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December 16 2018
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IRAN: President Rouhani Order For More Women In Top Posts 'Ignored'

- A member of the women's faction in the Iranian Parliament says only 17 percent of managerial positions in Iran are held by women and that President Hassan Rouhani's order to appoint women to 30 percent of managerial posts has been ignored. -Radio Farda - 12/14/18

Iran Set to Execute Third Individual Sentenced by "Corruption Court" For Alleged Economic Crimes

- Iran's Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence issued against Hamid Bagheri by the country's new "corruption courts" system and handed it down for enforcement, the Chief Prosecutor of Tehran Province Gholam-Hossein Esmaili announced December 11, 2018. -CHRI - 12/14/18

Iran's Currency Rial Rises As Government Said To Be Manipulating The Market

- The Iranian currency rose for the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday December 12, briefly crossing the landmark 100,000 rial per one US dollar for an hour. Although the new rate is nearly half the rate compared to September, it is still almost three times higher compared to same time last year. In September, the rial had reached a low of 180,000 to the dollar. -Radio Farda - 12/13/18

Pak Charkh (Clean Wheel): Bike-sharing scheme gets underway in Tehran

- Bike-sharing scheme, proposed by an Iranian startup through a system based on Internet of Things (IoT), has started to be implemented in the capital, YJC reported on Wednesday. Some 500 bikes are currently provided for use in district 2 of the city, the head of board of directors of Pak Charkh Iranian Company, Hossein Qasemi, announced. (Pak Charkh is Persian for Clean Wheel) - 12/12/18

More People Fell Under Poverty Line As Iran's Currency Lost Value

- Parliament Research Center of the Iranian legislature says that eleven percent more people have fallen below poverty line in the Tehran region, as the national currency rial has lost value. -Radio Farda - 12/12/18

US, EU exports to Iran soar despite sanctions

- The US and Europe diverge on the need to uphold a landmark nuclear deal with Iran, but their trade path has taken a curiously similar trajectory since Washington reimposed sanctions on Tehran in August. While Iran's exports to the United States almost reached zero in October, its imports from the country grew, a month after the first round of the sanctions was imposed, new data has shown. Meanwhile, German exports to the Islamic Republic soared during the period. -Press TV - 12/12/18

Labor Activists Detained, Released As Strikes And Protests Continue In Iran

- Five labor and civil rights activists detained by the Iranian security forces have been released, the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSBC) announced on December 11, hours after reporting their detainment. -Radio Farda - 12/12/18

China steady on Iran oilfields, to ditch South Pars project: Report

- China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has decided to continue investing in two major Iranian oilfields but suspend investment in the South Pars natural gas project, Reuters claimed on Wednesday. CNPC convinced the US to continue investing in the North Azadegan and Masjid-i-Suleiman (MIS) oilfields, the news agency quoted two unidentified Chinese sources as saying. -Press TV - 12/12/18

Iran's President Rouhani Defends Anti-Corruption Bills, Citing Lower Cost Of Living

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has lambasted critics for blocking the government's plan to join international anti-money laundering conventions such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). "Without cooperation with foreign banks, the cost of living would be 20 percent higher. Passing FATF bills means costs would decrease 20 percent," Rouhani said -Radio Farda - 12/11/18

Iraq tops Iran's foreign tourists list

- Some 2 million Iraqi nationals visited Iran during the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21), turning the country into Iran's largest source of tourists, ISNA reported. -Tehran Times - 12/11/18

U.S. Seeks Extradition Of Chinese Executive In Iran Sanctions Case

- U.S. authorities are seeking the extradition of a top executive of China's Huawei Technologies over charges that she misled U.S. banks over the company's business dealings with Iran. No decision was reached after a six-hour bail hearing in a court in Vancouver, Canada, meaning that Meng Wanzhou will spend the weekend in jail. The hearing will resume on December 10. -RFE/RL - 12/8/18

Haft Tappeh Labor Activists Beaten at Khuzestan Intelligence Ministry Center, Say Relatives

- Detained labor activists Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholian were beaten during interrogations at the Intelligence Ministry's detention center in the Iranian city of Shush, Khuzestan Province, according to relatives who visited them on December 4, 2018. - 12/8/18

Iran Nuclear Chief Hopes EU Will Deliver 'By The End Of The Year'

- Iran's most senior nuclear official expressed hope on December 6 that by the end of the year Europe will deliver on a proposed mechanism to continue trade with Iran and save the nuclear deal. -Radio Farda - 12/7/18

Iran Executive Says EU Has Not Renewed Steel Exports Deal

- A member of Iran Steel Association says that the European Union has not renewed the agreement to buy Iranian steel, pending the possible launch of a barter arrangement of trade, called Special Purpose Vehicle or SVP. -Radio Farda - 12/7/18

As Sanctions Take Effect, Loss Of Oil Revenue Hits Iran's Budget

- The Iranian government has lost two thirds of its funding, according to statements from the head of the Islamic Republic's Planning and Budget Organization (PBO) that were quickly removed from official websites. Mohammad Bagher Nobakht painted the dire fiscal picture December 4 while speaking at a gathering of representatives of disabled people assembled at the PBO to protest cuts to government funds allocated to support them. -Radio Farda - 12/5/18

Despite Sanctions, India Manages To Import Iranian Oil

- Despite the ongoing U.S. sanctions on Iran, India continues to be one of the chief importers of Iranian oil. Indeed, the state owned petrochemical corporation Indian Oil is set to import up to 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in December. That is more than 20 percent of current Iranian oil exports. -Radio Farda - 12/5/18

Detained Protester Reportedly Tortured as Iranian Sugar Mill Workers Demand Unpaid Wages

- Detained labor activist Esmail Bakhshi was hospitalized after being tortured under interrogation, according to Iranian labor sources. Bakhshi's colleague Ali Nejati was also arrested by security forces on the 25th day of protests by hundreds of Haft Tappeh workers demanding months of unpaid wages in the southwestern Iranian city of Shush. -CHRI - 12/4/18

Iran's Fars province reports sharp rise in number of eco-lodges

- Fars province's tourism department general has announced a rapid increase in the number of eco-lodges across the province, CHTN reported on Saturday. "The number of eco-lodges has been jumped from 50 to 80 units in the current Iranian calendar year from a year earlier, which shows 60 percent increase," a provincial tourism official said on Saturday, CHTN reported. -Tehran Times - 12/3/18

Iran Steel Workers Come Out Into The Streets in Ahvaz On Sunday

- Videos and images published on social media confirm that steel workers in Ahvaz, capital of oil-rich Khuzestan province staged a large protest on Sunday and marched in the main streets of the city. The steel workers have been on strike and holding protests for the past 23 days; almost as long as their peers at the Shush sugarcane mill' also in Khuzestan, are still protesting despite the appointment of a new director at the factory. -Radio Farda - 12/3/18

Iraq Continues To Face Hurdles Due To Its Relations With Iran

- Amid U.S. sanctions on Iran, Iraq is currently facing a challenge in addressing energy needs and supply of other vital goods, as its chief supplier of natural resources and a key trading partner grapples with its own isolation. -Radio Farda - 12/3/18

IRAN: Fallout Over Zarif's Money Laundering Comments Deepens

- The Islamic Republic's Prosecutor-General says Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's recent accusations of rampant money laundering in Iran are baseless, and the conservative block in Iran's parliament is threatening to have him impeached over his comments. - 11/30/18

Russia's Putin endorses deal for Iran-EEU free trade zone

- Russia's President Vladimir Putin has endorsed a much-awaited agreement for the establishment of a free trade zone between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) thus facilitating the process for the Islamic Republic to join the Moscow-led regional economic bloc. - 11/29/18

Iran, EU reiterate resolve to abide by JCPOA despite US exit

- Iran and the European Union have once again stressed their resolve to keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive despite the unilateral US withdrawal from the international accord. In a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and the EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherin, agreed on the need for staying committed to the landmark agreement, according to a press release by the European External Action Service (EEAS). -Press TV - 11/28/18

'Nothing Left' For Iran In JCPOA: Deputy FM Araqchi

- Tehran has no benefit from the nuclear deal anymore since Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran, the Islamic Republic's deputy foreign minister for political affairs, warned on Monday, November 26. "The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is in a "critical situation" Abbas Araqchi insisted, adding, "This is a reality". -Radio Farda - 11/27/18

Iran Airshow 2018: Kish Island, Persian Gulf

- The ninth edition of Iran Airshow (Airshow 2018) kicked off in Kish Island, southern Iran, on Tuesday. According to the exhibition's executive secretary Bijan Bankdar, over 115 domestic and foreign exhibitors active in the aviation, aerospace, airlines and other related industries along with university scholars are showcasing a vast range of products, systems and services in the aviation and aerospace fields during this four-day exhibition. - 11/27/18

Iran's Inflation Rate Soars To Nearly 35 Percent

- The Iranian Statistical Center has announced that the inflation rate in Iran for the period between 23 October and 22 November has risen by 34.9 percent compared to the same period last year. The center has calculated the rise in the inflation rate based on price indexes for consumer goods and services. -Radio Farda - 11/26/18

Iran hopes e-Visa can attract more foreign tourists

- Iran has begun to issue electronic visa for foreign tourists as part of a larger initiative to cope with the restrictions imposed by the US administration on those traveling to the country. Iran issues electronic Visas for foreign tourists in 110 domestic and international airports. There is no difference between Iran's electronic and normal visas in terms of duration. The new Visa provides foreign tourists with a chance to visit Iran without any concern. -Press TV - 11/25/18

VP For Legal Affairs Says Iran Needs Transparency Laws To Rein In Dirty Money

- Laila Joneydi the Vice President for Legal Affairs has weighed in on Iran's money laundering legislation controversy. According to ISNA, Joneydi said that money from "organized crime" enters the Iranian financial system because there is "no data about the source and destination" of money transfers. -Radio Farda - 11/25/18

Iran's Bank Melli says German branch's telecom services 'not disconnected'

- Iran's largest commercial lender, Bank Melli, has rejected reports that its branch in Germany's Hamburg has become disconnected from phone and internet services as a result of US sanctions. Bank Melli announced in a statement as reported by the domestic media that all of its overseas branches remained connected to phone and internet services. -Press TV - 11/25/18

Second Peaceful Teachers' Strike in Iran Met With Arrests, Summons and Threats

- Iranian security and judicial authorities responded to the second round of peaceful teachers' rights strikes by arresting and summoning alleged participants in several cities across the nation. -CHRI - 11/23/18

European Contacts With Tehran Continue As Iran Demands A Trade Arrangement

- As British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt travelled to Tehran this week and met with senior Iranian officials, a French diplomat also visited the county in what Iran claimed to be a new European initiative to assure the Islamic Republic of their intention to help in trade despite U.S. sanctions. -Radio Farda - 11/23/18

Colleagues Of Iranian FM Zarif's Come To His Defense As Impeachment Talk Conitues

- While signature collection is reportedly underway in Majles (Iran's parliament) to impeach the Islamic Republic's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, his subordinates have raised voices to defend their boss. Talk of Zarif's impeachment by some conservative MPs on Monday became more pointed on Tuesday as one MP claimed collecting signatures has already begun. -Radio Farda - 11/21/18

More Iranian Officials Warn Europe Over Lack Of Progress On Trade

- Iran's deputy foreign minister says Europe is "incapable" of creating the promised financial mechanism (SPV) and countries refuse to host the financial institution for saving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. - 11/21/18

IRAN: Ayatollah Blasts FM Zarif Comments As MP Talks Of His Impeachment

- Following implicit criticism of foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif by the conservative head of Iran's Judiciary, a member of parliament says that Zarif's impeachment process has begun. On Monday, the Judiciary's Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani dismissed Zarif's recent comments about high level of money laundering in Iran, describing it as a "stab right into the heart" of the Islamic Republic ruling system. - 11/20/18

Steel and Sugarcane Workers Rally in Ahvaz, Iran to Demand Unpaid Wages

- Workers from the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (NSIG) in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, held rallies November 10-14, 2018, demanding two months of unpaid salaries and in protest against the unannounced and sudden halt of production at the plant. -CHRI - 11/20/18

Iran's gold rush seeks to insulate economy from US sanctions

- Iran is stepping up production of precious metals to cushion its economy against the effects of new US sanctions which have triggered a flurry of panic buying of gold by some citizens. Iran Minerals Production and Supply Company, a subsidiary of state-owned mining group IMIDRO, plans to revitalize six small-scale gold and copper mines in the provinces of West and East Azarbaijan, Isfahan and South Khorasan. - 11/20/18

US economic sanctions restrict Iran's access to medical, health services: IRIMC

- The Islamic Republic of Iran Medical Council (IRIMC) says illegal economic sanctions imposed by the United States against Tehran have negative impacts on the country's health sector, calling for an immediate and humanitarian solution to the issue. -Press TV - 11/19/18

Iran, Iraq Vow To Significantly Boost Trade Despite U.S. Sanctions

- Iran and Iraq have vowed to significantly boost trade despite the United States imposing new crippling economic sanctions against Tehran. Under the sanctions regime, countries that do business with Iran without U.S. waivers risk hefty fines, a threat that has forced many trade partners to cut ties with the Islamic republic. But Iranian President Hassan Rohani said annual bilateral trade with Iraq could rise to $20 billion from the current $12 billion. -RFE/RL - 11/19/18

Tensions Rise In Shush, Iran As Many Workers, Labor Leaders Arrested

- Following days of protests by workers in Shush, southwest Iran, the labor union at the Haft Tappeh sugar factory reports that up to 19 workers have been arrested by security forces. Earlier, the Governor-General of Khuzestan province had confirmed that four workers had been arrested during labor protests against long overdue wages. -Radio Farda - 11/19/18

Iran's Currency Rial Rises Helped By Central Bank Interventions

- The Iranian currency rial has rebounded in recent days, rising to 120,000 to the U.S. dollar, on the open market midday Thursday, recuperating some of the losses it endured in recent months. The rial, which was trading around 30,000 to the dollar at the beginning of 2018, began a steep decline in March and reached to as low as 180,000 before stabilizing around 150,000 in recent weeks. -Radio Farda - 11/15/18

Iran's Poorly Paid Teachers on Nationwide Strike for 2nd Day

- Iranian teachers have gone on a nationwide strike for a second consecutive day to demand better working conditions for their poorly paid profession, one month after their last mass protest. Photos posted on the Telegram channel of the Coordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates in Iran (CCTSI) showed elementary and high school teachers staging sit-ins and holding protest signs in and outside their offices in at least 27 Iranian cities Wednesday. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 11/15/18

Iran's Foreign Ministry Defends FM Zarif Comments On Money Laundering

- The Islamic Republic Foreign Minister's recent comments on "many individuals" who "benefit from money laundering" in Iran have triggered a wave of enraged responses from the conservative camp controlling most of the state apparatus. -Radio Farda - 11/15/18

Iran's Inflation Rate Will Soar To Over 40 Percent By Year-End: IMF

- Iran's inflation rate will jump to over 40 percent by the end of the year even as its economy sinks into a deep recession, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is projecting. In a report on Middle Eastern economies released on November 13, the IMF projected that U.S. sanctions will push Iran's economic output down by 1.5 percent this year, with its recession deepening into a 3.6 percent contraction next year. - 11/14/18

Iran Hangs 'Sultans Of Coins,' Second Currency Trader

- Iran has executed two men convicted of illegal currency trading as Tehran steps up its crackdown on alleged financial crimes in the face of economic hardships heightened by U.S. financial sanctions. State TV reported that Vahid Mazloumin, labeled by the Tehran police chief as the "Sultan of Coins" and his alleged accomplice, Mohammad Ismail Ghasemi, were hanged early on November 14 following their convictions in late September for currency manipulation and for "spreading corruption on Earth." -RFE/RL - 11/14/18

US genuinely wants to 'starve' Iranians: Ron Paul

- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent threat to "starve" Iranian people through economic pressure was a rare instance of truthfulness in America's foreign policy, prominent American thinker Ron Paul says. Last week, the US secretary of state told BBC Persian that Iranian officials must listen to Washington "if they want their people to eat." -Press TV - 11/13/18

Iran's Top Diplomat Attacks Opponents Of Transparency Measures

- Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says those who profit from money laundering are spending millions of dollars to prevent the passage of legislation requiring more financial transparency. - 11/13/18

Iran's Central Bank Tries To Repatriate Hard Currencies From Exports

- The governor of Iran's Central Bank (CBI) said November 10 that soon measures and terms will be announced to facilitate the return of hard currencies to the country earned by exporters. In recent months and following the establishment of a secondary forex market to meet Iran's demand for imported goods, the country has been struggling with the exporters who are reluctant to return the foreign currencies they earned to the local market. -Radio Farda - 11/12/18

Iranian Celebrities Launch Petition, Condemn U.S. Sanctions Against Iran

- A large number of Iranian celebrities has launched #SanctionsTargetMe, a movement that takes aim at the sanctions reimposed by the United States on Iran. The campaign also warns that Iranian people's access to life-saving medication and medical supplies has been seriously jeopardized, said the organizers among them are veteran actors Reza Kianian and Parviz Parastui. - 11/10/18

Why Iran Needs a War Economy

- Faced with the relentless U.S. economic war, Iran needs a war economy. Indeed, the plan of a war economy should not be very difficult for Iran to implement since it has a relatively successful experience of carrying out such a plan: during the 8-year war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Iran embarked on an extensive state-guided economic management that effectively provided for both its military and civilian needs. -Ismael Hossein-zadeh - 11/9/18

In An Open Letter, More Than 400 Iranian Activists Demand A New Path For Iran

- More than 400 current and former student activist have published an open letter warning that the very existence of the Iranian people is at stake. In their letter addressed to "academicians, lecturers, intellectuals and social activists", 410 activists have called for a thorough review of the dominant political and intellectual attitudes in Iran in order to create a unified discourse for finding a way out of the country's critical situation, a website supporting the Iranian "Green Movement", Kalemeh, reported. -Radio Farda - 11/9/18

Influential Conservative Says Iran Will Meet FATF Requirements

- A conservative former MP and a member of the Islamic Republic's influential Expediency Discernment Council (EDC) says that he's optimistic over the ratification of four bills regarding the international conventions against money laundering and financing terrorism. -Radio Farda - 11/9/18

The Future Of Iran's Oil And Gas Sector

- At first glance, it seems that rising oil prices (33 percent growth in 2018) and low production costs can still generate petrodollars for Iran, even though its exports have declined by 40 percent to around 1.5 million barrels per day (mb/d) since the U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal and announced the reimposition of sanctions in May. -Radio Farda - 11/8/18

Very High Inflation In Iran Affects Real Estate And Manufacturing

- The latest figures released by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) in early November, puts the rise in real estate prices between October 2018 and the same month last year at 83.5 percent. The CBI says house prices in Tehran are now based on the benchmark of 86,100,000 rials per square meter of built-in area. This amounts to around $575 per sqm or $52 per square foot at the open market exchange rate, which is more relevant in this case since sellers cannot get cheap dollars based on the government rate. -Radio Farda - 11/8/18

What's So Tough About The 'Toughest Ever' U.S. Sanctions On Iran?

- President Donald Trump labeled new U.S. sanctions on Iran as the "toughest ever," saying the punitive measures would force Tehran to end its "malign" behavior. Analysts say the new measures that came into effect on November 5 are indeed the strongest sanctions regime imposed by Washington against Iran. But they also note that the sanctions lack the broad international backing that gave previous measures strength. -Freud Bezhan, RFE/RL - 11/7/18

U.S. Exempts Iran's Chabahar Port From Sanctions In Nod To Afghanistan

- The U.S. State Department says it is exempting Iran's big port project in Chabahar from sanctions in recognition of its importance to landlocked Afghanistan. President Donald Trump's "South Asia strategy underscores our ongoing support of Afghanistan's economic growth and development as well as our close partnership with India," a State Department spokesman said on November 6. -RFE/RL - 11/7/18

Turkish Leader Vows Not To Honor U.S. Sanctions On Iran After Waiver Expires; Russia Says Sanctions Not Legitimate

- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Turkey will not honor renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil and shipping industries when waivers granted by Washington expire in six months. "These are steps aimed at unbalancing the world. We don't want to live in an imperialist world," Erdogan told reporters in Ankara on November 6. - 11/7/18

US Reimposes Sanctions on Iran's Oil, Financial Sectors

- The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran's oil industry and financial sector Monday, following through on President Donald Trump's pledge to roll back relief Iran received as part of the international agreement to limit its nuclear program. -VOA - 11/5/18

A Marriage of Convenience Between Natural Gas Giants Iran and Russia

- Iran's substantial natural gas reserves provide Russia with a significant strategic opportunity to solidify its role in the international arena. Although US secondary sanctions against Iran's petroleum sector resumed on November 5, Russia will most likely defy them by continuing to invest in Iran's natural gas sector. -Atlantic Council - 11/5/18

Trump Highlights Renewed Iran Sanctions Ahead Of U.S. Elections

- U.S. President Donald Trump has highlighted his reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran ahead of the November 6 elections in which the Republican Party is seeking to retain control of both houses of the U.S. Congress. -RFE/RL - 11/4/18

Iran's Conservative Body Rejects Bill Against Financing Terrorism As Sanctions Take Effect

- Iran's conservative-dominated Guardian Council, a body that oversees legislations made by the Iranian Parliament (Majles) has rejected a bill on joining the UN convention against financing terrorism (CFT), which was ratified by parliament in early October. - 11/4/18

US to Grant Waivers to Some Countries Importing Iran Oil

- The United States says it plans to issue temporary waivers to several countries, allowing them to continue purchasing Iranian oil without being subject to forthcoming U.S. sanctions. Sanctions on Iran are expected to be reinstated Monday, the result of U.S. President Donald Trump's withdrawal earlier this year from the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers. Any country importing Iranian oil that does not receive a waiver will be subject to U.S. financial penalties. -William Gallo, VOA - 11/3/18

Iran Ranks First On Energy Subsidies Globally

- With spending $45.1 billion on fossil energy consumption subsidies in 2017, Iran ranked first globally, International Energy Agency reported Oct.29. The value, which increased 55% year-on-year, equals to 10.4% of Iran's annual GDP and 15% of total global energy subsidies. -Radio Farda - 11/2/18

Pashinian Says He Made 'Clear' To U.S. That Armenia Will Maintain Ties With Iran

- Acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian says he made clear to U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton last week that Armenia will pursue its national interests and maintain "special relations" with its neighbor Iran. -RFE/RL - 11/2/18

Iran Lawmaker Amir Khojasteh Raises Alarm On Widespread Corruption

- An Iranian Parliamentary official says financial corruption is widespread "in all of the ministries of the Iranian government." Amir Khojasteh, MP and chairman of the parliamentary group for combating financial corruption has accused "some state officials" of "spreading corruption" and failing to curb it while it was still possible to do so, alluding that the situation is beyond rescue. -Radio Farda - 11/2/18

Iranian Currency In Jitters As New Sanctions Approach

- The exchange rate of the U.S. dollar and other major currencies once again skyrocketed in Iran and reached the highest level in past thirty days, reports from the local free market say. One U.S. dollar was exchanged for 152,000 rials at exchange bureaus on Wednesday, October 31 which was record breaking for the current Iranian calendar month (September 23-October 22). -Radio Farda - 11/1/18

15 HEPCO Workers in Iran Issued Suspended Prison, Lashing Sentences For Demanding Unpaid Wages

- Fifteen staff members of the HEPCO manufacturing company in Markazi Province, Iran, have been issued suspended prison and lashing sentences for striking for unpaid wages, reported the state-funded Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) on October 28, 2018. - 11/1/18

White House Hints At Easing Of Iran Sanctions For 'Friends And Allies'

- U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton says the White House wants sanctions on Iran's oil sector to put a strain on Iran's economy, but it does not want to harm "friends and allies" that depend on the oil. -RFE/RL - 11/1/18

India, Iran, Russia push alternative to Suez Canal

- India, Iran and Russia will meet next month to discuss the operation of a 7,200 km trade and transport corridor that presents a cheaper and shorter alternative to the traditional route through the Suez Canal. - 10/31/18

'Specter Of Hyperinflation Haunts Iran' - Venezuela Style

- The inflation rate in Iran reached 15.9 percent in October, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) reported one week before the second round of US sanctions that target Iran's international banking and oil export. The CBI report also says that compared to the rate for the same month in the previous year, the inflation rate has risen by 36.9 percent. -Radio Farda - 10/30/18

China, India Reported Set To Keep Buying Iranian Oil As U.S. Sanctions Loom

- With just days to go before U.S. sanctions take effect on Iran's oil sector on November 5, Tehran's top two customers - India and China -- are resisting Washington's call to reduce purchases to zero, arguing there are not sufficient supplies worldwide to replace them, media are reporting. -RFE/RL - 10/30/18

President Rouhani's picks for 4 ministries win Iranian lawmakers' confidence vote

- Iran's Parliament has given the vote of confidence to all candidates proposed by President Hassan Rouhani to fill in the four vacant ministerial positions. Rouhani had nominated Farhad Dejpasand as minister of economic and finance affairs, Mohammad Shariatmadari as minister of cooperatives, labor and social welfare, Mohammad Eslami as minister of roads and urban development and Reza Rahmani as minister of industry, mines and trade. -Press TV - 10/29/18

Iran Mulls Gasoline Rationing To Curb Smuggling Amid Economic Downturn

- Iran may start rationing gasoline instead of raising the price, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh announced October 24. Earlier, the Islamic Republic's Vice President, Eshaq Jahangiri, had also said it would be politically unfeasible to raise gas prices, as Iranians are already suffering economic hardships. Iran's overall troubled economy, the dwindling value of the national currency, and reimposed U.S. sanctions have exacerbated the problem. -Radio Farda - 10/29/18

Iranian Pension Funds In Jeopardy As Government Picks Up The Tab

- Retired people protesting in Tehran and asking for higher pensions as inflation left them with less purchasing power. October 2017. Most of Iran's retirement funds are facing financial trouble and rely on heavy subsidies from the government, Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri says. -Radio Farda - 10/25/18

EU mechanism for Iran trade to be symbolically ready on November 4th: diplomats

- A new European Union mechanism to facilitate payments for Iranian exports should be legally in place by Nov. 4, when the next phase of U.S. sanctions hit, but it will not be operational until early next year, three diplomats said. -Tehran Times - 10/25/18

IRAN: IRGC Gives Up Stake In Telecommunications Possibly To Avoid Sanctions

- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) withdrew as shareholder from the Iranian Telecommunications Company and a major cell phone operator company, Hamrah Avval, on Wednesday October 24. -Radio Farda - 10/25/18



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