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October 05 2015
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Trendy Tehran: Meet the female entrepreneurs breaking boundaries in Iran

- Mahsa Rezazadeh started her cafe in Tehran seven years ago and now brings in a better wage than her husband, a lawyer. She attributes her success amid a sanctions-shattered Iranian economy to hard work and the fact that however bad things get in Iran, Iranians cannot resist the smell of a home-cooked meal and freshly brewed coffee. -Maryam Babak, International Business Times - 10/5/15

Trial starts for Iranian tycoon accused of keeping oil proceeds

- Iranian tycoon Babak Zanjani went on trial on Saturday for embezzlement charges involving the sale of oil. ISNA reports that Zanjani was brought to court under strict security measures on Saturday October 3, adding that his lawyer and two sisters were present in court. - 10/4/15

Four Iranian Ministers Warns President Of Looming Economic Crisis

- The Mehr News Agency reported on Sunday September 4 that the ministers of the economy, industry, labour and defence have delivered a joint letter to the Iranian president criticizing the "inconsistent policies of government bodies". - 10/4/15

'Unusual' wheat loadings for Iran in Europe

- Ships are scheduled to make unusual loadings of about 60,000 tonnes of wheat for Iran, but overall demand from the country is expected to be very low this year, European traders say. - 10/4/15

U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Iranian Bank's Appeal Over 1983 Lebanon Attack

- The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by Iran's central bank against a $1.75 billion judgment over a 1983 bomb attack on a U.S. Marines barracks in Lebanon. - 10/2/15

Shell, Total get first gas stations in Iran

- Royal Dutch Shell and France's Total are the first foreign companies ever to win access to Iran's retail energy market after getting permit for 200 service stations which they will set up across the energy-rich country. ​ - 10/2/15

Women in Iran Are Ready to Show They Mean Business

- Women in Iran are ready to make career gains in a way few of their peers can in the Gulf Arab world. -Golnar Motevalli, Bloomberg - 10/1/15

Iran issues treasury bills for first time

- Iran issues its first Islamic treasury bills in a bid to provide stimulus for its market and bring it out of stagnation. At least 400,000 notes with maturity date of March 3, 2016 were issued on Fara Bourse, Iran's over-the-counter market for securities and other financial instruments. - 9/30/15

Accused Iranian tycoon gets trial date two years after arrest

- Almost two years after Iranian tycoon Babak Zanjani was arrested for embezzlement and corruption, his first trial will finally take place on October 3 before Judge Salavati. IRNA reports that Zanjani's lawyer says it is not yet clear whether the trial will be held behind closed doors or not but he adds that his client prefers an open trial in the interest of "public enlightenment". - 9/29/15

Iranian official denies Superjet deal with Russia

- An Iranian official has denied reports that the country had signed contracts to buy Superjet 100 passenger aircraft from Russia. The rebuttal by head of the Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) Ali Abedzadeh came after a Russian news agency alleged that Iran had signed contracts worth $21 billion to buy satellite equipment and aircraft from Russia. - 9/28/15

France welcomes Iran's accession to World Trade Organization

- Matthias Fekl, the French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade and Tourism Development, has said that his country supports Iran's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Fekl made the remark in an interview to Radio France Internationale (RFI) on Wednesday after returning from Iran. - 9/24/15

Iran-Europe Forum seeks to revive trade

- The second Europe-Iran Forum will be held in Geneva on Thursday and Friday to discuss reviving trade links which have hit a bottom low because of sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic. - 9/23/15

Iran's Shoppers Wait for Foreign Brands

- Two months after Iran reached a nuclear deal that will open its markets to the world, officials are warning of economic stagnation as consumers hold off on purchases of domestic goods while they wait for international brands to arrive. From cars to fridges and televisions, shoppers are excited at the prospect of more choice and competition that should force Iranian manufacturers to lower prices and improve quality. -Reuters - 9/23/15

France business development office inaugurated in Tehran

- France has inaugurated a business development office in the Iranian capital Tehran as part of efforts to strengthen economic ties with Iran. French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll and Minister of State for Foreign Trade Matthias Fekl inaugurated the "Business France" office on Monday. - 9/22/15

World's biggest insulin maker invests in Iran

- Denmark's Novo Nordisk is investing 70 million euros in Iran for the production of a new generation of insulin drugs, officials from the two countries say. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Food and Drug Organization of Iran (FDO) to build a manufacturing plant in the next two years, FDO head Rasoul Dinarvand said on Tuesday. - 9/22/15

Iran to issue credit cards, SIM cards for tourists

- Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicraft Organization (CHTHO) will introduce new services for foreign tourists during World Tourism Day celebration on September 27, CHTHO Deputy Director for Tourism Affairs Morteza Rahmani-Movahhed told a press conference on Sunday. - 9/21/15

French companies rue lost chances in Iran

- French firms are worried that their government's headstrong approach in nuclear talks with Iran might have harmed their business chances as international companies are jostling for position in one of the lucrative emerging markets. - 9/21/15

Iran inks gas deal as Omani minister visits

- Iran and Oman have signed an agreement on studying an undersea gas pipeline across the Persian Gulf in a project worth $60 billion, managing director of the National Iranian Gas Exports Company (NIGEC) says. - 9/21/15

Iran's surprising currency drop casts suspicion on government

- The Iranian currency market is in shock with the value of the national currency once again falling against foreign currencies and the dollar trading 150 toumans higher, despite expectations that the prospect of the nuclear agreement would strengthen the touman. - 9/20/15

Rethink for Iran's Exiles Who Never Looked Back

- For years after the 1979 revolution, Iranians who left were dismissed as traitors and those who returned often treated as outsiders. Hundreds of thousands moved to southern California, dubbed their new city Tehrangeles, and didn't look back. But following the 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, and his government's success in reaching a nuclear accord with world powers last month aimed at lifting international sanctions, a shift has begun. -Ladane Nasseri, Bloomberg - 9/20/15

Boeing foresees big business in Iran

- Boeing sees a good opportunity for business in Iran, citing its "long history" in the country and saying it was awaiting a good-ahead from the US government to enter commercial talks with Iranian airlines. - 9/19/15

India's OVL submits $10bn proposal to develop Iran gas field

- India's ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), which is the overseas arm of the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has offered a proposal worth USD 10 billion for development of Iran's Farzad B offshore gas field. - 9/18/15

$25B Investment Package To Revitalize Iran's Tourism Industry

- "In the year 2025 vision plan, Iran must annually host 20 million foreign tourists who could generate between $25-30 billion in foreign exchange earnings," head of the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Masoud Soltanifar said. - 9/17/15

Asia Frontier Capital Iran Economic Report: Waiting For The Sanctions To Be Lifted Soon

- Iran's economy suffered from crippling sanctions: exports dwindled, the currency weakened and inflation soared. Listed stocks on the Tehran Stock Exchange "TSE" are trading at very attractive valuations: weighted average P/E ratio is only 5.3x. Various Western multinationals, especially food and oil companies among others, should benefit. -Seekingalpha - 9/17/15

First Microsoft Store opens in Iran: Tasnim

- A Microsoft Store has opened in Tehran for sales of mobile phones produced by the multinational US technology giant, an Iranian news agency says. If confirmed, it will be the first US company to open a presence in Iran, coming on the heels of a landmark nuclear agreement reached in July to lift all trade sanctions on the Islamic Republic. - 9/16/15

The EU's Emerging Post-Deal Iran Strategy

- Although the debate in the US on the Iran nuclear deal is heated and ongoing, the EU is quietly forging ahead with its own post-deal Iran strategy. Unlike in the US, there is no need for parliamentary review in the European Parliament or in the national parliaments of the EU member states to make the deal effective. On the same day that the UN Security Council unanimously endorsed the deal, so did the Council of the EU-a body representing the national governments of the EU states. -Eldar Mamedov - 9/15/15

Iran to host trade teams from 10 EU states

- Iran says it is preparing to host 10 European trade delegations within the next two weeks, stressing that the rise in the frequency of visits by trade delegations is a result of July nuclear breakthrough with the P5+1. - 9/15/15

EU sees Iran as major gas supplier

- The European Commission estimates that Iran could become a major natural gas supplier to the European Union by the next decade, a new report says. According to an EU official, cited by the Wall Street Journal, the bloc could import up to 35 billion cubic meters of gas a year from Iran by 2030 that would help reduce dependence on Russian shipments. - 9/15/15

Iran holds ground in pomegranate battle with US

- Iran is on course to assert its place as the world's largest producer of pomegranates with one million metric tons of the crop this year, an Agriculture Ministry official says. Harvest is about to begin within a month over 62,000 hectares of land in the country's central, southern and northeastern provinces. Iran's rival in pomegranate production is the US which grows the Iranian native in California. - 9/15/15

Iran To Turn Kish Island In Persian Gulf Into Key Aviation Hub

- Iran says it plans to turn a key airport in the Persian Gulf island of Kish into a regional aviation hub. Based a plan that has been devised to the same effect, the Kish International Airport will be provided with adequate facilities to host tourists that use Iran's airspace to reach other countries like India, Malaysia, Syria, Iraq or the Persian Gulf littoral states. - 9/14/15

France to send major trade team to Iran

- French officials say a major trade delegation will arrive in Tehran later this month to study investment potentials in Iran. The initiative will be led by France's main business lobby group, the Medef. The delegation that it plans to send to Tehran will comprise about 130 firms, including top companies such as Total and Peugeot. - 9/11/15

Iran drops oil price to grab market share

- Latest trading data figures show Iran has lowered the quarterly price for its flagship crude to the lowest in three years in a bid to lure Asian buyers to lock in more term supplies next year. - 9/11/15

What Iranians want: U.S. vacations and German cars

- Iran has been cut off from the world economy for years but that is about to change and its people are gearing up for a shopping spree. -Virginia Harrison, CNN Money - 9/11/15

Workforce participation much lower for Iranian women

- The most recent statistics reveal that the Iranian labour market is predominantly occupied by men, and for every 5.31 men who have jobs, only one woman is employed. IRNA reports that based on Spring 2015 statistics in the agriculture sector, the ratio of men to women is 7.1 to 1, in the industry sector it's 6.7 to 1, and in the service sector it is 5.03 to 1. - 9/10/15

Moody's says Iran banking growth coming

- Moody's rating agency says the removal of sanctions against Iran will be "credit positive" for Iranian banks and will eventually lead to a significant growth in Iran's banking sector. Moody's in a report has emphasized that an anticipated rise in trade and investment in Iran could support asset quality of domestic banks. - 9/10/15

Republican Opponents Of Iran Deal Aim To Keep U.S. State Sanctions In Place

- Republican opponents of the nuclear deal with Iran, facing likely defeat in Washington, are now aiming to keep economic sanctions in place at the U.S. state level. Roughly half of the 50 U.S. states have enacted measures that punish companies if they do business with Iran. - 9/9/15

Iran, Austria Presidents Discuss Regional Security and Trade

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the priority for the resolution of conflict in Syria is to stop bloodshed there. "The first step is to stop the bloodshed [in Syria]," Rouhani said in a joint press conference with visiting Austrian President Heinz Fischer in Tehran on Tuesday. - 9/8/15

Iran's highly educated women face tougher job market

- President Rohani's adviser for women and family affairs says more than 40 percent of women with higher education are unemployed. The deputy minister of labour has said the unemployment rate among people with higher education surpasses the country's overall unemployment average, and the rate among educated women is two and a half times higher than among men. - 9/8/15

Iran-Germany trade to see major rise

- Nils Schmid, the deputy minister-president and minister of finance and economics of Germany's Baden-Wurttemberg State, who is currently visiting Iran has told reporters that the volume of trade between Iran and Germany stands at $1 billion. "Based on plans, this will increase by two folds in the near future and by four folds at a later stage," Schmid has been quoted by the media as saying. - 9/7/15

Major corruption case alleged at Iranian fuel agency

- Analysts speak of systemic corruption in Iran that reached its apex when international sanctions on Iran made the lack of accountability in handling resources and revenues by various government bodies a norm. Efforts by the Rohani administration to uncover some of these corruption cases are reportedly only scratching the surface. - 9/7/15

Iran, Iraq sign three agreements on economic cooperation, eyeing $20bn trade

- Iran and Iraq have signed three agreements for the expansion of cooperation in various economic fields between the two neighboring countries. According to Iranian media, the agreements were signed in presence of Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia and his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari, in Tehran on Sunday. - 9/6/15

Iran's 'red gold' output to hit 300 metric tons

- Iran's production of saffron, the world's most expensive spice known as "red gold," is expected to hit 300 metric tons this year thanks to better rainfall, officials said. -Iran is the world's largest producer and exporter of the ingredient staple used to flavor food and pastries, with further application in medicine and cosmetics. First harvest of the reddish, aromatic plant dates back to 3,000 years ago in Iran. - 9/4/15

Spain ministers due in Iran with big delegation

- Three Spanish ministers will begin an official visit to Iran on Sunday along with a 70-member delegation, including representatives of major businesses such as global energy company Repsol. - 9/3/15

Iran welcomes cooperation with US companies in petchem sector: Official

- Managing director of Iran's National Petrochemical Company (NPC) says the country welcomes cooperation with US companies in petrochemical sector considering that American petrochemical firms are also interested in working with Iran. - 9/2/15

Obama: Iranian Economy Won't Recover from Sanctions Until 2022

- President Barack Obama says it will take the Iranian economy until 2022 to get back to its pre-sanctions level after the recently negotiated nuclear deal comes into force. The president said in an interview with the Jewish newspaper Forward, published Monday, that Iran is going to have to use the $50 billion in unfrozen assets just to prop up its badly-sagging economy. - 9/1/15

Iran's foreign debt rising

- The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has announced that the country's foreign debt has been on the rise during the first three months of the Persian calendar year. According to a new report released by the CBI, Iran's total foreign debt reached 5.48 billion dollars in the first quarter of the current Iranian calendar year (which started on March 21st). - 9/1/15

Iran Sees $30 Billion From Future Tourism

- The deal struck between Iran and six world powers over its nuclear program should see sanctions against the country beginning to ease by next year - and Iranians are hoping the lifting of travel restrictions could prompt an influx of international tourists. Travel agencies already are seeing an increase in demand. -Henry Ridgwell, VOA - 8/28/15

EU working on new deal in rush to Iran

- The European Union is said to be working on a political agreement to fast-track plans for future energy deals in Iran. Financial data and news provider Bloomberg on Thursday cited "two people with direct knowledge of the talks" as saying that the deal could be signed as early as November. - 8/28/15

Swiss conference: Iran 'pole of stability' for business

- Switzerland, which became the first nation to lift sanctions on Iran last month, has arranged a major conference for its business owners, urging them to make the most of business opportunities in the energy-rich country. Some 500 business people gathered in Zurich to have Swiss Ambassador to Tehran Giulio Haas call Iran "the pole of stability in a very, very unsafe region", media reports from the event said. - 8/28/15

Iran Cultivates Closer Ties with Azerbaijan

- After six years of turbulent relations between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, several recent trips by high-ranking Iranian officials to Baku and Azeri ministers to Tehran are the latest signs that the two countries want to forget bad memories and establish closer relations. This rapprochement is in part a response to the mutual security challenges that Iran and Azerbaijan currently face. -LobeLog's Tehran correspondent - 8/27/15

The Biggest Myths About Doing Business with Iran

- I've led three delegations of top international CEOs to Iran over the past three years. The first, in 2013, was during Ahmadinejad's presidency and later, in 2014 and 2015, under Rouhani. We met with Iranian business leaders, young entrepreneurs, religious leaders, students, artists and people we would encounter in markets or on the street. -Dick Simon, Huffington Post - 8/27/15

European companies ignore US, keen on returning to Iran market: Report

- London-based The Guardian, in a new report published on Tuesday, noted that the nuclear agreement has actually widened the gap between the two sides of the Atlantic, saying, "The ink was barely dry on the agreement with Iran ... before a German government plane packed with the nation's economic elite touched down in Tehran." - 8/27/15

Iran admits interest in Russian Superjet

- An Iranian official has admitted Iranian aviation companies' interest in Russia's Superjet passenger planes amid Tehran's quest for new aircraft to build up the country's aging fleet, the Fars news agency says. - 8/27/15

Iran to forgo wheat import for first time

- For the first time, Iran will not import wheat this year thanks to satisfactory state purchases of the crop from local farmers and decent harvest, the country's deputy agriculture minister says. The Agriculture Ministry has bought 7.8 million metric tons of the strategic grain so far, with overall guaranteed purchases expected to surpass eight million metric tons, Ali Qanbari said. - 8/26/15

After Nuclear Deal With West, Iran Gears Up to Cash In

- When Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps took over the nation's telecommunications monopoly in 2009, the move was denounced as another dark step in the hard-line military group's seizure of the levers of power. Last month, however, the company, the Telecommunication Company of Iran, was put up for sale, as the Revolutionary Guards now seem more interested in cashing in on what Iranian leaders are hoping will be a flood of foreign investment... -Thomas Erdbrink, NY Times - 8/22/15

Post-sanctions Iran must focus on building a knowledge economy

- In 1979, the Islamic Revolution rid Iran of over two and a half millennia of monarchy. It also led to a three-decade exodus of highly educated Iranians from the country. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), for over twenty-five years, Iran has consistently had one of the highest rates of brain drain in the world. -Kayvan Vakili, Quartz - 8/21/15

Will Iran nuclear deal affect Persian businesses in L.A.?

- The nuclear deal struck between Iran and the U.N. Security Council is being hotly debated in Congress. In Los Angeles, business people in the largest community of Iranians outside Iran are talking about what an end to sanctions might mean for their businesses. -Andy Uhler, Marketplace - 8/21/15

Europe, US may invest in Iran glass industry

- German, Italian and US companies indicated readiness to invest in Iran's glass manufacturing industry, head of the Iranian Glass and Crystal Producers Association said. They made their intentions known to Iranian officials during visits by European delegations to Tehran recently in the wake of last month's conclusion of nuclear negotiations, Ahmad Amir-Ahmadi said. - 8/19/15

Baku tells Tehran to join EU gas pipeline plan

- Iran's media say Azerbaijan has officially proposed to Iran to join a key project to export natural gas to Europe. Azerbaijan reportedly wants to engage Iran in gas exports to Europe through the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). - 8/19/15

Iran denies plans for establishing chamber of commerce with US

- Iran has denied media reports about plans to set up a joint chamber of commerce with the US after the conclusion of nuclear talks last month. In a statement, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines said no measure has been taken yet for establishing such an entity, adding any reports to the contrary "lacked any legal basis". - 8/18/15

Iran gets first ever associated gas offer

- A French company has proposed to buy associated gas from an offshore Iranian oilfield in the Persian Gulf in order to convert it into LNG, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says. The offer marks the first of its kind to Iran by a foreign company to use natural gas associated with oil production instead of burning it off as the country often does in a practice known as flaring. - 8/18/15

State of Sanctions on Iran after Nuclear Deal

- The following is the introduction and summary of a paper prepared by the law firm Berliner Corcoran and Rowe (BCR) LLP. It addresses the current state of sanctions on Iran in light of the July 14 Joint Comprehensive Program of Action (JCPOA) agreed between the P5+1 and Iran in Vienna and the implications for U.S. individuals and entities wishing to do business in Iran. The entire brief can be found here. -Jim Lobe - 8/17/15

Iran opens Middle East's largest caviar plant

- Iran has opened a sturgeon farm described as the Middle East's largest on its Caspian coasts to produce high-end caviar -- the most prized luxury delicacy reserved for the rich. - 8/17/15

Iran unveils first oil project under new model

- Iran plans a $2.2 billion development of a field shared with Iraq to produce 50,000 barrels of oil per day, an official says, marking the first introduction of major energy projects under a new contract. - 8/14/15

Mercedes pays compensation to Iran Khodro

- German carmaker Mercedes-Benz has paid Iran Khodro 42 million euros in compensation for leaving Iran in the heyday of Western sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Tehran-based media reports say. The reparation comes as Mercedes, owned by Daimler, seeks to return to Iran in anticipation of sanctions being lifted - 8/14/15

India Prepares to Pay $1.4B Iran Oil Dues

- Indian refiners have got the green light to prepare to pay Iran $1.4 billion in oil dues, two sources with knowledge of the issue said, in one of the first signs that last month's nuclear deal is helping Tehran unlock frozen funds. -Reuters - 8/14/15

Switzerland Lifts Sanctions On Iranian Oil, Precious Metals Sales

- Switzerland is lifting some sanctions against Iran in what it calls a sign of support for the agreement between Tehran and world powers over its nuclear program. - 8/13/15

Iran's troubled bond market

- Plagued by the woes of Iran's troubled banking system, many Iranian firms are considering raising capital by issuing dollar-denominated bonds once sanctions are lifted. However, the road to this end won't be easy - and the lifting of sanctions alone won't solve everything. -Morteza Ramezanpour, Al-Monitor - 8/13/15

Iran orders extra 500,000 bpd oil output

- Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh has ordered oil production and exports to be ramped up by 500,000 barrels per day in preparation for the removal of sanctions on Iran, a news agency says. - 8/12/15

The Iran Deal and South Asia

- The agreement between Iran and world powers may be making Iran's Arab neighbors nervous, but for South Asian countries with energy worries, it has come as a relief. The lifting of sanctions on Iran could mean economic growth, improved security, and increased cooperation region-wide. It could be a transforming factor in a region with deep-seated political, economic, and environmental problems. -Fatemeh Aman, LobeLog - 8/12/15

Iran's Carpet Weavers at Work, Anticipating Jump in Exports

- "The Persian hand-woven carpet is Iran's ambassador. I'm delighted that the ambassador is in the process of resuming work in the U.S.," exporter Jila Rassam Arabzadeh said this week. "The Persian carpet is like the Iranian flag, known all over the world. Let our flag fly." -AP - 8/12/15

Iran says can transit Qatar gas to Europe

- Iran has raised a new option to export natural gas to Europe which it says involves extra supplies from Qatar. Mohsen Jalalpour, the president of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, has told reporters Iran can take Qatar's gas and transit it to Turkey to be pumped to Europe. - 8/11/15

Europe Uses Iranian Trips to Bolster Nuclear Deal

- It seems like a weekly tradition for senior European officials to travel to Iran. On August 4, for the third consecutive week, a delegation of Europeans arrived in Tehran, this time as part of an economic panel led by Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Paolo Gentiloni and Minister of Economic Development Frederica Guidi. -LobeLog's Tehran correspondent - 8/10/15

US exports to Iran up 60% in first half of 2015

- Official figures show US exports to Iran jumped by a whopping 60 percent in the first half of 2015. Iran's media have quoted figures released by the US Department of Commerce as showing that the value of US exports over the period reached a total of $140 million. - 8/9/15

France's ADPI to invest in Iran airport projects

- Iran says ADPI Group, a leading French company specializing in airport architecture and engineering has voiced interest in the development of three key airport projects in the country. - 8/9/15
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