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IRAN: Supreme Leader Khamenei Opposes Joining UN Convention On Anti-Corruption

- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has publicly opposed joining a global anti-money laundering convention on Wednesday, June 20. Referring to recent debates in country's parliament on joining the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crimes (UNTOC) and accepting mandated reforms, Khamenei told lawmakers Wednesday: "It is not necessary to join conventions whose depths we are unaware of." - 6/20/18

Iran Rejects Russian, Saudi Plan To Raise Oil Output, Rein In Prices

- Iran has rejected a plan by Russia and Saudi Arabia to increase oil production at a meeting of the OPEC oil cartel this week in response to consumer disgruntlement with rising prices. "I don't believe at this meeting we can reach agreement," Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters after arriving in Vienna, where OPEC is headquartered, on June 19. - 6/20/18

Swiss rail company Matisa defies US with Iran deal

- Iran's state rail company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Switzerland's rail tracks maintenance machines manufacturer Matisa for obsolescence management, Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday. Under the MoU, Matisa will cooperate on overhaul and retrofitting of ballast cleaners, tampers and regulators as well as sourcing of 21 track machines with Iran's RAI railway company, the report said. - 6/20/18

PHOTOS: Skillful women engaged in embroidery in Kerman, Iran

- The skill of crafting embroideries with geometric patterns and vivid colors has passed down from generation to generation in Kerman, southwestern Iran. Many women are engaged in this craft which helps supplement their household's income. -Sare Tajalli - 6/19/18

French firms 'won't be able to stay' in Iran: France's Finance Minister

- Most French companies interested in maintaining business in Iran "won't be able to stay because they need to be paid for the products they deliver to or build in Iran," Bruno Le Maire said Tuesday. "And they cannot be paid because there is no sovereign and autonomous European financial institution" capable of shielding them, he told BFM television. - 6/19/18

Tehran Stock Exchange index hits a 50-year record high of 102,000 points

- Players in Iran's capital market witnessed a historical record in growth of Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE)'s main index (TEDPIX) which gained 3,306 points to hit 102,452 points on Sunday, something unprecedented in the 50-year history of the country's stock market. - 6/18/18

IRAN: Supreme Leader Forbids 'Too Much Travelling Abroad' To Save Foreign Currency

- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has criticized Iranians for "travelling abroad too frequently" and told them to "quit this bad habit," while "the enemies are plotting to exert economic pressure" on the Islamic Republic. - 6/16/18

Germany sets up special Iran sanctions advisory office

- Germany says it has established a special office to advise companies worried about their business dealings with Iran amid fears they will be targeted for US sanctions. Based on an announcement by Germany's Economy Ministry, companies would be able to obtain information about the potential risks of their business activities from the official named as "Iran Contact Point". - 6/16/18

Iran Government To Open Warehouses To Combat Rising Prices

- In an attempt to harness soaring prices, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has ordered his cabinet ministers to open warehouses and "put stockpiled commodities at the people's disposal." Announcing this at the end of a cabinet meeting on June 13, Rouhani's chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi told reporters that the recent price hike in Iran has "psychological reasons." - 6/15/18

60 Steelworkers Arrested in Iran For Demanding Three Months Back Wages

- More than 60 workers at the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) in Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, have been arrested for demanding their salaries, which have not been paid to them for the last three months, according to an independent Iranian labor organization. - 6/14/18

OMV announces plan to pull out of Iran

- Austria's energy giant OMV says it plans to cease its operations in Iran amid growing signs that the United States is preparing to re-impose sanctions against the country. OMV Chief Executive Rainer Seele told Reuters that his company planned to conclude a seismic studies project in Iran but would not pursue projects further. - 6/14/18

Mazda, Hyundai Leave Iranian Market, Affecting Cars and Shipping

- A week after it was announced that French carmaker Peugeot-Citroen had left the Iranian market, Japan's Mazda and South Korean Hyundai have also suspended contracts with Iran, according to a member of the parliamentary Industries and Mines Commission. -Radio Farda - 6/13/18

Price Hike Gains New Momentum In Iran

- The prices of gold and cars and the exchange rate for the U.S. dollar reached record highs on the Iranian market on June 11, while some social media users have complained about a new rise in the cost of housing in Tehran. -Radio Farda - 6/12/18

Iran turns to old friends amid European exodus

- Verbal pledges by European governments to shield trade with the Islamic Republic have not stopped companies from pulling out of Iran projects as they face a "wind-down" period of up to six months before the US reimposes sanctions. On Monday, German container shipping firm Hapag-Lloyd was reported to have stopped one of its two feeder services to Iran. - 6/12/18

Iran, China discuss JCPOA, all-out relations on SCO sidelines

- Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has conferred with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on a multilateral nuclear agreement Tehran signed with the P5+1 group of countries in 2015 and mutual relations, particularly in economic and trade sectors. - 6/11/18

US Withdrawal from Iran Deal Hits Young Iranians Hard

- When Iran reached a landmark nuclear agreement with the international community in 2015, Iranian youth were especially happy. After struggling with sanctions and isolation for many years, young people hoped their country was entering a new chapter in which it would be seen as a constructive actor on the international stage. -Tahereh Hadian-Jazy, Atlantic Council - 6/11/18

EU Cannot Protect Companies Against U.S. Sanctions, Says Economist

- Despite assurances from the EU that European companies will be supported in continuing to do business with Iran and shielded from U.S. sanctions, several companies have already announced they are cutting ties with Iran. -Radio Farda - 6/8/18

Iran says OPEC won't follow US instructions on oil output hike

- Iran has lashed out at the United States for asking Saudi Arabia to pump more oil to cover a drop in Iranian exports, saying the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would dismiss the appeal. - 6/8/18

EU adopts updated law to protect Iran deal, European firms from US sanctions

- The European Commission has adopted an update of a law that would order EU firms not to comply with US sanctions on Iran, a move aimed at countering the possible effects of the bans on European companies wanting to invest in Iran after Washington's exit from the Iran nuclear deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). - 6/7/18

European Refineries Curtailing Oil Purchases From Iran

- Following the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to leave the nuclear deal with Iran, European refineries have started to reduce purchases of Iranian oil. On May 8, Trump announced that his administration was withdrawing from the deal and re-imposing the old sanctions on Tehran. - 6/7/18

France, Germany, Britain Request Exemptions From U.S. Iran Sanctions

- In a letter to top U.S. administration officials, European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran have asked the United States to spare EU firms doing business with Iran from punitive measures. The foreign and finance ministers of Germany, France, and Britain, as well the European Union foreign-policy chief made the call in a letter, dated June 4, to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. - 6/6/18

France's PSA again reverses on Iran deal in deference to US

- PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, has become the latest French company to suspend its joint venture activities in Iran, despite promising to stand its ground in the face of sanctions. A statement attributed to the carmaker said PSA "began the process of suspending the activities of its JVs, in order to comply with US law by August 6, 2018" when the sanctions are about to snap-back into place. - 6/6/18

French car equipment lobby group scraps Iran trip amid US sanctions threat

- French Vehicle Equipment Industries Association (FIEV), the country's top car industry lobby group, has canceled a planned trip to Iran in July, its president announced on Wednesday. "The trip has been canceled and replaced instead by a meeting in France of our Iran club, so that we can reflect upon how to proceed in light of current events," FIEV president Jacques Mauge said. - 6/6/18

Iranian Travelers Struggle To Buy Foreign Currencies Over Holiday

- Banks at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport are struggling to provide the foreign currencies paid for by passengers, who are forming long lines. The shortage of foreign currencies worsened ahead of a three-day holiday that started on June 4 to mark the death of the founder of Iran's Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini. Many government employees and bank staff have gone on extended holidays, making the situation harder for passengers traveling abroad this week. - 6/5/18

The Foreign Policy Implications of Kuwait's Vision 2035: Closer Economic Ties with Iran and Iraq

- Kuwait's Vision 2035 economic development strategy will have important implications for its diplomatic relations with its Persian Gulf neighbors. It will compel Kuwait to give a high priority to economic diplomacy in its international relations and invest more diplomatic resources in containing the Iran-Saudi tensions and maintaining good relations with Iraq and Iran. The reason lies in a key component of Vision 2035, called the Northern Gulf Gateway. - 6/4/18

Iran, Iraq start strategic oil swap scheme

- Iran says it has started exchanging crude oil with Iraq through a strategic project which is believed to open a new route for Baghdad to export its oil. Iran's Ministry of Petroleum announced that road tankers carrying oil from Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk had crossed Iran's border and were already delivering oil to reserves in the western Province of Ilam. - 6/4/18

EU must defend 'core' of Iran nuclear deal: Commission Chief

- The European Union Commission chief, Jean-Claude Juncker, has warned about the adverse consequences of the United States' move to pull out from a key nuclear agreement Iran signed with the P5+1 group of countries in 2015, saying the EU must adopt measures to protect the deal's core provisions. - 6/3/18

Capital Flight: $59 Billion Has Left Iran In Past Two Years

- More than $59 billion in hard currency has left Iran during last two years, Islamic Parliament Research Center (IPRC) has disclosed. According to IPRC, following the United States withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran's nuclear deal with world power, more billions are expected to leave Iran in the coming months. -Radio Farda - 6/1/18

Iranian Workers Say Major Factory Being Mismanaged into Oblivion

- Iranian factory workers in northwestern Iran have staged a protest against mismanagement of a large industrial plant, saying the problem has brought the major local employer to the brink of closure. In a report published Thursday, Iran's state-run ILNA news agency said the protesting workers in the city of Tabriz urged authorities to rescue the plant that produces combine harvesters used to harvest crops. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 6/1/18

10 Iranian HEPCO Workers Striking For Unpaid Wages Charged With "Disturbing Public Order"

- Ten striking workers at Iran's Heavy Equipment Production Company (HEPCO) in the city of Arak, south of Tehran, were charged with "disturbing public order" for participating in protests billed as "illegal gatherings" after they appeared in court on May 28, 2018. - 5/31/18

Major Russian, Indian Energy Firms Reportedly Moving To Pull Out Of Iran

- The threat of U.S. sanctions has prompted Russian oil giant Lukoil to put its plans to develop projects in Iran on hold while the Indian company that owns the world's largest oil refining complex plans to stop buying oil from Iran, Reuters reported on May 30. -RFE/RL - 5/31/18

Corporate exodus tests EU ability to keep Iran trade flowing

- The EU's ability to protect Iran's benefits from the 2015 nuclear deal is being seriously tested as business exodus from the Islamic Republic continues. Swiss bank Banque de Commerce et de Placements (BCP) on Tuesday became the latest firm to announce that it was winding down Iran-related activities while two Indian lenders were reported to have told their customers to wrap up Iran trade. - 5/30/18

China To Host Iran's President Rohani During SCO Summit In June

- China will host Iranian President Hassan Rohani in June, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has said as major powers look for ways to save the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal. The Foreign Ministry on May 28 did not give the exact date for Rohani's visit, but said he would attend the June 6-10 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit as an observer. - 5/28/18

India will not follow US sanctions on Iran: Foreign Minister Swaraj

- India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj says New Delhi will keep trading with Iran and will only follow sanctions imposed by the United Nations and not those imposed by any other country, such as the United States, against the Islamic Republic. - 5/28/18

EU resolved to preserve Iran nuclear deal after US withdrawal: Mogherini

- The European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the bloc is determined to save a 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries despite the United States' move to withdraw from the deal. - 5/28/18

Iranian Truckers Continue Strike, Disrupting Essential Deliveries

- Truck drivers in Iran continue their strike despite promises made by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development's officials to raise cargo fees. Truck drivers, who say "no more lip service", have been on strike since May 22, protesting high expenses and low cargo fees. For the fifth consecutive day, the strike continued on Saturday, May 26 across Iran. - 5/27/18

15 Iranian Government Officials Convicted Over 'Astronomical' Salaries

- The head of Tehran's Revolutionary Court announced that 15 senior managers working for the government have been convicted to prison terms or cash fines due to "astronomical" salaries they have received. 21 more managers have been indicted, Abbas Pouriani told Tasnim News Agency on Friday, May 25. - 5/27/18

US slaps new sanctions on entities working with Iranian airlines

- The US has imposed new sanctions against nine Iranian and Turkish individuals and companies as well as a number of aircraft providing goods and services to four Iranian airlines. The sanctions announced by the US Treasury Department on Thursday, targeted the entities cooperating with Iran's Mahan Air, Caspian Air, Meraj Air, and Pouya Air. - 5/25/18

Renault Might Have To Leave Iran After US Pullout From JCPOA

- French car manufacturer Renault might have to leave the Iranian market altogether as a result of the US pullout from the nuclear deal with Iran. Renault's partner Nissan is a key player in the US market, and Renault may have its hesitations, fearing its activity in Iran might affect Nisan's business in the United States. - 5/23/18

Iranian Factory Workers Resume Blockade of Key Railway Line

- Iranian factory workers have resumed a blockade of the country's main north-south railway line as part of a protest against labor conditions in a western Iranian city. Iranian social media users said the workers of the HEPCO industrial complex in Arak blocked the railway line that runs along its perimeter on Monday. The HEPCO workers had removed the barricades five days earlier while also warning they would be reinstated if authorities did not accept their demands. - 5/22/18

Iran: EU Not Doing Enough to Support Nuclear Deal

- Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Sunday that Europe's political support to save the 2015 international nuclear accord after the U.S. withdrawal was not sufficient if too many European companies end their investments in Iran. "The cascade of decisions by EU companies to end their activities in Iran makes things much more complicated," Zarif said after meeting with European Union energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete. - 5/21/18

EU Vows To Stick To Iran Nuclear Deal If Tehran Complies

- The European Union will remain committed to the Iran nuclear deal as long as Tehran continues to adhere to the landmark 2015 accord easing sanctions in exchange for curbs on its atomic program, the EU's top energy official said on May 19. - 5/19/18

EU to make direct oil payments to Iran to bypass US sanctions

- A plan by the European Union to make direct oil payments to Iran after the US re-imposes sanctions against the country is seen to risk the start of a trade war between Europe and the United States. The plan - which was unveiled on Friday - envisages Euro payments to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) for oil purchased by EU member states. It would be part of a package of measures adopted by the EU to save the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran after US President Donald Trump said he would take America out of it. - 5/19/18

Iran Signs Oil Deal With British Group, First Since U.S. Resumed Sanctions

- Iran has signed an agreement with a British consortium to develop an oil field, in the first such deal with a Western firm since Washington announced it would exit the nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran. The National Iranian South Oil Company signed an agreement with the London-based Pergas consortium to produce 655 million barrels of oil from the Keranj field in southwestern Iran in the next 10 years, Iran's Oil Ministry said on May 17 through its Shana news service. - 5/18/18

New US Sanctions Will Make Iranians Sicker

- Sanctions against Iran are almost as old as I am. I was born in early 1980, and international sanctions against Iran began during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s as most global and regional powers supported Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in his invasion of the country. My father was injured and exposed to chemical weapons during that war, and as a result suffered from Parkinson's disease later in life. -Fariba Pajooh - 5/16/18

EU's Tough Choice: Analysts Say Staying In Iran Deal Is An Option If...

- European officials eager to salvage 2-year-old nuclear curbs on Iran are said to be exploring ways to ensure Tehran's continued participation following the U.S. decision to abandon the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), under which Tehran limited sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 5/16/18

US Blacklisting Of Iran's Central Bank Chief Meant To Derail Nuclear Deal Talks: Tehran

- Tehran has strongly condemned Washington for imposing sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran's chief over a week after the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, saying such moves are meant to derail the ongoing negotiations to save the now six-party agreement. - 5/16/18

European Leaders To Discuss Ways To Shield Firms From U.S. Sanctions On Iran

- European Union leaders at a summit in Sofia are expected to discuss measures that the bloc might take to shield European companies from renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran. EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini said on May 15 that European commissioners will first discuss whether the EU's 1990s-era sanctions-blocking measures can be used to protect European business interests in Iran before leaders at the summit take up the matter. - 5/16/18

European firms jump the gun on Iran sanctions

- Global companies have begun to take stock of how President Donald Trump's decision to exit the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran is going to affect overall business with Iran. -Press TV - 5/16/18

Enraged Workers Block Iran's North-South Railway

- Workers from the Hepco industrial complex in the central city of Arak blocked and disrupted the Iran North-South railway for several hours on May 14, demanding overdue wages and protesting conditions at their factory. Hundreds of Hepco workers have not been paid for three months, state-run news agencies ILNA and IRNA reported. -Radio Farda - 5/15/18

Iran's Central Bank Sets Strict Limits On Cash Leaving Country Amid Currency Crisis

- A new directive issued by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has set strict limits on the amount of foreign cash travelers can take with them out of the country amid a deepening currency crisis. According to the new directive published on CBI's website May 13, travelers leaving Iran by air are only allowed to carry 5000 euros ($5,980) or its equivalent in other foreign currencies. This is half the amount of foreign currency travelers could take with them before the new directive was issued. - 5/15/18

Europeans Move To Protect Firms From Renewed U.S. Sanctions On Iran

- European nations are moving to protect their companies from a resumption of stiff U.S. sanctions on firms doing business in Iran, in a critical part of their bid to keep the Iranian nuclear deal alive and ensure it continues to benefit Iran's economy. - 5/13/18

Iranian Teachers Jailed, Shackled After Peaceful Protest

- Iranian human rights activists say several teachers arrested for staging a protest in Tehran have been sent to the city's Evin prison, known for its jailing of political dissidents under harsh conditions. The activists said the teachers were jailed at Evin after participating in a peaceful demonstration Thursday outside the Iranian government's planning and budget office building in Tehran. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 5/13/18

Traders Look To Replace Iranian Crude Oil As Sanctions Loom Again

- Buyers of Iran's crude oil are winding down their business with the Islamic Republic after U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and reimpose sanctions. - 5/11/18

China Reassures Tehran On Honoring Nuclear Deal, Buying Iranian Oil

- China has said that it remains committed to Iran's nuclear deal with world powers and assured Tehran that it will continue buying nearly one-third of Iranian oil exports. "We express regret over this decision made by the United States," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. He said that China wanted to "ensure the integrity and sanctity" of a pact that Beijing believes was important for curbing nuclear proliferation and promoting stability in the Middle East. - 5/10/18

TOTAL's Gas Deal Scuttled By U.S. Withdrawal From Iran Nuclear Accords

- Billions of dollars in business deals between Iran and European companies inked after the 2015 nuclear agreement lifted sanctions on the Islamic Republic are now in jeopardy after U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement May 8. The U.S. Treasury Department has said it will reinstate restrictions on companies doing business with Iran in the oil and banking sectors after 90 and 180-day grace periods respectively. - 5/10/18

Boeing, Airbus licenses to sell jets to Iran to be revoked: US Treasury

- The US Treasury says licenses held by aerospace giants Boeing and Airbus to sell passenger jets to Iran will be revoked after Washington announced its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. "The Boeing and (Airbus) licenses will be revoked," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday. "Under the original deal there were waivers for commercial aircraft, parts and services and the existing licenses will be revoked," he added. - 5/9/18

Oil Prices Highest Since 2014 Ahead Of Trump's Iran Decision

- Oil prices surged to their highest levels since November 2014 as investors braced for U.S. President Donald Trump's decision on whether to withdraw from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers. Fears that the United States will reimpose sanctions that were lifted in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear activities in 2016 sent premium crude prices above $70 a barrel in New York trading on May 7 for the first time since November 2014. - 5/8/18

Iranian Currency Hits A New Low As Trump Announcement Looms

- Despite government edicts and police pressure foreign currencies keep rising in Iran, as desperate travelers and others try to find U.S. dollars or euros on the black market. On Saturday, one US dollar was trading for 63,000 rials, approaching double of what it was a year ago. The euro has reached 75,000 rials, sold by by street dealers who face arrest since the government announced an official rate of 42,000 rials for the dollar in mid-April. -Radio Farda - 5/6/18

Iran Currency Crunch Hits Foreign Tourists

- Newly arrived in the city of Tabriz in northwestern Iran, Corneilis Vamoorschot wanted to change his euros into rials, but quickly realized it wouldn't be a simple task. "We wanted to change at the bank, but the banks accept neither euros or dollars. We came to the foreign exchange bureau, but they had no money," said the Dutch tourist, enchanted by the city's brick bazaar, despite the inconvenience. -Radio Farda - 5/4/18

Kurdish Shops In Western Iran Still Shuttered In Dispute Over Border Closing

- The shopkeepers' strike in the northwestern majority Kurdish city of Baneh entered its 19th consecutive day May 3, with business owners keeping their shops closed in protest of the government's decision to ban the import of foreign goods at nearby border crossings. - 5/4/18

Iran's Rial Slips Again Against Dollar, Despite Government Intervention

- Iran's national currency, the rial, continues its downward spiral, and is approaching 60,000 rials to the dollar. Despite emergency intervention by President Hassan Rouhani's administration setting an official range of 42,000 rials to the dollar, state-run Iran Labor News Agency reported May 1, "Each dollar was exchanged for 59,200 rials at the markets early today." - 5/2/18

Iran Offers Turkmenistan New Gas-Swap Deal To Pakistan

- Iran has made a surprise offer to Turkmenistan that officials in Ashgabat might find difficult to reject. The head the National Iranian Oil Company, Hamidreza Araqi, said on April 29 that Iran was prepared enter into a gas-swap deal that would transfer Turkmen gas to Pakistan. Turkmenistan is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis since the country became independent in late 1991, and the Turkmen government has been desperately seeking new export routes for its major export: natural gas. -Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL - 5/1/18

Iran's Qeshm Air in talks with Boeing on 20 jets: CEO

- An Iranian airline says it is in negotiations with Boeing for the purchase of 20 passenger planes even as US President Donald Trump's threats to kill a nuclear deal this month have put Iran's aviation contracts in doubt. Qeshm Air CEO Mahmoud Shekarabi was quoted as saying that his company planned to buy 10 Boeing 737 MAX and 10 Boeing 737 Next Generation planes from the American planemaker. - 5/1/18

Iran inks MOU with China on establishing Petrochemical Park

- Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC) and China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for strategic cooperation, ILNA news agency reported. Based on the MOU which was signed by NPC's Managing Director Reza Norouz-zadeh and CPCIF's Chairman Li Shousheng in Tehran on Monday April 23, 2018, the two sides agreed on constructing a petrochemical park in Iran. - 4/27/18

In Iran's Tough Job Market University Graduates Face High Unemployment

- More than forty percent of the unemployed in Iran are university graduates, says a representative of the government's Planning and Management Organization (PMO). "42 percent of unemployed people in Iran have a university degree, and huge sums of money have been spent on their education," said PMO Deputy for Social Development Sa'eed Namaki, adding that unemployment among university graduates leads many of them to leave the country in search of opportunities. - 4/26/18

Iran seals deals to buy 40 Sukhoi SuperJets from Russia

- Iran says two of its leading airlines have purchased a collective of 40 Sukhoi SuperJet 100 planes from Russia thus ending speculations over a purchase scheme that had been in the offing for the past few years. The purchases were made by Aseman Airlines and Iran Air Tours and the related documents were signed on the sidelines of Eurasia Airshow 2018 in Turkey's Anatolia. - 4/26/18

Cut Out Of Domestic Market, Iranian Paper Producers Shut Down

- Paper production in Iran has come to a complete stop until further notice, the chairman of the Paper and Cardboard Producers Union of Iran announced April 24. Abolfazl Roghani Golpayegani, who is also managing director of Mazandaran Wood and Paper Industries (MWPI), says the reason for the industry-wide production stoppage is the massive supply of cheap imported paper and cardboard on the Iranian market, mostly from China, and the fact that the government no longer supports local producers. - 4/26/18

Iran set for landmark jump of 70% in aluminum output

- Iran's aluminum production is headed for a landmark rise of 70% when a new smelter comes online early next year, making the country self-sufficient in the strategic metal, Deputy Minister of Industry, Mining and Trade Mehdi Karbasian has said. - 4/25/18

Iranian Workers Extend Protests Against Water Shortages, Salary Delays

- Workers in Iran's southwestern province of Khuzestan have launched an extended protest against water shortages and nonpayment of wages. Social media users who contacted VOA Persian said farmers from the town of Bavi protested for a third straight day outside a local government building in nearby Ahvaz city on Monday. They said the farmers complained of not receiving enough water to irrigate their crops. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 4/24/18

Iran's Appliances And Vehicles Market Hit By Forex Crisis, Blackouts on the Way

- Two weeks after the Rouhani administration introduced its new foreign exchange policy of a single rate for US dollar, travellers and businesses complain that foreign currency is not available at the government-imposed rate of 42,000 rials for a dollar. - 4/23/18

Iran Bans Banks From Using Cryptocurrencies

- Iran has banned the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by its banks and financial institutions. "The use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in all the country's monetary and financial centers was banned," an April 23 statement by the central bank said. - 4/23/18

Iranians Hit By 'Perfect Currency Storm'

- Every day, hundreds head to Tehran's bustling Ferdowsi street to buy foreign currency, only to find that many exchange offices have shut up shop, have turned off their currency-rate displays, or have signs up reading, "We don't have U.S. dollars to sell." A nationwide dollar-buying panic is in full swing, spurred by the plunging value of the Iranian rial, a sluggish economy, and fears that the United States will reimpose crippling sanctions on the Islamic republic. -Frud Bezhan Niusha Boghrati, RFE/RL - 4/22/18

Reformists Gather To Press Iran's President Rouhani On House Arrests, Economy

- In a rare meeting earlier this week with President Hassan Rouhani, members of his reformist political block criticized the president, demanding he intervene to end the house arrest of fellow reformists, create a more significant role for the vice president, and oversee better economic management. - 4/20/18

IMF Sees Iran's GDP Growth At 4 Percent In 2018

- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest World Economic Outlook titled "Cyclical Upswing, Structural Change" predicted a four-percent real gross domestic product (GDP) growth for Iran in 2018, down 0.3 percent from 4.3 percent in 2017. - 4/19/18

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