attractions of the region," a local tourism official said, IRNA reported. -Tehran Times - 2/27/19

Women managing 400 knowledge-based companies in Iran

- Out of the total number of 4,070 knowledge-based companies working in Iran, about 400 companies are established and being managed by women, Zeinab Hamidzadeh presidential advisor for science and technology said here on Sunday. - 2/26/19

Iran forex reserves 'in best condition': Central Bank Chief

- Central Bank Governor Abdoldnaser Hemmati says Iran's foreign exchange reserves have risen in the face of US sanctions which aim to deplete them. "The foreign exchange reserves of the country are in the best condition. Not only have they not been lost but they have also rapidly grown," he said Tuesday at an annual meeting of the central bank in Tehran. -Press TV - 2/26/19

U.S. Dollar Reaches New Highs Against Iran's Currency

- The exchange rate for the U.S. dollar rose on Sunday in Iran to almost 140,000 rials, reaching its highest point in the past three months. Since early last fall, the Iranian currency had been able to hold its own at about 100,000 rials to the dollar after steep declines last year, when rial dropped to as low as 180,000 in late September against the dollar. But in the past seven days, the rial started sliding again as there is no outlook for Iran to pull itself out of a serious economic crisis. -Radio Farda - 2/25/19

Iran Arrests Beef Traders As Prices Soar To Hyperinflation Levels

- Beef prices have risen more than 90 percent in Iran in one year, according to official figures, but actual prices show a three-fold increase. As food prices soar to hyperinflation levels in Iran, authorities resort to arrests and trials of merchants, trying to slow down the process and to show the public they are confronting the crisis. -Radio Farda - 2/24/19

Afghanistan Sends First Exports To India Via Iran's Chabahar Port

- Afghanistan has sent its first exports shipment to India through Iran's strategic Chabahar Port. The port on the Indian Ocean, inaugurated in 2017, has been built largely by India and will provide a key supply route for Afghanistan while allowing India to bypass rival Pakistan to trade with Central Asia. - 2/24/19

FATF extends suspension of its measures against Tehran

- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global anti-money laundering body, has extended the suspension of its measures against Tehran, saying Iran has until June to fully adopt the remaining financial reforms. Iran has to implement those reforms in order to join the body for increased financial transactions with the rest of the world in the face of unilateral US sanctions. -Press TV - 2/22/19

China says will boost 'strategic' partnership with Iran regardless of global developments

- Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged his country's determination to boost "strategic" partnership with Iran regardless of global and regional developments. "No matter how the international and regional situations change, China's resolve to develop comprehensive strategic partnership with Iran will remain unchanged," Xi said during a Wednesday meeting with visiting Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. -Press TV - 2/21/19

As Dollar Rises In Iran Police Arrest 20 Currency Dealers

- Police chief of Greater Tehran has announced Tuesday the arrest of "twenty foreign currency dealers", as the U.S. dollar makes more gains on the local market. Hossein Karimi reiterated that more than 190 currency dealers currently are in jail, saying that all "unauthorized" currency exchange bureaus have been shut down. He also threatened all those who engage in currency trade on social media and announce "inflated rates". -Radio Farda - 2/20/19

Rouhani inaugurates projects worth $1.4 billion: Persian Gulf Star Refinery to supply half of Iran's gasoline

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani put 40 major development projects worth 60 trillion rials (about $1.428 billion) into operation in the southern province of Hormozgan on Sunday and Monday. The president also inaugurated the third phase of Persian Gulf Star Refinery in a ceremony on Monday participated by Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. -Tehran Times - 2/19/19

Meybod celebrates becoming world city for Zilou

- On Monday, Meybod celebrated becoming a world city for Zilou, a traditional type of floor covering commonly woven across the central Iranian city and its outskirts. The oasis city won the WCC-APR status last October after a delegation of international experts probed the in-house expertise which has been passed down generations to generations. - 2/19/19

Iran, China seeking to deepen 'strategic partnership'

- Top diplomats of Iran and China have emphasized the two nations' determination to promote their "strategic" relations in various areas as a high-ranking delegation from Tehran visits Beijing for talks. During a meeting on Tuesday with Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi in Beijing, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran views the "strategic partnership between Iran and China as one of our most important relations." -Press TV - 2/19/19

U.S. Dollar, Prices Rise As Iran Faces Uncertainty

- The U.S. dollar is again on a steep rise in Iran. The greenback climbed to over 130,000 rials on Monday morning February 18. This is the biggest rise for the dollar in Iran's government-controlled forex market during the past three months. - 2/18/19

Iran's national optical fiber network to expand by 20% to 84,000 kilometers

- The Telecommunication Infrastructure Company will expand the national optical fiber network by 14,000 kilometers to 84,000 kilometers by the next two months, the company's managing director Sadeq Abbasi Shahkouh said, Mehr reported on Friday. -Tehran Times - 2/17/19

Iran Claims Iraq Will Pay Its Debts, But U.S. Sanctions Make It Hard

- One day after Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh complained that Iraq has not paid billions of dollars for its imports from Iran after the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, Iran's Central Bank Governor told reporters that he has reached an agreement with his Iraqi counterpart about the payments. -Radio Farda - 2/7/19

Tehran tourism exhibit to host over 700 Iranian, international businesses

- A total of 660 Iranian tourism marketers and businesses along with 57 foreign ones will participate in the 12th Tehran International Tourism Exhibition, which will be running from February 12 to 15. Iran hosted 6,074,580 foreign nationals during the first nine months of the currant Iranian calendar year, up by 56 percent year on year. -Tehran Times - 2/7/19

U.S. Will Not Renew Iran Sanctions Waivers In May: Brian Hook

- U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, says Washington has no plan to extend waivers when the exemptions expire in May. "Iran's oil customers should not expect new waivers to U.S. sanctions in May", the top State Department official reiterated. -Radio Farda - 2/7/19

Iran's recoverable crude at 160 billion barrels: NIOC

- The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in an announcement put Iran's reserves of recoverable liquid hydrocarbons at an estimated amount of 160.12 billion barrels, while its natural gas reserves stand at 33.33 trillion cubic meters. This makes Iran one of the world's largest holders of crude oil, condensate and gas liquids reserves on the planet. - 2/6/19

Oil Minister says Europe not buying Iran oil despite U.S. sanctions waivers

- Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Tuesday Italy and Greece had stopped buying oil from Iran despite being granted waivers from US sanctions. "Among the Europeans, except for Turkey, no other nation has purchased oil from Iran. Greece and Italy refuse to buy Iran's oil despite winning waivers. And they don't respond to our correspondence," said the oil minister at a press conference on Tuesday. - 2/5/19

Lawmaker Says Minimum Wage In Iran Should Increase Fourfold

- A member of parliament's labor faction in Iran says minimum monthly wage should be increased to 40 million rials, or about $400. Currently the minimum wage is about $100. Zahra Sae'I told the parliament's news service on February 3 that the poverty line in Tehran is about $300 monthly income and workers should earn at least $400. - 2/5/19

Up to seven thousand German firms eye trade with Iran: Official

- Up to 7,000 German business enterprises are estimated to seek continued trade with Iran, says the managing director of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce, following the launch of a payment vehicle that enables continued European trade with the Islamic Republic irrespective of unilateral sanctions by the United States. -Press TV - 2/3/19

INSTEX: A Real Solution Or A Symbolic Move To Keep Iran In Nuclear Deal

- One day after Germany France and the UK launched INSTEX (Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges) to help reduce the impact of sanctions on Iran there are still speculations about the measures' effectiveness, with some saying INTEX simply has symbolic significance. -Radio Farda - 2/1/19

Dollar, Major Currencies Again Rising In Iran

- The U.S. dollar and other major currencies have witnessed a notable rise on the Tehran currency exchange market this week. The dollar's gain has been about 10 percent. As a reaction the chief of Iran's central bank sounded a warning, that this trend will not necessarily stay, and people should not take risks with their money. -Radio Farda - 2/1/19

EU Delays Payment System For Iran Amid U.S. Warnings

- The EU has reportedly delayed registering an alternative financial channel to help Iran, say reports coming from Brussels on Monday January 28. Reports from Brussels Monday morning said that the release of the conclusion on Iran has been "postponed" due to differences over one of its ten articles. -Radio Farda - 1/28/19

University of Tehran to hold e-mental health startup weekend

- The University of Tehran will hold the first startup weekend on electronic mental health from February 20 to 22, IRNA reported on Tuesday. Mental health literacy, self-care, social-mental disorders and digital technology to prevent them as well as electronic psychiatric consultation will be discussed during the event. - 1/24/19

Iran Concerned About Oil Revenues, U.S. Pressure

- Iran's Vice-President Mohammad Baqer Nobakht says Tehran is facing "serious problems in exporting oil" as a result of "brutal sanctions." Speaking in the south-eastern province of Kerman on Friday January 18, Nobakht said Iran is "too far away from the target of exporting 2,410,000 barrels per day planned in the country's budget," which should have brought $47 billion in revenues. -Radio Farda - 1/19/19

Iran's Top Exporter Says Impossible To Do Business

- The Chairman of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi, who is one of the country's top businessmen has stopped exporting from Iran in the past two months due to payment problems."After 64 years of export activities, for first time I had to suspend exports," Tasnim quoted Asgaroladi as saying during a meeting with Tehran Chamber of Commerce members on January 15. -Radio Farda - 1/18/19

Zarif Says Pompeo Has No Right To Interfere In Iran-Iraq Ties

- Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who is on an extended tour of Iraq responded to his American counterpart, saying the United States has no right to interfere in bilateral relations between Tehran and Baghdad. -Radio Farda - 1/18/19

Iranian Startups Offer Opportunities In An Unstable Economy

- The past decade in Iran has witnessed a surge in the number of startups, larger Internet companies, and digital-service providers. Owing to the impact of American sanctions, Iranians are often left to their own devices when it comes to Internet services. Amid the country's rapid digitization and the fact that more than 62 percent of all households were connected to the Internet as of March 2017 -- a staggering leap from 21 percent in 2013 -- there is clearly increasing demand. - 1/16/19

Iran to open bunkering terminal in blow to UAE's Fujairah

- Iran will start bunkering operations at a newly-built ship fueling terminal on the Persian Gulf island of Qeshm by next month, the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) said Wednesday. The 52,000-tonne capacity terminal will give Iran access to traffic on one of the world's biggest shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz through which 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil exports pass. -Press TV - 1/16/19

Iran, Iraq's Kurdistan call for enhanced ties

- Iran and Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region have emphasized the importance of expanding bilateral relations in various sectors, particularly in the economic field. The calls for stronger ties came during a visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Erbil, on Tuesday. -Press TV - 1/15/19

India Takes Over Operation At Iran's Chabahar Port

- India has started its commercial activities in Chabahar within the framework of a trilateral deal, also including Afghanistan, aimed at developing the southern Iran port into a regional trade hub. "This is the first time India will be operating a port outside its territories," the Ministry pointed out. -Press TV - 1/8/19

Draft bill prepared to cut four zeroes from Iran's national currency

- The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) submitted the draft of a bill to slash four zeroes from the national currency, rial, to the cabinet, Tasnim news agency quoted the governor of the CBI as saying on Sunday. "The government submitted the bill on crossing out four zeroes of the national currency to the parliament on Saturday and we hope to reach a good result as soon as possible," Abdolnasser Hemmati said answering the parliament members' questions. -Tehran Times - 1/7/19

Iran's Expediency Council passes law on combating money laundering

- Iran's Expediency Council has approved a domestic bill on combating money laundering. Council member Gholam-reza Mesbahi Moghddam told Fars news agency on Saturday that the bill, which had been declared flawed by the Guardian Council, was finalized based on the constitution and would be sent to the parliament speaker for referral to the government. - 1/6/19

No foreign power can make decisions on legitimate EU-Iran trade ties: Mogherini

- European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the bloc will not allow any foreign meddling - even from its closest ally - in its legitimate trade ties with other countries amid US attempts to kill Europe's business relations with Iran following its withdrawal from a multilateral nuclear deal. -Press TV - 1/2/19

Iranian Retirees And Farmers Protest For Their Share Of State Money

- Iranian government retirees in Tehran and farmers in Isfahan held protests on Wednesday, demanding money they believe is due to them from the state. Retirees gathered in front of parliament demanding to see separate appropriation in next year's budget for higher pensions, to address rising prices. -Radio Farda - 1/2/19

Iran's Fading Economic Presence In Iraq Can Be Costly, Says MP

- The chairman of Iran's national security and foreign policy commission has said that his country's economic balance sheet in Iraq is "negative", and Turkey and Saudi Arabia have assumed a larger economic role, IRNA reported on January 1. -Radio Farda - 1/2/19

Peaceful Iranian Teachers Protesting Heavy Sentence Against Mohammad Habibi Met With Tear Gas, Arrests

- Teachers who were peacefully protesting a fellow colleague's heavy prison sentence were met with tear gas by anti-riot units who made "several arrests" in the Iranian city of Isfahan on December 27, 2018, a trade unionist told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 12/30/18

Twenty Thousand PhD Graduates Are Unemployed In Iran

- Iran's Deputy Minister of Science, Research and Technology for educational affairs says 20,000 Ph.D. holders in Iran are unemployed and jobless. Dr. Mojtaba Shariati Niasar has also noted that 100,000 students are currently studying for a Ph.D., but only 4,000 of them have been employed by the universities, so far. -Radio Farda - 12/27/18

Switzerland to launch a payment channel for Iran by mid-January

- Switzerland is going to launch a payment channel for Iran in mid-January 2019, which allows its companies to sell food, medicine and medical devices to the country, Sharif Nezam-Mafi, the chairman of Iran-Switzerland Joint Chamber of Commerce, announced. - 12/27/18

India Takes Over Iran's Strategic Chabahar Port

- India has formally taken over operations at Iran's strategic Chabahar Port, a move that could have significant geopolitical ramifications in the region. The port on the Indian Ocean, inaugurated last year, is being built largely by India and is expected to provide a key supply route for Afghanistan while allowing India to bypass rival Pakistan to trade with Central Asia. -RFE/RL - 12/26/18

Iran's saffron farming system wins FAO world heritage status

- A traditional saffron cultivation system in Iran has won recognition from FAO as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS). Titled "Saffron Farming System based on Qanat irrigation in Gonabad, Iran", the credit reflects a unique way to produce nutritious foods and/or spices using traditional knowledge and skills while improving local people's livelihoods and preserving biodiversity, FAO website reported on December 21. -Tehran Times - 12/26/18



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