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Iran, India agree to expand relations: President Rouhani

- Heading a high-ranking delegation, Modi arrived in the Iranian capital on Sunday. The Indian prime minister was accorded an official welcome in Tehran at the start of a two-day visit to make a case for India's space in Iran's market following the lifting of sanctions. - 5/23/16

Iran, India, Afghanistan sign Chabahar transit agreement

- Iran, India and Afghanistan sign a key trilateral deal, known as the Chabahar agreement, to establish a strategic transit and transport route connecting the three countries. The agreement was signed in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Monday. - 5/23/16

Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea and positions of Iran

- The Caspian littoral states (Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan) have been working on a document called "draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea" for the last several years in numerous meetings at various levels including the summit conferences of the heads of states and governments. They have not yet succeeded to reach a consensus on all important articles of such a document which are related to the criteria for delimitation of the Caspian Sea. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 5/23/16

India PM in Tehran to strike agreement on Chabahar Port development

- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in the Iranian capital Tehran at the head of a large delegation to boost economic and political ties with Tehran. Modi landed in Tehran on Sunday for a two-day visit with Iranian officials. He was welcomed by Iran's Economy Minister Ali Tayebnia at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport. - 5/22/16

Hill Update: National Defense Authorization Act

- As we have over the past few months, LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now about what Congress is up to and what individual members are saying, particularly about Israel-Palestine and Iran. -LobeLog - 5/22/16

North Korea and the GCC

- North Korea has had a relatively short and somewhat complicated relationship with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Despite the lack of an energy relationship, North Korea does interact with the GCC in three realms. It maintains an official diplomatic relationship with five of the six countries, primarily through its embassy in Kuwait. It sends laborers to work in many of the GCC countries. And it is involved, somewhat tangentially, in military affairs in the region as well. -John Feffer, LobeLog - 5/22/16

Iran's oil exports at highest level since 2012

- The latest market figures show that oil exports in April reached the highest level in over four years - a yet another indication that the country is regaining the share of the market it lost as a result of the sanctions at a faster pace than expected. - 5/19/16

Iranian-Turkish Businessman Seeks Bond in Sanctions Evasion Case

- WASHINGTON- Lawyers for an Iranian-Turkish national arrested in March on charges of conspiring to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran have asked a federal court to set a $50 million bond for his release until trial. Reza Zarrab is one of three people charged in what prosecutors allege was a five-year scheme involving millions of dollars in transactions on behalf of the Iranian government and businesses. -Chris Hannas, VOA - 5/19/16

Regime Changers and War Hawks Dominate Congressional Iran Deal Hearing

- It didn't take long for the much remarked upon New York Times Magazine profile of Obama foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes to reach a height that all probing news stories might aspire to: spurring Congressional hearings to investigate wrongdoing on the part of the government. -Ali Gharib, LobeLog - 5/17/16

Hill Update: Undermining the Iran Nuclear Deal

- As we have over the past few months, LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now about what Congress is up to and what individual members are saying, particularly about Israel-Palestine and Iran. -LobeLog - 5/16/16

Iran Hosts Holocaust Cartoon Contest

- Masuod Shojai-Tabatabai, the secretary of the contest, claimed it had nothing to do with denying the Holocaust, but that it was meant to highlight the plight of Muslims currently being massacred "by the Zionist regime in Gaza and Palestine." -VOA - 5/14/16

Sadiq Khan and the End of Islamophobia

- In the recent mayoral race in London, the Conservative Party's Zac Goldsmith was in many ways the perfect candidate: a young, handsome fellow who possessed full-spectrum appeal. To win the election, Goldsmith could have focused on all the work he'd done on the environment, as a journalist and former editor of the magazine The Ecologist... Instead, the Goldsmith team prompted a huge backlash by suggesting that his opponent, the Labor Party's Sadiq Khan, was a Muslim extremist because of his associations and his political bedfellows. -John Feffer, LobeLog - 5/14/16

The Costs of Violence

- In brief, the Global War on Terror sledgehammer strategy has spread jihadi terror from a tiny corner of Afghanistan to much of the world, from Africa through the Levant and South Asia to Southeast Asia. It has also incited attacks in Europe and the United States. The invasion of Iraq made a substantial contribution to this process, much as intelligence agencies had predicted. -Noam Chomsky, LobeLog - 5/13/16

Neocons for Trump?

- The dominant media narrative is that an insurmountable chasm exists between Donald Trump and the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party. Derek Davison and Jim Lobe mapped out the contours of that divide, pointing to Trump's isolationist foreign policy leanings and his position as "neutral" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the basis for neocons' discontent. -Eli Clifton - 5/12/16

U.S. Holocaust Museum Calls On Iran To Disavow Cartoon Contest

- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has called on the Iranian government to disavow a Holocaust cartoon contest that is due to kick off next week. Iran's foreign minister has denied any affiliation with the event, which begins on May 14 and features prizes ranging from $5,000 to $12,000 for the top three entries. - 5/12/16

Iranian pilgrims won't be sent to Hajj this year: Minister

- Iran says it will not send pilgrims to Hajj this year because Saudi Arabia is refusing to cooperate on arrangements for Iranians to join the annual rituals in September. "Conditions are not prepared for conducting Hajj; we have lost the time; we made our utmost effort but the sabotage is coming from the Saudis," Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati said on Thursday. - 5/12/16

American Power Under Challenge

- When we ask "Who rules the world?" we commonly adopt the standard convention that the actors in world affairs are states, primarily the great powers, and we consider their decisions and the relations among them. That is not wrong. But we would do well to keep in mind that this level of abstraction can also be highly misleading. -Noam Chomsky, LobeLog - 5/12/16

Kerry To Meet With London Bankers On Doing Business With Iran

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with top bankers in London on May 12 to reassure them that the United States will not stand in the way if they want to do business with Iran. He contended that some banks have used remaining U.S. sanctions on Tehran as an "excuse" to not venture into Iran, despite their ability to do so now that most global sanctions have been removed under Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. - 5/11/16

Additional Weirdness in Opposition to the Iran Nuclear Agreement

- The never-say-die efforts to kill the Iranian nuclear agreement have been taking some strange turns lately. Two in particular. One is that some of the same opponents who, before the agreement was adopted, spent much energy berating the terms of the agreement are now focusing instead on criticizing certain actions by the U.S. administration toward Iran that the opponents assert are not among the terms of the agreement... -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 5/11/16

Take A Photo With Syrian Destruction At Tehran's Book Fair

- A photo booth where visitors can have their photos taken in front of images of war-torn Syria is among the attractions at this year's Tehran Book Fair. The booth attracted criticism after Iran's official government news agency, IRNA, published photos of visitors sitting atop a motorcycle while wearing military attire, with a backdrop of a bombed-out city looming behind them. - 5/11/16

Saudi Energy Policies Unlikely to Shift Under New Minister

- Saudi Arabia's energy policies are unlikely to change despite the fact that longtime energy minister, Ali al-Naimi, was removed on May 7 and Khalid al-Falih appointed as his successor. -Sara Vakhshouri, LobeLog - 5/11/16

Lawmaker Says Up To Six Iranian Personnel Captured In Syria

- A senior Iranian lawmaker says around six Iranian military personnel have been taken captive in Syria following May 6 clashes with Islamist insurgents that left 13 "military advisers" dead and more than a dozen injured. The statement by Esmail Kowsari appears to be the first official confirmation by Tehran that its fighters have been taken prisoner in Syria. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 5/10/16

Iran police chase involving illegal Afghan immigrants ends in fatalities

- A police car chase of a truck in Kerman led to the death of five immigrants and injury of another 13. ISNA reports that the truck carrying illegal immigrants sped away when the police tried to stop it, resulting in a chase in the Anar region of Kerman on Saturday May 7. - 5/10/16

Samuels, Rhodes, and the Iran Deal: Consider the Source

- A May 5 New York Times Magazine profile of Ben Rhodes, Barack Obama's Deputy National Security Advisor for strategic communications, has revived the debate over the negotiations that led to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Specifically, the piece highlights what appear to be efforts by Rhodes and his communications team to obfuscate the nature and goals of the negotiations and to use reporters and sympathetic arms control experts as an "echo chamber" supporting the White House's messaging. -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 5/10/16

Iran test-fires long-range ballistic missile

- Iran recently test-fired a ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers and accuracy to within eight meters, a senior Iranian military official says quoted by the Tasnim news agency. - 5/9/16

The Viability Of Central-South Asian Energy Projects

- The groundbreaking ceremony for the Central Asia-South Asia electricity transmission project, known as CASA-1000, is scheduled for May 12 in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe. The leaders of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan are coming to join Tajik President Emomali Rahmon for the event. -Bruce Pannier, RFE - 5/9/16

Iran Admits Heavy Casualties In Syria

- Tehran says several of its soldiers have been killed in fighting near Aleppo, in what could be one of Iran's biggest losses in Syria since deploying forces to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. - 5/8/16

Hill Update: Undermining the Iran Nuclear Deal

- As we have over the past few months, LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now about what Congress is up to and what individual members are saying, particularly about Israel-Palestine and Iran. - 5/8/16

US Navy to Avoid Hormuz After Iran Threat to Close Strait

- U.S. Defense Department spokesman Colonel Steven Warren says U.S. warships have stopped accompanying U.S. and British-flagged commercial vessels through the Strait of Hormuz. The move came after Iran threatened to close the waterway to U.S. and allied vessels. - 5/6/16

Non-Aligned Movement slams US court ruling on Iran's frozen assets

- The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which is comprised of 120 member states, has denounced the US Supreme Court's recent ruling that allows for the seizure of frozen Iranian assets, describing the measure as violation of the international law. - 5/6/16

The Price Bahrain Pays for Saudi Assistance

- Predictably, Bahrain has sided entirely with its neighbor and close ally Saudi Arabia in the Riyadh-Tehran diplomatic crisis. Of the five smaller GCC states, Bahrain alone completely severed diplomatic relations with Iran. -Cinzia Bianco and Giorgio Cafiero, LobeLog - 5/5/16

Hajj to be canceled unless Saudis carry out responsibilities: Iran

- "If Saudi Arabia carries out its responsibilities as the host government towards the health and safety of the pilgrims, Hajj will take place, otherwise, Iranians will not be able to take part in Hajj." - 5/4/16

Iran Nuclear Deal: One-time Event or Breakthrough?

- - Tehran and Washington have apparently hired the same speechwriter to compose their public statements about the state of Iranian nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA). In both capitals the proclaimed view is identical: the nuclear agreement is only a one-off event and has no larger implications for U.S.-Iranian relations; there has been no break in the 35-year cycle of hostility between the two countries; the devil remains the devil, even if we had to make a deal with it... -John Limbert - 5/3/16

Report: Iran Paying With Blood to Prop Up Syrian Regime

- Keeping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in power has come with a deadly price tag for Iran, which has lost more troops in the war-torn country in the past six months than in the previous two years. More than 280 Iranian troops have been killed in Syria since September of last year, according to an analysis by the Levantine Group of casualties reported by Iranian media. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 5/3/16

Iran prepared to attract foreign investment: President Rouhani

- President Hassan Rouhani says there is suitable ground for foreign investment in Iran as he received his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye in Tehran. President Park was accorded an official welcome in Tehran on Monday on the first day of her three-day visit, heading South Korea's biggest-ever traveling business delegation of over 230 executives. - 5/2/16

Transfer of the Caspian Sea Waters is a violation of the International Law

- Plans to transfer Caspian Sea waters have been discussed, studied and followed by the Caspian Sea littoral and non-littoral countries in the past and they are subject of serious debates at present. However, it seems that major transfer of the Caspian Sea waters, unilaterally and without the consent of all other littoral states is not compatible with the international law and even if a consensus is reached in this regard. -Bahman Aghai Diba - 5/1/16

Iranian weightlifters finish runner-up in Asian championships

- Iranian weightlifters have brilliantly finished their campaign at the 46th edition of the Senior Men's Asian Weightlifting Championships in Uzbekistan, ranking second in the continental sporting event. - 5/1/16

U.S. Arrest Awakens Ghosts Of Turkey's Iran-Gold Scandal

- Reports of shoe boxes stuffed with $4.5 million in cash hidden in the home of a Turkish state bank head, plus a money-counting machine in the bedroom of a government minister's son. And allegations that state funds are being used illegally to buy and funnel gold to Iran to help it evade international sanctions over its nuclear program. Welcome back to 2013, when Turkey was rocked by a corruption scandal that implicated some of the closest associates of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Charles Recknagel, RFE/RL - 4/29/16

Iran, Russia draft military cooperation roadmap

- Iran and Russia have developed "specific plans" for bolstering the two countries' military and technical cooperation, says Iran's defense minister. Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan made the announcement following a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held on the sidelines of the 5th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) in the Russian capital on Wednesday. - 4/28/16

Terror Payout Latest Challenge to U.S.-Iran Reconciliation

- Chances for a more constructive U.S.-Iran relationship in the aftermath of a landmark nuclear deal are eroding with new disputes over missiles, Iran's access to its assets in foreign banks and now a Supreme Court judgment allowing distribution of $2 billion in Iranian government money to relatives of U.S. victims of alleged Iran-backed terrorism. -Barbara Slavin - 4/27/16

Iran's Chabahar port to harbor Chinese industrial town

- The Iranian city of Chabahar is all set to host a Chinese-built industrial town as part of China's role to develop Iran's sole ocean port. A technical team of CMI of China visited Chabahar in Iran's southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan on Tuesday for the launch of the Chinese industrial town project, according to IRNA. - 4/27/16

US seizure of USD 2 billion in Iranian assets highway robbery: FM Zarif

- Iran says the seizure of around $2 billion in frozen assets recently authorized by a US court ruling is "highway robbery," vowing that the Islamic Republic will retrieve the sum anyway. "It is a theft. Huge theft. It is highway robbery. And believe you me, we will get it back," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told The New Yorker in an interview published on Monday. - 4/26/16

Washington-Riyadh Chill: The Sequel

- After three months on the road, I returned to work on the eve of President Obama's visit to Saudi Arabia to discover that in my absence the decades-long strategic partnership between the kingdom and the United States had vaporized. It had passed into history, finito, kaput, done. -Thomas W. Lippman, LobeLog - 4/26/16

Is Trip To Iran On President Obama's Agenda?

- US President Barack Obama will likely not visit Iran before his term in office ends, White House official Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser, told reporters on Thursday April 21, 2016. "Oh, Iran. Yes. Well, I think the trip to Cuba was probably enough in terms of breaking a longstanding taboo." - 4/24/16

Iran, P5+1 meet for 1st time after JCPOA implementation

- Representatives of Iran and the P5+1 group of countries hold their first joint commission meeting to discuss framework for the implementation of the historic nuclear agreement they struck last year. - 4/23/16

Iran backs any move to stabilize oil market: Zangeneh

- Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says Iran will support any initiative to stabilize the oil market after recent talks in Qatar failed to freeze production. Zangeneh told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with his South African counterpart in Tehran on Saturday that the meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Doha was a "good step." - 4/23/16

Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia on the Hill

- As we have over the past few months, LobeLog is posting excerpts from the Legislative Round-up published weekly when Congress is in session by the inimitable Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now about what Congress is up to and what individual members are saying, particularly about Israel-Palestine and Iran. -LobeLog - 4/23/16

Iran slams US Supreme Court ruling as money theft

- Iran has strongly condemned a ruling by the US Supreme Court granting some two billion dollars in frozen Iranian assets to the families of victims of a 1983 bombing in Beirut, saying it violates international law. - 4/22/16

Saudi Arabia and Obama: Time to Reset Relations

- President Obama's visit to Saudi Arabia comes in the midst of a changing kingdom with a different outlook on its regional role and its relations with the United States. The US-Saudi relationship is becoming less "special," which is not a bad thing. Washington cannot remain slavishly dependent on the Kingdom. Nor can the Saudis expect to ride on the American coattails freely. According to The New York Times, Obama will find Saudi Arabia "deep in turmoil." -Emile Nakhleh, LobeLog - 4/22/16

Obama in Saudi Arabia, Exporter of Oil and Bigotry

- I'm glad that President Obama is visiting Saudi Arabia, for engagement usually works better than isolation. But let's not let diplomatic niceties keep us from pointing to the insidious role that Saudi Arabia plays in sowing instability, and, for that matter, in tarnishing the image of Islam worldwide. -Nicholas Kristof, NY Times - 4/22/16

Obama Discusses Security With Gulf Allies

- At talks with King Salman, Obama's aids said he made it clear he would like the Sunni-led states to "share the neighborhood" with Iran. "The president and King discussed the challenges posed by Iran's provocative activities in the region, agreeing on the importance of an inclusive approach to de-escalating regional conflicts," the White House said. - 4/21/16

Russia, Iran Poised to Break Syrian Opposition Toehold in Aleppo

- Russia and Iran are gearing up around the key northern Syrian city of Aleppo in what appears to be the beginning of a renewed push to shore up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. -Jeff Seldin, VOA - 4/21/16

What Have the Saudis Done For Us Lately?

- The president of the United States is going on a foreign trip, and that means it is time for another surge in temperature-taking regarding the state of relations between the United States and some of its "allies." -Paul R. Pillar, LobeLog - 4/21/16

Top US, Iranian Diplomats Confer on Sanctions Relief for Tehran

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held talks Tuesday in New York with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, aimed at ensuring that Iran gets the sanctions relief promised in the landmark nuclear deal reached in January. - 4/20/16

Iranian crude output to reach pre-sanctions level by July

- A deputy to the Iranian petroleum minister says the country's crude oil production will reach pre-sanctions levels of 2011 within a couple of months. Tehran has expressed concern over market oversupply and low oil prices but also reiterated its right to regain pre-sanctions market level. - 4/20/16

Obama in the Arab Lions' Den

- President Barack Obama would surely not compare himself to a Biblical prophet. But by going this week to Riyadh to take part in a summit meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, he might as well be like Daniel in the Old Testament, thrown into the lions' den. -Robert E. Hunter, LobeLog - 4/20/16

Does the US Really Want Iran to Moderate Its Policies?

- Only three months after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the success of the nuclear deal with Iran already appears in doubt. The underlying reason is that those in the United States and Iran who opposed the agreement in the first place remain determined to sabotage it. -Shireen T. Hunter - 4/19/16

Oil Price Falls In Asian Trading After Doha Talks Fail

- Russia's Energy Minster Aleksandr Novak said at the end of the April 17 Doha meeting that the Kremlin was not optimistic about an agreement to freeze production because of "heated debates" at the conference and "Iran's position." - 4/18/16

India Between Iran and Saudi Arabia

- Continuing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the subsequent deteriorating security situation challenge India's interests. Saudi-Iran tension and its impact in Yemen have forced India to evacuate thousands of its citizens from Yemen. Therefore, it is in India's interest to maintain an effective balance between the two countries, and both countries seem to understand that. -Fatemeh Aman - 4/18/16

Parts Of S-300 Missile System Unveiled At Iranian Army Parade

- Iran has showcased parts of S-300 air-defense missile systems ordered from Russia during its annual National Army Day parade in Tehran. S-300 missile tubes and the radar equipment were shown during the April 17 military parade, according to pictures by the semiofficial ISNA news agency. - 4/18/16

She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World

- This landmark exhibition of more than 80 photographs and a video installation challenges stereotypes surrounding the people, landscapes, and cultures of Iran and the Arab world. She Who Tells a Story refutes the conventional idea that Arab and Iranian women are oppressed or powerless, illuminating the fact that women are creating some of the most significant photographic work in the region today. - 4/16/16

Iran, Turkey must up anti-terror efforts: President Rouhani

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran and Turkey have minor differences on certain regional issues but must boost cooperation in the campaign against terrorism. Rouhani was talking to to reporters in Ankara on Saturday after he and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan oversaw the signature of eight documents for cooperation.  - 4/16/16

Iran sends OPEC governor to Doha oil freeze talks

- Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh will not attend upcoming talks between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Doha to find a solution to tumbling oil prices, but will send Iran's OPEC governor to the meeting. - 4/16/16

The New Normal in U.S.-Saudi Relations

- Next week's U.S.-GCC summit in Riyadh is the last opportunity for the Obama administration to recalibrate the U.S.-Saudi relationship. While officially a multilateral summit between the United States and the six Gulf monarchies, all eyes will be on President Obama and King Salman. Both leaders will seek to project an image of comity. -Perry Cammack and Richard Sokolsky, LobeLog - 4/16/16

Iran's president slams any 'divisive' measure at OIC

- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has slammed as unacceptable "any divisive move" at the ongoing Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference. Rouhani made the remark in an address to the 13th OIC summit in the Turkish city of Istanbul, which kicked off on Thursday. - 4/15/16

Iran drawn in Group A of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

- During the draw ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, the Islamic Republic of Iran landed in Group A of the forthcoming sports event, and was pitted against South Korea, Uzbekistan, China, Qatar and Syria. - 4/12/16

Resolving the Karabakh Conflict

- The problem with frozen conflicts is that they are never actually frozen. They are put in cold storage for a while, and whenever conditions seem propitious or expedient for any of the players they are brought out of storage. Once out, they are liable to begin melting really fast. The dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the mountainous region of Karabakh and several other cities is one such conflict. -Shireen T. Hunter - 4/12/16

Iranian Sponsorship of Terrorism?

- "Iran--the foremost state sponsor of terrorism--continues to exert its influence in regional crises in the Middle East through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), its terrorist partner Lebanese Hizballah, and proxy groups," intoned Director of National Intelligence James Clapper before the Senate Armed Services Committee on February 9 of this year. -Peter Jenkins, LobeLog - 4/12/16

Nazarbaev, Rohani Hold Talks In Tehran

- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rohani have discussed building stronger trade and business ties between their countries at talks in the Iranian capital. Nazarbaev arrived in Tehran on April 11 at the start of a tour that will also take him to Turkey and Uzbekistan. - 4/11/16

Russia Delivers First Part Of S-300 Air Defense System To Iran

- Iran's Foreign Ministry says Russia has delivered the first part of its shipment of S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran. The announcement was made by Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari on April 11. - 4/11/16

India vows to invest $20bn in development of Iran's Chabahar port

- India says it is ready to invest $20 billion in the development of Iran's southeastern Chabahar port - a move that would enable New Delhi to dodge Pakistan and establish a strategic connectivity to Afghanistan as well as the Central Asia - 4/11/16

Iran's $10Bln Mega Canal Could be Game Changer in Global Trade Routes

- Russian experts comment on the prospects for the realization of Iran's ambitious 'trans-Iranian' canal, which would run from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf. -Sputnik - 4/9/16

Kerry Calls On Iran To Help End Wars In Yemen, Syria

- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Iran to use its influence to help end the wars in Yemen and Syria rather than pursue "destabilizing" activities in the region. At a news conference in Bahrain as he visited U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf on April 7, Kerry condemned "the destabilizing actions of Iran, which the United States takes very seriously." - 4/8/16

Iran hopes for lasting peace between Baku, Yerevan over Karabakh

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has expressed hope that the ceasefire agreed recently between Azerbaijan and Armenia would last to help end clashes in the disputed region of Karabakh. "We hope that the ceasefire would be lasting," Zarif told reporters after his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Thursday. - 4/8/16

Norway to launch Iran's first FLNG plan

- Iran says it is working on a plan with a Norwegian company to build a floating facility to liquefy natural gas in the Persian Gulf. NIOC chief Rokneddin Javadi said last October that LNG has returned to Iran's energy agenda, stressing that the country has devised serious plans to launch its first liquefaction project by April 2018. - 4/8/16
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