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November 21 2017
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Iran, EU hold high-level talks in Tehran amid Trump's threats

- Iran and the EU have started their third round of high-level talks following the 2016 implementation of a nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world countries. Helga Schmid, the EU's deputy political director, met Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi in Tehran Monday to discuss issues of mutual interest, the state news agency IRNA reported. - 11/20/17

Iran says deals near to fund plane purchases from Airbus and Boeing

- Iran says it is close to final agreements with lenders to fund purchases of airplanes from global aviation giants Airbus and Boeing have been finalized. Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan, the Iranian deputy minister of roads and urban development, was quoted by the domestic media as saying that the deliveries of planes would be carried out according the schedule, adding that the next delivery would be made in June 2017. - 11/18/17

Chinese And Asian Banks Curtailed Ties To Iran - Iranian Official

- An official of Iran's Chamber of Commerce (ICC) says that China has imposed further restrictions on banking ties to his country. Ali Shariati, a member of ICC told Iranian News Agency ILNA on November 14, that bank accounts belonging to Iranian businessman in China, Dubai, and Malaysia have been also "blocked" in recent days. - 11/17/17

Iranian Currency Reaches New Lows As Inflation Remains High

- The value of the Iranian rial has again dropped in recent days, reaching a new record low for the national currency. On November 13, one U.S. dollar was exchanged at 41,100 rials, indicating an increase of more than 500 rials in just under two weeks. The euro showed a similar trend reaching 48,900 rials, jumping more than 1,000 rials compared with the beginning of November. - 11/15/17

ATR says to deliver 8 more planes to Iran soon

- European plane maker ATR says it plans to deliver eight more turboprop planes to Iran within the next few weeks. The announcement was made by ATR Chief Executive Officer Christian Scherer who said the deliveries would be made under export licenses issued by the US Treasury Department following the lifting of international nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in 2016. - 11/14/17

Iran-EU Agri-Food Business Forum held in Tehran: Bright future for Iran-EU economic co-op

- Phil Hogan, European Union commissioner for agriculture and rural development, has predicted a bright future for economic cooperation between Iran and the European Union, particularly in food and agriculture sectors. "We seek to tighten bilateral ties between Iran and the EU which secures interests of both sides," he said. Hogan, leading a 70-member delegation from 40 European companies to Tehran, made the remarks addressing the Iran-EU Agri-Food Business Forum at the place of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (TCCIMA) on Saturday. - 11/13/17

First cargo of Indian wheat reaches Afghanistan via Iran

- Afghanistan says it has received an inaugural consignment of wheat from India through a project which has opened a new trade and transit route in the region. The shipment of almost 15,000 tonnes of wheat dispatched from India's western port of Kandla late last month reportedly reached the Afghan province of Nimroz, which borders Iran, on Saturday. - 11/13/17

Iraq in talks to export Kirkuk oil to Iranian refinery

- Iran and Iraq have reportedly started talks over the shipment of crude oil from the fields around Kirkuk to the Kermanshah refinery inside the Iranian territory. Reports quoted Alaa al-Mussawi, the director of Iraq's state-oil marketer State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO), as saying in a statement that the Kermanshah refinery would be supplied with 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Kirkuk fields. - 11/8/17

Silk Road Startup Announces Iran”Ēs Top 10 Startups

- Silk Road Startup's Road Trip was held from October 22nd to 31st. After a series of pitch competitions around 7 cities of Iran, 10 startups have been selected to pitch for the finals in Kish Island. Silk Road Startup organized the first ever series of pitch competitions around Iran with the aim of tracking the country's top startups. Of the 400 applicants which registered for the pitch competitions, 84 were selected to pitch in front of a team of the local and international jury in 7 cities of the country. -Hamed Jafari, TechRasa - 11/7/17

U.S. Policy Towards Iran's Economic Reintegration

- On July 14, 2015, the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran reached an agreement under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The agreement stipulated that all UN Security Council sanctions as well as all multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program would halt in exchange for a commitment from Iran to roll back its nuclear activities. -Kia Rahnama, Modern Diplomacy - 11/6/17

Iran expects record high exports of crude steel

- Iran's crude steel exports are expected to reach a record high of 8 million tons by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2018). As a major steel producer in the region, Iran has boosted steel production in recent years, as central Isfahan and southwestern Khuzestan provinces remain the major steel producers. - 11/5/17

Peugeot delay to begin production perplexes Iranians

- Paris-based PSA has yet to start production of the Peugeot 2008 in Iran despite the launch of an assembly line in the country seven months ago. The maker of Peugeots and Citroens announced a joint-venture worth 400 million euro ($450 million) with its former local partner Iran Khodro (IKCO) in May for the joint production of 200,000 cars per year in Tehran. - 11/4/17

France's Total to comply with any US sanctions on Iran: CEO

- Total says it has opened an office in Washington to coordinate its operations in Iran where the French oil and gas major plans to develop Phase 11 of the giant South Pars gas field. Total was the first Western energy firm to sign a major deal, worth $4.8 billion, with Iran after sanctions were lifted on the Islamic Revolution in 2016 under a nuclear agreement. However, US President Donald Trump's refusal last month to endorse the nuclear agreement with Iran and his threat to levy new sanctions on the country has thrown the future of the deal into doubt. - 11/4/17

Iranians Drained by Empty Government Promises

- President Hassan Rohani's 2013 campaign promised Iranians that within one hundred days of his presidency they will feel the effects of his plan to improve the situation of the country in their everyday lives. One hundred days after being elected in 2013, Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, made an appearance on the state television claiming that he has been successful in delivering on his promises. -Taher Khaljani - 10/31/17

Iran Rejects Turkmen Proposal For Gas Shipments To Turkey

- Energy politics around the Caspian Sea breeds complications, as a recent example involving Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Armenia reminds us. Turkmenistan is in a serious bind. The country has the fourth-largest natural gas reserves in the world but currently has only one customer -- China -- at a time when Turkmenistan's economy appears to be spiraling downward. -Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL - 10/31/17

Russia looking into piping gas from Iran to Pakistan, India

- Russia says it is studying a plan to export natural gas to Pakistan and India through Iran in ambitious project that would involve laying an offshore pipeline. Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper in a report said Russia was proceeding with the project out of concerns that it could lose Europe's gas market as a result of disputes with the United States and the European Union. - 10/31/17

India Launches New Trade Route To Afghanistan Via Iran

- India has launched a new trade route to landlocked Afghanistan by sea through Iran's strategic Chabahar port, a move that bypasses Pakistan and could have significant geopolitical ramifications in the region. - 10/30/17

U.S. House Votes To Sanction Suppliers To Iran's Ballistic-Missile Programs

- The U.S. House of Representatives, in a near-unanimous vote, approved legislation to impose new sanctions related to Iran's ballistic-missile program, an issue separate from the 2015 international nuclear deal with Tehran. The bipartisan measure, which passed by a 423-2 vote, requires the U.S. administration to sanction Iran for undertaking "any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic-missile technology." - 10/27/17

Toyota's U.S. Apology Raises Specter Of 'Fear' Of Iran Dealings

- The world's largest carmaker selling a single vehicle to a country of 82 million people is not usually a recipe for controversy. But that's what Toyota is facing after it issued an apology and revealed on October 24 that the Japanese car manufacturer's Indian subsidiary, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private, sold one vehicle to the Iranian Embassy in New Delhi in early 2017. -Freud Bezhan, RFE/RL - 10/27/17

The US and Iranian battle over the pistachio nut trade

- There are lots of casualties in international conflicts but this one is nuts, you might say - although strictly speaking the pistachio is a seed. The international pistachio trade has faced unexpected headwinds due to the tensions between Iran and the US. The global pistachio industry is a multi-billion dollar a year sector that is continuing to grow in value as its popularity as a foodstuff grows. -Zoe Thomas, BBC - 10/26/17

Iran's oil exports to China up 59 percent in September

- The latest market figures show that Iran's exports of crude oil to China in September saw a whopping increase of 59 percent compared to the same period last year. Figures released by Reuters showed that Iran exported as much as 3.22 million tonnes - or 784,000 barrels per day (bpd) - to Asia's largest and world's second top consumer last month. - 10/25/17

91-year-old doll-maker: "A woman is never incapable"

- Every morning I wake up with my heart full of love. I have an enthusiasm to make new dolls, says Bibi Hazer Omidvari, a 91-year-old Iranian woman born and grown up in the southwestern city of Kazeroon. "Thanks God that granted me the patience of making dolls. If I wasn't busy with these dolls, I always thought of my past and the burdens I had tolerated in my life. Then these memories would make me cry," she explained. -Naghmeh Mizanian, Tehran Times - 10/24/17

Iran Sanctions Policy Increasingly Throttles Free Trade in Ideas

- In 1988, as legislators were creating the legal basis for the modern use of economic sanctions as a tool of American foreign policy, an important amendment was added to two laws, the Trading With the Enemy Act (TWEA) and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). The so-called Berman Amendment was devised to withdraw the president's authority to use sanctions to prohibit the import or export of informational materials, whether directly or indirectly. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, LobeLog - 10/24/17

Tehran Stock Exchange moves to bridge foreign investment gap

- Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) hosted a conference on Sunday to attract more foreign capital via introducing foreigners to Iranian capital market and making Iranian firms aware of the pre-requisites for attraction of foreign investments such as financial transparency, compliance standards, feasibility studies, business plans, and risk ratings. -Haniyeh Sadat Jafariyeh, Tehran Times - 10/24/17

Iran says markets unfazed by Trump's threats

- Iran's Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh says global oil markets have remained unfazed by the recent positions of US President Donald Trump against Iran's nuclear deal which the United States and five other states sealed in 2015. - 10/23/17

Iran's trade with China up 24 percent

- The latest market figures show the level of trade between Iran and China increased by almost a quarter over the past eight months. Iran-China trade reached above $24 billion from January to the end of August this year, showing an increase of 24 percent compared to last year. - 10/23/17

Secretary Tillerson says Europe can do business with Iran

- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the US is not opposed to European countries doing business with Iran, contradicting President Donald Trump's belligerent rhetoric against Tehran. Tillerson's remarks in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published Friday came one week after Trump refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal and left its fate to the US Congress. - 10/20/17

Warming Uzbek-Iranian Relations Worth Watching

- A recent meeting of officials from Uzbekistan and Iran was a curious event. Central Asia has seen a reshuffling of relations over the past couple years, and improved relations between Tashkent and Tehran is one of the more intriguing developments. -Bruce Pannier - 10/20/17

Iran's Non-Oil GDP Growth At 7% In 6 Months

- Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht said on Tuesday that the country's non-oil gross domestic product grew by seven percent during the first half of the present Iranian calendar year (March 21-September 22, 2017), IRIB news reported. - 10/19/17

Total CEO says to move ahead with key Iran project

- French oil and gas major Total says it will try to push ahead with an Iranian gas project if the US decides to impose unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The announcement was made by Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne in an interview with International Oil Daily. - 10/19/17

IMF Chief Lagarde declines Trump's call against Iran

- Barely 24 hours after President Donald Trump called on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to stop lending to Iran, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde firmly said no, writes John Gizzi of She said that there was no change in its policy with regard to funds to Iran based on cues from the US. - 10/18/17

Ericsson seals deal to help Iran launch IoT

- Iran has signed an agreement with Ericsson, the leading provider of communications technology solutions, to use its help in launching the Internet of Things (IoT) across the country. The agreement - which could take the country closer to a plan to move toward smart cities and automated utilities - was signed between Ericsson and the Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran (Hamrah Aval) - the country's largest mobile operator - on the sidelines of Iran Telecom Fair 2017 in Tehran. - 10/18/17

Iranian Minister Says Ready To Do Business With U.S. Oil Companies

- Iran is ready to do business with American oil companies even though the United States still prohibits them from operating in the country, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has said. "American companies can come to Iran and benefit so [U.S. President Donald Trump] won't be upset," Zanganeh said, according to SHANA, the news site of the Iranian Oil Ministry. - 10/18/17

Norway Defies Trump, Enters 4-Billion-Dollar Deal With Iran

- Norwegian solar company Saga Energy has signed a $4-billion investment deal with Iran just days after US President Donald Trump calls for isolating Tehran. "Norway is fully committed to the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) and this is proof that we have taken the opening very seriously, and we will see more investment very soon," AFP quoted Norway's Ambassador to Tehran Lars Nordrum on Tuesday. - 10/18/17

Tehran hosting Iran-Iraq business forum

- The two day Iran-Iraq business forum kicked off at the Tehran's Summit Conference Hall on Sunday. "Iran-Iraq trade is predicted to reach $20 billion," the Iranian Head of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce Yahya Ale-Es'haq was quoted as addressing the held business forum. - 10/16/17

Renault planning for long-term presence in Iran: CEO

- Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault, announced that his company has a long-term serious plan for presence in the Iranian market. Making the remarks during a press conference in Paris last week on revealing the company's mid-term plan, the CEO underlined the significance of Iranian market and stressed that Renault will not leave the country, public relations department of Renault's office in Tehran reported on Wednesday. - 10/13/17

Majority of Business Leaders Blame Trump for Slow Iran Investments

- As President Donald Trump threatens to de-certify Iran's compliance with the JCPOA, the political environment around post-sanctions trade and investment has grown more contentious. Yet, at the same time, after extensive negotiations with leading multinational companies, Iran has witnessed landmark agreements signed across industries, with billions of dollars of investment committed and financing agreements inked. For those business leaders continuing to push ahead in Iran, and for the Iranian public to whom they are accountable, the question is what to make of such contradictions. -Esfandyar Batmanghelidj - 10/12/17

Iran's Economy Recovers in Time for New Sanctions

- As Washington gets ready for President Trump to throw the first stone in the killing of the Iran nuclear deal next week, Iranians are trying to preserve their hard-won gains from the agreement. After three years of recession, mainly caused by international sanctions, in the 18 months since the agreement went into effect in January 2016, Iran's economy has come roaring back. -Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, LobeLog - 10/12/17

Iran's Gas Exports: Potentials and Challenges

- Although Iran ranks first in the world in terms of natural gas reserves - according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the country holds around 18 percent of total proven natural gas reserves globally-, when it comes to exports, it has a long way to the top of the list of gas exporting countries. - 10/12/17

Iran's GDP Growth at 3.8 Percent in 2018: IMF

- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest World Economic Outlook titled "Seeking Sustainable Growth: Short-Term Recovery, Long-Term Challenges" predicted a 3.8 percent real GDP growth for Iran in 2018, rising from 3.5 percent in 2017. - 10/12/17

Iranian Authorities Arrest Brother of Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri

- An Iranian news website has reported the arrest of the brother of the country's vice president over various finance-related matters. The Tabnak website, affiliated with Iran's hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), reported on October 6 that Eshaq Jahangiri's brother, Mehdi Jahangiri, was taken into custody. - 10/7/17

Europe-Iran Forum's message to Donald Trump

- The 4th Europe-Iran Forum (EIF) was held amid U.S. President Donald Trump claiming that he may decertify in October the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers under the pretext that the Islamic Republic has not been abiding by its commitments. Focusing on post-sanction investment and trade with Iran the forum was held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Zurich, Switzerland. - 10/5/17

Trump threats loom over Iran-EU business summit

- ZURICH -- Uncertainty over what US President Donald Trump will do with the Iran nuclear deal hung over a conference here on Europe-Iran business that showcased both progress as well as continuing internal Iranian obstacles to foreign trade and investment. -Barbara Slavin, Al-Monitor - 10/5/17

Death Of Young 'Porter' Highlights Plight Of Iran's 'Human Mules'

- Working in the smuggling trade in Iran is a risky business -- one that has cost the lives of hundreds of anonymous "human mules" who carry heavy loads of contraband on their backs across the western border with Iraq and Turkey. The death of 17-year-old Vahid Dolatkhah provides an exception to the norm -- a face, a name, and an identity of one of those who died plying the perilous trade. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 10/4/17

Iran, Russia sign Caspian oil exploration deals

- Iran has signed two agreements with Russia's Lukoil to jointly look for hydrocarbon reserves in the southern parts of the Caspian Sea - a groundbreaking move that could have significant economic as well as political outcomes for both Tehran and Moscow. - 10/4/17

Iran Worried As Unemployment Reaches 60% In Some Cities

- The Islamic Republic's Interior Minister has expressed concern about unemployment; especially in those cities where he says about 60% of the workforce is unemployed. In an interview with Iran Students News Agency, ISNA, the minister noted, "Social harms are more acute in areas where the unemployment rate is high". - 10/3/17

Total preparing to do Russia-style Iran funding

- Total has indicated that it plans to use the same solutions it employs for doing business in Russia under US sanctions, for a key gas project in Iran in case Washington reimposes sanctions against the country. Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne told The Financial Times that his company had successfully used an alternative basket of foreign currencies in providing funds for the development of a key gas project in Russia which faces US financial restrictions. - 10/3/17

US interior secretary Ryan Zinke hints at economic war on Iran

- US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says Washington is now better placed to use its "economic dominance" to cut Iran's oil revenues. Speaking at the Heritage Foundation on Friday, Zinke said US "economic leverage would work to supplant every drop of crude that Iran produces and energy dominance is part of that," the Washington Examiner website reported. - 10/2/17

Russia Ranks 38th On World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness List; Iran 69th

- Russia has led its partners in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with the highest ranking among the group in the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2017-18 Global Competitiveness Report. Russia ranked 38th on the list of 137 countries rated in this year's WEF report. Other countries ranked included Azerbaijan at 35, Georgia at 67, Iran no. 69, Tajikistan at 79, Ukraine no. 8,; Moldova at 89, and Bosnia-Herzegovina no. 103. - 10/1/17

Spike in Labor Protests in Iran is Changing the Political Milieu

- In the past weeks labor protests and strikes have increased across Iran with workers speaking out against layoffs and nonpayment of wages. Iran's ailing economy has not recovered from the nuclear sanctions and even after the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal, workers' living conditions have not improved. - 10/1/17

Iran Air receives two new ATR planes

- Franco-Italian aviation player ATR has delivered two more turboprop planes to Iran's national flag-carrier airline Iran Air thus bringing the total number of deliveries to six from a package of 20. The planes landed at Tehran's Mehrabad airport Thursday morning. - 9/29/17

Iran's inflation rate stands at 9.9%: Central Bank

- The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced that the inflation rate for the 12-month period ended on the last day of the sixth Iranian calendar month of Shahrivar (September 22) compared to the same period in the previous year hit 9.9 percent, Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday. - 9/28/17

Iran's Post-Sanctions Financial Windfall Was Overstated. What Does That Mean for Policy?

- The Trump administration seems poised to scuttle the Iran nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Agreement (JCPOA). If it does, this decision will be a triumph for the deal's critics, who have aggressively undersold the JCPOA's achievements in limiting the country's nuclear program and oversold the economic relief it gave Iran. -National Interest - 9/27/17

Iranian Miners' Call for Justice Echoes in Social Media

- In December of 2015 miners of Agh Dareh gold mines staged a number of protests which earned many miners imprisonment, flogging and hefty fines. Some of the miners described their treatment in a 59 second video where one of the Agh Dareh residents stresses that miners were imprisoned, flogged and fined simply because they wanted to work and earn a living. - 9/26/17

Iran inks banking deals worth 1.5 Billion Euros with Austria and Denmark

- Austria's Oberbank and Denmark's Danske Bank signed deals worth 1 billion Euros and 500 million Euros respectively with Iran on Thursday to be the first European banks to resume banking ties with the country after the lifting of sanctions in January 2016. The first deal was signed in Vienna by Oberbank's CEO and Chairman of the Board Franz Gasselsberger and representatives of 14 Iranian banks, IRNA reported. - 9/23/17

Iranian Workers in City of Arak, Peacefully Demanding Unpaid Wages, Beaten and Arrested by Anti-Riot Police

- Anti-riot police forces stormed peaceful protests by workers at two industrial units in Arak, the capital of Iran's Central Province, on September 19, 2017, and arrested several people, according to information received by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). A labor activist who asked not to be identified for security reasons told CHRI that day that several workers were detained during the protests against the Heavy Equipment Production Company (HEPCO) and the Azarab Industries Company. - 9/22/17

Poll: Iranians Want Economic Reform, More Engagement With Europe

- A new IranPoll survey conducted in August finds that Iranians generally support globalization, want to see economic reform inside Iran, and want to improve their economic ties with Europe in particular. They are concerned, however, that U.S. pressure will cause European companies to think twice about doing business in Iran. The results show an Iranian public that seems increasingly optimistic about their economic future under the sanctions relief provided by the Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA)-at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump is seriously threatening the deal. -Derek Davison - 9/19/17

At $80 an ounce, it's not for everyone. But Iranian caviar is eyeing a comeback in the U.S.

- Nasser Meshkin Azarian took a careful nibble, letting the salty, grainy texture roll across his tongue. He smiled and washed it down with a sip of cool water. "I give it an 82 or 83" out of 100, Azarian said. At the retail price of $80 an ounce in Iran, it was an expensive bite. But beluga caviar is for discerning palates. -Los Angeles Times - 9/19/17

Lack of transparency challenges foreign investment in Iran: Jens Ronnberg

- A member of European Central Bank's Executive Board and an auditor in PricewaterhouseCoopers firm says transparency is still the major obstacle to international companies' cooperation with Iran. "We must pay special attention to financial security. Iranian companies must be responsible for risk management and ensure the investors that they have thought out potential risks," he added. - 9/18/17

U.S. Extends Iran Nuclear Sanctions Relief, Adds Other Sanctions Over Missile Activity

- The United States says it is extending sanctions relief for Iran that was granted under the 2015 nuclear deal, while imposing new penalties on several individuals and entities over the country's ballistic-missile program. The State Department announced on September 14 that it will continue to waive sanctions on Iran as part of the nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers, but that no decision has yet been made on whether to preserve the deal itself. - 9/15/17

China Signs Deal To Provide Iran With 10 Billion Dollars In Loans

- China has signed an agreement with Iran to provide a credit line of $10 billion for its infrastructure projects - what is seen as the biggest economic deal between the two countries after the removal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic in 2016. - 9/15/17

US House votes to block aircraft sales to Iran

- The US House of Representatives has voted in favor of new measures that block sales of commercial aircraft to Iran, ignoring some lawmakers' warnings that the hostile move would undermine the 2015 nuclear agreement between the Islamic Republic and the six world powers. - 9/14/17

Mercedes-Benz inks deal to resume Iran trucks business

- Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG, has signed a contract with Iran Khodro to distribute its trucks in the Middle Eastern country, the German automaker has said. The deal signed on Tuesday includes creating a joint venture to provide sales and after-sale services in the Islamic Republic, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported. - 9/13/17

Iran Signs Deals To Repair Syria's Power Grid, Infrastructure

- Iran has signed a series of deals and memorandums of understanding with Damascus to repair Syria's electrical-power infrastructure, state media report, giving the Islamic republic a potential foothold in war-torn Syria's eventual rebuilding process. - 9/13/17

Over 4.9 million foreign travelers visited Iran in 2016: UNWTO

- The number of international tourist arrivals to Iran stood at 4.9 million in 2016, falling 5.6 percent from a year earlier and showing the first decline since 2013, according to the latest UNWTO Tourism Highlights report released on August 15. - 9/12/17

Companies from 26 countries explore Iranians taste buds

- Along with companies from 26 countries, three American firms are taking part at Tehran Cookies and Chocolate Exhibition, being billed as the greatest professional event of the Middle East in the pastry and chocolate industry. According to Jamshid Maghazei, secretary of the Association of Iranian Confectionery Manufacturing Companies, 68 companies from as many diverse countries as Italy, Spain, Germany, France, the US, China, Turkey, the UAE, Malaysia and Ukraine are attending the event. - 9/12/17

Following Apple's footsteps, Google Play drops Iranian apps

- Digital service distributor Google Play has followed Apple's lead in removing Iranian apps from its store, citing US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Companies such as Google and Apple were hosting Iranian apps reportedly under a license issued by former President Barack Obama's administration in 2014 but it is not clear why they have stopped those services now. - 9/10/17

EU rejects punitive measures against Iran steel

- Iran's steel exports to Europe are now safe from punitive measures after EU governments reject hitting imports from the Middle Eastern country with trade tariffs. The European Commission, which sets out trade policy in the 28-member European Union, had proposed duties of up to 23 percent for steel from Iran's Mobarakeh Steel Company (MSC). - 9/10/17

Protest Against Killing of Couriers in Iran's Kurdistan Province Attacked by Security Forces

- A protest was met with tear gas in the city of Baneh in northwestern Iran on September 5, 2017, after people gathered in front of the local governor's office to demonstrate against the killing by Iranian border guards of two "kulbars," the Farsi word for border-crossing couriers. - 9/8/17

After years of sanctions, Persian rugs back to brighten world markets

- Iran's capital city hosted the world's largest and most prestigious handmade carpet exhibition Aug. 23-29. Hamid Kargar, the head of Iran National Carpet Center, told Al-Monitor, "About 730 companies from across Iran and dozens of carpet traders from across the globe participated in the 26th Iran Handmade Carpet Exhibition." He added, "Among them were more than 90 international businessmen, including 14 Americans and 14 Japanese, who came to Iran for the first time." -Maysam Bizaer, Al Monitor - 9/7/17

Indians push for undersea gas pipeline from Iran

- With a $7 billion project to pump gas from Iran discarded, a 1,300 km undersea pipeline is finding new proponents in India where they say natural gas from the Persian Gulf can reach at rates less than the price of LNG available in the spot market. The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (Assocham India) has released the results of its study on "a trans-national deep water gas pipeline from Iran, passing through Oman but by-passing Pakistan," it said. - 9/6/17

Iranian job market shifting toward female workforce

- An investigation into the job market in Iran shows that employment among women has decreased in comparison with men during 2006-2013, but the trend has reversed over the past three years. Although women's participation rate has reached 17 percent in recent years, but the rate of women's entrance to the job market is now more than 50 percent, according to Masoud Nili, a top economic aide of President Hassan Rouhani. - 9/5/17

Each tourist means 30 barrels of oil in revenues for Iran

- Every single foreign tourist visiting Iran spends an average of $1,200, bringing in income as much as exporting 30 barrels of oil, the Iranian tourism chief said in a meaningful comparison as the country seeks to cut reliance on oil incomes. "Tourism [boom] will have a significant impact on job creation," Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization Director Ali-Asghar Mounesan said on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. - 9/4/17

Iran seeking to develop start-up jobs: Information Minister

- Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Iran's Minister of Information and Communications Technology, has said that his most ambitious plan is to develop start-up businesses in Iran, which is highly sought by the young population. "Providing infrastructure for the development of employment is at the top of our agenda, which would be fulfilled by supporting start-up businesses," Azari Jahromi told Press TV on Tuesday - 8/31/17

Iranian Zoroastrian NGO making efforts for women's empowerment

- The Zoroastrian Women's Organization, an NGO founded in 1950 in Iran, is trying to empower women and girls in different aspects, Mehrangiz Shahzadi, the vice president of the organization said here on Monday. The organization follows several goals such as creating jobs for the youth and improving business markets for all walks of life especially for women and girls, Shahzadi said in an interview with the Tehran Times. - 8/31/17

Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings

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