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Iran banks seal deal to get ‘unlimited funds’ from Russia

On December 29, 2017, Posted by admin , In News, By Banking and insurance in Iran,emerging market,Foreign relations of Iran,invest in iran,investing opportunities,investment opportunity,iran,Iran banks seal deal to get ‘unlimited funds’ from Russia,sanctions against Iran , With No Comments

Four Iranian banks have signed an agreement with the Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR) which enables them to receive “unlimited funds” over development projects in the country.Four Iranian banks have signed an agreement with the Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR) which enables them to receive “unlimited funds” over development projects in the country.

Iran says four of its banks have signed an agreement with the Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR) to provide “unlimited funds” for development projects to be carried out by domestic and international contractors in the Islamic Republic. 

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) in a statement said the agreement had been signed between the EXIAR and Bank Sepah, the Export Development Bank of Iran, Bank Parsian and Bank Pasargad.

This followed a basic agreement that the four banks and EXIAR had signed earlier in mid-October, Iran’s IRNA news agency reported.

Iran had earlier been able to seal similar deals with several European as well as Asian financial institutions.

In late September, Austria’s Oberbank signed a major finance deal with over a dozen Iranian banks based on which it would provide €1 billion in credits to the country’s companies that invest in the Iranian economy.

Oberbank’s initiative – that was seen in Tehran as the first of its kind in many years – was followed on the same day by a similar agreement between Denmark’s Danske Bank and several Iranian banks.

Accordingly, Danske Bank would allocate a credit line of €500 million for investments by Danish businesses in Iran.

On a related front, France’s state investment bank Bpifrance (BPI) announced also in September that it planned to provide funds to French companies that invest in the Iranian economy from next year.

BPI France CEO Nicolas Dufourcq was quoted by media as telling reporters that his bank would grant up to €500 million ($598 million) in annual credits to companies that venture into the Iranian market.

Iran begins production of new car with France’s Peugeot

Iran begins production of new car with France’s Peugeot

Iran Khodro (IKCO) has opened a production line for two new car models, including one jointly produced by France’s Peugeot SPA.  

The first Peugeot 207 and Dena Plus sedans rolled off the production line near Tehran on Saturday during a ceremony attended by Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, Iranian news agencies reported.

Dena Plus is an upgraded version of the Dena sedan which Iran Khodro claims offers better safety, having two more airbags.

Peugeot 207 is the same as the Peugeot 207i, with a cargo compartment added to it. Iran Khodro produced about 15,000-20,000 units of Peugeot 207i in 2011 before production stopped the next year when Iran came under intensified Western sanctions.

The model, a supermini produced from 2006 to 2014, is based on the platform of the predecessor model, Peugeot 206, which was replaced by the Peugeot 208 in 2012.

PSA has signed production deals worth 700 million euros with Iran, while Renault has announced a new plant investment to increase its production capacity in Iran to 350,000 vehicles a year.

The French company has yet to start production of the Peugeot 2008 in Iran despite the launch of an assembly line in the country back in March.

As per the joint venture called the Iran Khodro Automobiles Peugeot (IKAP), 70% of parts for Peugeot 2008 will be supplied by Iranian manufacturers. The car’s body will also be produced by an IKCO subsidiary.

The deal requires production of more than 30,000 units this year but only four Peugeot 2008s have been produced so far, with IKCO having to import pre-owned cars for delivery from France.

The production line of Peugeot 2008 at Iran Khodro which began on May 2, 2017

Since the lifting of sanctions in January 2016, French automakers have piled into Iran’s resurgent market, helping turn around a period of slipping sales which occurred when they left the country in 2012.

On Saturday, Fars news agency cited data released by Renault as showing year-on-year growth of 54% in sales to Iran where the automaker sold 144,862 cars in the year up to November.

With US President Donald Trump having put the future of the landmark nuclear deal in doubt, Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade officials have tried to give assurances that the new contracts with the French automakers were watertight.

Both Renault and Peugeot withdrew from Iran in 2012 when the country came under the Western sanctions.

Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohsen Salehinia said last month he was optimistic about foreign companies holding their ground in case the Americans toughened their measures against Iran.

Iraq bans import of some Iranian crops

Iraq bans import of some Iranian crops - Mehr News Agency agriculture TEHRAN, Jan. 07 (MNA) – The head of the national union of Iran’s agricultural Products reported that Iraq continues to ban the import of some crops from Iran, stressing the need for economic diplomacy to resolve the issue.

Seyed Reza Nourani told Mehr News Agency on Sunday “the Iraqi government has now banned the entry of some Iranian crops including lettuce, turnips, beets, cabbage and cauliflower into its country,” adding that the ban has been in place since last week.

Referring to the fact that this is not the first time the Iraqi government bans crops import from Iran, he added "the Iraqi government has previously banned importing some other products from Iran including watermelons, potatoes, apples, tomatoes, and so on.”

Nourian stressed the need for resolving the issue saying “unfortunately, we are always faced with a new issue in our trade with Iraq,” adding that the Iraqi government has not elaborated on the ban yet.

He pointed out that these bans have so far hurt the Iranian farmers severely.

In response to a question regarding the extent of Iran’s agricultural export to Iraq, the head of the national union of Iran’s agricultural products said that Iraq is one of major markets for Iranian crops while he stressed that Iraq cannot easily replace Iran with another country in securing its agricultural products.  

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Economic growth to hit 4.1% this year

Economic growth to hit 4.1% this year - Mehr News Agency

Iranian Parliament Research Center:

inflation TEHRAN, Jan. 07 (MNA) – In its latest report, Iranian Parliament Research Center put the country’s e economic growth in the current year at 4.1 percent.

In addition, the Center put the inflation rate in the current year (to end March 20, 2018) at 10.5%.

Turning to the situation of tax income, economic growth oil price and inflation rate, the Center added, “change of main factors affecting tax incomes will determine the rate of collections in coming years.”

Also, estimates indicate that the annual inflation rate will hit from nine percent in the past Iranian calendar year in 1395 (ended March 20, 2017) to 10.5 percent in the current Iranian calendar year in 1396 (to end March 20, 2018).

In the same direction, the oil export price will hit from $44.2 in the past Iranian calendar year to $55 in the current Iranian year in 1396 (to end March 20, 2018).

According to the Monetary and Banking Research Center, probable increase of oil price in the coming year can help considerable growth of imports volume to the tax resources of the coming year due to the direct effectiveness of the rate of oil incomes on the tax income, the report added.

With regard to the inflation, considerable growth in general level of prices in the next Iranian calendar year is predicted higher than the inflation rate in the past Iranian calendar year, the issue of which can have a positive growth on the growth of collection of tax incomes in the coming year than the current year, the Center concluded.

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Nonoil export from E Azarbaijan province at $1.5 bn in 9 months

Nonoil export from E Azarbaijan province at $1.5 bn in 9 months - Mehr News Agency عملیات بارگیری دارو و تجهیزات پزشکی مراسم اربعین TEHRAN, Jan. 07 (MNA) – About $1.5 billion worth of nonoil products was exported from East Azarbaijan province to various countries of the world in the nine months of the current Iranian calendar year in 1396 (from March 21 to Dec. 22).

The Director General of East Azarbaijan province Industry, Mine and Trade Organization Hossein Nejati made the above remark, saying, “the aforementioned volume of products was exported to about 101 world countries in the same period.”

He put the value of products exported from East Azarbaijan province to other countries at about $200 million, showing a considerable hike as compared to the same period of last year.

Nejati also put the value of products exported from this province in the nine months of the past Iranian calendar year (from March 20 to Dec. 22, 2016) at about $1.3 billion, showing a considerable growth as compared to the last year’s corresponding period.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the director general added, “of total products exported to overseas from this province, 45.5 percent of which was industrial products while the rest products were related to the petrochemical, agricultural, carpet, handicrafts and metal industries.”

Export of products from customs offices of the province in the past nine months was negative while export of products from provincial customs offices in the current year turned positive, he emphasized.

The provincial products have mainly exported to the neighboring countries of Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Russia, Pakistan, Italy and Bulgaria, Nejati concluded.

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3rd freight train from China to arrive in Tehran within days

3rd freight train from China to arrive in Tehran within days - Mehr News Agency Yinchuan-Tehran freight train TEHRAN, Jan. 06 (MNA) – An official from Iran’s railways organization said on Saturday that the third freight train has left China for Iran and will arrive in Tehran later this week.

Seyed Mostafa Davoodi from Iran Railway Company said that Iran has already been negotiating with neighboring and regional countries to develop international transit corridors, and said the third freight train from Xi'an province in western China will arrive in Iran later this week, adding that it is carrying 41 wagons.

He added that multilateral agreements have been concluded with China, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan on the origin and destination of the travel, as well as the tariff rate.

China is trying to revive the old Silk Road and Iran’s government has welcomed the project with the aim of turning the country in an Eurasian trade hub. The first freight train to travel the old silk road arrived in Iran in February 2016.

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NIGC still after exporting gas to Georgia

NIGC still after exporting gas to Georgia - Mehr News Agency Iran-Georgia TEHRAN, Jan. 06 (MNA) – Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamidreza Araghi said that the contract to export Iran’s gas to Georgia is still being negotiated between private sector, Georgia, Armenia, and Iran.

“The contract for the export of gas to Georgia has not been ruled out yet and if the agreements get finalized, the private sector will export Iranian gas to Georgia through Armenia,” said Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamidreza Araghi.

Mr. Araghi who also serves as Iranian Deputy Oil Minister for Gas Affairs made the remarks on Saturday.

“Iran’s geographic conditions are fit to make it possible to export gas to many countries, including Georgia, but these exports should be made through the soil of Armenia,” asserted the official.

He recounted that to put the plan into practice and finalize the deal there are many requirements to be met including the agreement with Armenia, export infrastructures, and reasonable price.

“If Iran, Armenia, and Georgia agree on gas deal, the private sector should buy gas from Iran and pay the price for swapping gas between Iran and Armenia to get gas enter Georgia,” he said.

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Iran to probe into frozen bank accounts in China

Iran to probe into frozen bank accounts in China - Mehr News Agency مسعود خوانساری TEHRAN, Jan. 06 (MNA) – Chairman of Tehran Chamber of Commerce Masoud Khansari said that the Chinese have declared money laundering to be the reason for closing the bank accounts of Iranians in China and announced that the problem will be discussed with the foreign minister in a meeting.

Masoud Khansari told Mehr News about the blocking of bank accounts of established Iranian companies in China by the Chinese banks and said “Chinese banks claim that the main reason for blocking the bank accounts of Iranian companies and businessmen is money laundering and providing financial support for terrorists. Investigations are being made in this regard.”

“In the following week, we will hold a meeting with Foreign Minister Zarif and his deputy where we will discuss and investigate this problem,” Chairman of Tehran chamber of commerce asserted.

He referred to the Chinese policy change which omitted Iran from the Silk Road Project and added “Iran must adopt a more active diplomacy with respect to this issue.”

Chinese banks had formerly blocked the bank accounts of some Iranian students. Recently, however, some businessmen received advanced warnings from Chinese banks about the closing of their bank accounts. Such measures indicate a policy change in China toward Iran that might risk the future of bilateral commercial deals.

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Export from Noshahr Port up 68%

Export from Noshahr Port up 68% - Mehr News Agency اسکله بندر TEHRAN, Jan. 04 (MNA) – The Director General of Mazandaran province Ports and Maritime Organization Mohammad-Taghi Anzanpour said that goods export from Noshahr Port experienced a considerable 68 percent hike in the nine months of the current Iranian calendar year in 1396 (from March 21 to Dec. 22) as compared to the last year’s corresponding period.

Turning to the 68% growth of goods export from Noshahr Port, he added, “the consignment will be shipped to Russia’s Astrakhan Port which includes 754 apple concentrate pallets and one date container as weigh as 901 tons at large.”

The chief executive of Ports and Maritime Organization (MPO) has emphasized on taking advantage of potentials and capacities of the port for the promotion of export, he said, adding, “all officials and personnel of Ports and Maritime Organization in Mazandaran Province try their utmost efforts to pave suitable ways for merchants and goods owners with the aim of spurring export in this port.”

In conclusion, the manager of Noshahr Port Special Economic Zone pointed to the main goods exported from Noshahr Port to the Caspian Sea littoral states as follows: livestock and agricultural products including apple puree and concentrate, food products such as tomato paste and dried nuts as well as minerals and construction materials.

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Iran, France to hold HSE tutorial workshop in oil industry

Iran, France to hold HSE tutorial workshop in oil industry - Mehr News Agency پرچم ایران و فرانسه TEHRAN, Jan. 04 (MNA) – An Iranian and French Training Workshop on HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) in the oil industry will be held in Tehran on Jan. 29-30, 2018.

The Iranian-French Tutorial Workshop will be held in the presence of France’s most prestigious oil and gas majors in the field of HSE in cooperation with HSE Department and Commercial – International Affairs Deputy Office of the Oil Ministry.

Focusing on salient status of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) in the prevention of damages and management of physical assets, strengthening culture of HSE based on behavior, managing eruption risk of oil and gas wells and also clarifying new environmental issues in the oil industry have been cited as the main topics of discussion in this tutorial workshop.

The training workshop will be held in English and it is expected that senior managers and experts of France’s TOTAL & IFP oil majors as well as experts of other oil and gas companies would deliver separate speeches in this workshop.

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Saffron export in S Khorasan up 22%

Saffron export in S Khorasan up 22% - Mehr News Agency

Deputy min. of industry:

زعفران TEHRAN, Jan. 04 (MNA) – Export of saffron in South Khorasan province increased 22 percent in the eight months of the current Iranian calendar year in 1396 (from March 21 to Nov. 22) as compared to the same period last year.

Deputy Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade for Exports Affairs Mojtaba Khosrotaj made the remark on Wednesday night saying, “effective steps have been taken in the field of solving unemployment problem in the country.”

Speaking in a ceremony to honor exemplary exporters of South Khorasan Province, he pointed to the generation of employment in the country and added, “once promotion of export is ignored, employment opportunities cannot be generated in this sector.”

All countries in the world focus on promoting export in national development, he said, adding, “we believe that promotion of export requires planning accurately.”

He, who is the head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI), called on the government to remove barriers facing exporters of the country and said, “imposition of import and export rules and regulations, payment of facilities to economic activists and provision of suitable ways for constructive competition in export field are the main task of the government which should be taken into serious consideration.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khosrotaj called for setting up representative office in other countries in order to promote export activities.

He put the number of commercial envoys in other countries at 20 and said, “establishing representative office in other countries can help exporters to eye target markets suitably.”

Turning to the high export capacities and potentials in South Khorasan Province, he said, “tile and ceramics export in the country has witnessed a considerable six percent growth in the current year (to end March 20, 2018) as compared to a year before.”

The deputy minister once again urged the respected government to take effective steps in the field of supporting export activists and domestic exporters to spur production and generate more employment opportunities in the country.

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<div>Stabilization of business profit 'likely' for 2-5 years</div>

Stabilization of business profit 'likely' for 2-5 years - Mehr News Agency

Minister of Industry:

محمد شریعتمداری TEHRAN, Jan. 03 (MNA) – Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Ali Shariatmadari said that business profit will likely be stabilized between 2 and 5 years.

Shariatmadari revealed on Tuesday the creation of mechanism for promoting business ties with Africa in near future.

Speaking in a meeting of Council of Dialogue between Public and Private Sector on the promotion of trade and business relations with Africa, he said, “it is logical to create diversification in export markets and there are certainly abundant potentials in African markets especially in the current situation.”

“I suggest to set up a Working Group for the promotion of trade and business ties between the government and Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA). In addition, it is logical that four trade and business centers should be established in the field of supplying products to the target markets.”

To conclude his remarks, the minister of industry said, “in this regard, the ministry has taken effective steps in the field of stabilization of  business profit minimum and maximum two and five years respectively.”

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Thousands rally against ‘crime minister’ Netanyahu in Tel Aviv

Tehran (ISNA) - Thousands of people attended an anti-corruption protest in Tel Aviv for a sixth consecutive week Saturday, with demonstrators calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down over graft allegations.

Braving the cold and damp, protesters held up signs against government corruption and calling Netanyahu the “crime minister.”

Police said a number of streets were closed off around the city’s Rothschild Boulevard as a result of the demonstration, Times of Israel reported.

A few hundred protesters were also reported to have attended similar rallies in the northern cities of Haifa and Afula.

The recent Tel Aviv protests began after nearly a year of anti-corruption demonstrations held in Petah Tikva every Saturday evening near Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s home, with organizers accusing Israel’s top prosecutor of slow-walking the probes involving the prime minister.

On Friday, Hadashot TV news reported police have revised their plan to submit recommendations in the two corruption cases against Netanyahu in the first weeks of the year, with the investigation now expected to wrap up by Passover, at the end of March.

Netanyahu himself appears to expect police to recommend charges against him, and has sought to downplay the importance of any such recommendation, recently telling a rally of Likud party members it was meaningless. (It is for state prosecutors, not police, to make a final decision on indictments.)

Netanyahu in the same speech attacked law enforcement, alluding to unfair treatment at the hands of police.

The premier is a suspect in two corruption investigations, known as cases 1000 and 2000. In the first, Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are suspected of receiving illicit gifts from billionaire benefactors, most notably hundreds of thousands of shekels’ worth of cigars and champagne from the Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.

Case 2000 involves a suspected illicit quid pro quo deal between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes that would have seen the prime minister weaken a rival daily, the Sheldon Adelson-backed Israel Hayom, in return for more favorable coverage from Yedioth.

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Pakistani PM’s national security advisor to meet Iran’s Shamkhani

ایران و پاکستان

Tehran (ISNA) - Pakistani Prime Minister's national security advisor will hold talks with Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council on Sunday.

Visiting Iran, Pakistani Prime Minister’s national security advisor retired Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua will meet with Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani on Sunday.

General Nasser Khan Janjua has traveled to Iran to participate in the Tehran Security Conference.

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Yildirim says Turkey attaches great importance to Iran’s stability

Tehran (ISNA) - Turkey's prime minister announced that his country attached great importance to the stability of Iran.

Speaking at a provincial congress of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the central province of Nevsehir, Binali Yildirim warned against those who had “malevolent” designs in the region, adding that Tehran “needs to be vigilant”.

“Turkey never tolerates foreign intervention in the peace in Iran,” he said.

According to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, Yildirim added, “Iran’s stability is important for us. We are against foreign interventions in Iran. We are waiting for the return of stability and peace to our neighboring country as soon as possible”.

Without mentioning any country by name, he accused some countries of meddling in Iran’s internal affairs and said, “Some countries are keen on interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and are now trying to hit Iran and create new problems in the region”.

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Iranian tanker collides with Chinese ship, 30 Iranian missing

Tehran (ISNA) - A tanker carrying Iranian oil and operated by the country’s top oil shipping operator was ablaze and spewing its cargo into the East China Sea on Sunday after colliding with a Chinese bulk ship, the Chinese government said on Sunday.

The Sanchi tanker, registered in Panama, collided with the CF Crystal some 160 nautical miles off the coast near Shanghai on Saturday evening, Chinese ministry of transportation said in statement on Sunday.

The tanker’s 32 crew members were missing on Sunday, Reuters reported.

It was sailing from Iran to South Korea, carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate, an ultra light crude. That’s equivalent to just under 1 million barrels worth around $60 million based on current global crude oil prices.

“Sanchi is floating and burning as of now. There is an oil slick and we are pushing forward with rescue efforts,” the ministry said, adding it had dispatched four rescue ships and three cleaning boats to site as of 9 a.m. (0100 GMT).

South Korea has also sent a ship and helicopter to help.

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Iran to give firm response to terrorist, hostile groups

وزیر اطلاعات

Tehran (ISNA) – Iranian intelligence minister emphasized that the country’s security forces will soon give a firm response to the terrorist and anti-revolution groups in the region.

“Iran’s security forces will not allow enemies to disrupt our country’s security,” Iranian intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi said.

“Our security forces don’t fear martyrdom. They will thwart enemies' vicious plots through their acts of bravery,” he added.

"The terrorist groups must be sure that they can’t weaken the will of Iranian people," Alavi went on to say.

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Iran keeps global market for nuts, dried fruit

Tehran (ISNA) - Iran exported $950 million worth of dried fruit over the course of eight months since March 2017, the head of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran says.

Pistachio nuts were the most important export item which brings the country $1 billion-$1.2 billion in hard currency revenues a year, Mojtaba Khosrotaj said on Saturday.

Exports of the split-shelled nibble, however, dropped 22% in the first six months of the current Persian year, failing to match the figures during the same period a year ago when most of the produce was exported, Press TV reported.

“Given that exports of other dried fruit items have grown, it is anticipated that the deficit will be offset by the end of the year,” Khosrotaj said.

Head of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi said 250,000 tonnes of pistachio nuts are produced a year, of which 150,000-160,000 tonnes are exported.

Iran is the world’s biggest pistachio exporter, a position it has maintained thanks to the premium quality of its crop in the face of stiff rivalry from the US.

Asgaroladi put dried fruit exports at 2 million tonnes a year, citing dates another important export crop. He said Iran produces 2 million tonnes of the crop a year, of which 200,000 tonnes is exported.

Overall, Iran produces 117 million tonnes of agricultural products a year, with horticultural crops accounting for 30 million tonnes of the figure.

Because of its unique ecology and rich soil, Iran is one of the largest fruit producers in the Middle East and North Africa, where the diversity of climatic zones makes it possible to cultivate an assorted group of crops.

The Iranian plateau is believed to be the homeland to a number of fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants such as Persian walnuts, pomegranates, peaches, spinach and tulips.

According to Iranian officials, as many as 240 million people across the region savor Iran’s horticultural products, primarily pomegranates, pistachios, saffron, figs, raisins and dates.

The country is the world’s seventh largest producer of citrus fruits, including a variety of oranges, tangerines, limes and lemons.  

Agricultural exports exceed $6 billion a year, where horticultural products account for half of the earnings, with livestock and poultry coming next with a share of about 25% and crops with the other 25%.

Agriculture accounts for 13% of Iran’s GDP and over 20% of its employment. The sector has traditionally been the key source of food and livelihood security over millennia despite losing much of its significance since the country struck oil.

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Rwanda, Uganda deny agreement with Israel to host African migrants

Tehran (ISNA) - The governments of Rwanda and Uganda are denying any deal with Israel to host thousands of African migrants told to leave that country in the next three months or face incarceration.

Israel's Population and Immigration Authority this week called on migrants from Sudan and Eritrea to leave "to their country or to a third country," meaning Rwanda or Uganda. Those who leave before April will receive $3,500, airfare and other incentives, AP reported.

Tens of thousands of Africans entered Israel before it erected a fence along its border with Egypt. Many of the migrants say they fled conflict and persecution and seek refugee status. Israel calls them "infiltrators" and mostly economic migrants whose numbers threaten its Jewish character.

The Israel-based Hotline for Migrant Workers, an advocacy group, has condemned the move, saying expulsions "put the refugees' lives in danger."

The U.N. refugee agency late last year said it was "seriously concerned" by Israeli proposals to call on Eritreans and Sudanese to accept relocation to African countries or face imprisonment. It noted a "forced relocation policy" beginning in December 2013 that already had sent about 4,000 of the migrants to two African countries "named in media reports as Rwanda and Uganda." It called the policy secretive, not transparent and difficult to monitor.

A Rwanda deputy foreign minister, Olivier Nduhungirehe, told The Associated Press his country has never reached any agreement with Israel on hosting asylum seekers. "There were negotiations like three or four years ago between the two countries but we never concluded on the matter," he said.

Rwanda is only engaged in negotiations to host some of the thousands of African migrants who face abuse in Libya, he said.

Uganda's state minister for international relations, Henry Okello Oryem, also told the AP there is no such agreement with Israel to accept African migrants from there.

"That's fake news. We don't know where that story is coming from. We don't know why it keeps coming up," he said Friday.

The U.N. refugee agency in November said about 27,500 Eritreans and 7,800 Sudanese were in Israel and that only eight Eritreans and two Sudanese had been recognized as refugees by authorities.

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Iranian firms successful in Azadegan development

Tehran (ISNA) - Crude oil production from the giant Azadegan Oilfield near the Iraqi border has seen a dramatic rise since Chinese companies were booted out of the field in 2014 after repeated delays in fulfilling contractual obligations, an official at the Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC) in charge of the field's development said.

"Azadegan's output, standing at180,000 barrels per day, could have experienced a much bigger surge, if Iranian contractors were tasked with the development venture earlier," Touraj Dehqani said.

Dehqani noted that when China National Petroleum Corporation, the previous contractor of the field, abandoned the project in 2014, only 25 wells had been drilled at the site, while PEDEC has completed drilling operations for more than 100 wells since then.

Pointing to South Azadegan field production, the official added that the output has reached 100,000 bpd and operations to boost production level have gained momentum.

Located 100 km west of the provincial city of Ahvaz, South Azadegan is estimated to hold 33 billion barrels of oil in place. It is part of the West Karoun oil block in Khuzestan, which holds 67 billion barrels of crude oil, Financial Tribune reported.

"The field's development started three years ago and 30 domestic companies have contributed to the project's first phase," he said.

The field's second phase will be developed via a tender within the framework of Iran Petroleum Contract, the country's new model of contracts for oil and gas projects.

According to oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, multinationals, including Italian oil and gas firm Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, France's Total, Japan's Inpex and Malaysia's Petronas, have submitted their master development plans to expand Azadegan Oilfield.

West Karoun, Iran's top priority for raising crude production to restore the market share it lost to international sanctions, includes Mansouri, Yaran, Yadavaran as well as North and South Azadegan joint fields. The block holds an estimated 67 billion barrels of oil in place.

Asked about North Azadegan Oilfield, Dehqani said currently 80,000 barrels of crude are extracted from the field and further production rise depends on attracting foreign investment and getting access to cutting-edge know-how.

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19 pct growth in trading value in IME

Tehran (ISNA) - During weekdays ending up to January 4, while 443,673 MT of commodities worth over 291.6 million USD were traded in Iran Mercantile Exchange, trading volume and value experienced a growth of 8% and 19%, respectively.

According to the report from IME International Affairs and PR, last week, on the domestic and export metal and mineral trading floor of IME, 133,082 MT of various products worth close to 125 million USD were traded.

On this trading floor, 125,060 MT of steel products, 5,550 MT of copper, 160 MT of molybdenum concentrates, 12 MT of precious metal concentrates as well as 2,300 MT of aluminum were traded.

The report declares that on domestic and export oil and petrochemical trading floors of IME, 215,861 MT of different commodities with the total value of 139.9 million USD were traded.

On this trading floor, more than 37,274 MT of bitumen, 63,623 MT of polymer products, 74,375 MT of VB feed stock as well as 18,500 MT of lube-cut oil, 17,348 MT of chemical products, 4,200 MT of sulfur, 360 MT of insulation, 161 MT of heavy paraffin wax and 20 MT of argon gas were traded.

Moreover, on the agricultural trading floor of IME, 94,071 MT of various commodities worth over 26 million USD were traded. On this trading floor, 74,800 MT of wheat, 16,326 MT of maize, 2,700 MT of crude vegetable oil, 75 MT of sugar as well as 170,000 day old chicks were traded by customers.

It is worth noting that during this week, the side market of IME witnessed trading of 100 MT of palm oil, 559 MT of polyester threads.

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Carlos Queiroz; best coach of Asia

برترین مربیان 2017

Tehran (ISNA) – The Football Tribe website has chosen the best coaches of Asia in 2017, upon which Iran national team head coach Carlos Queiroz sits in first place.

Carlos Queiroz was announced by the website as the best head coach of Asia in 2017.

“Carlos Queiroz is the only reason that Iran can be considered as a phenomenon in Russia’s 2018 World Cup. The presence of the head coach caused that Iranian national team has had significant progress over the past four years. Last year was an excellent year for Carlos Queiroz. Iranian national team had no defeats in 11 official matches in 2017 and conceded no goals in 12 consecutive matches and managed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Iran played against China, Russia and Venezuela in 2017. We must take off our hat to the former coach of Manchester United,” the website wrote.

In the list of the top five coaches of Asia in 2017, there is also another coach of an Iranian team, Branko Ivankovic.

According to the list, Branko Ivankovic sits in the fifth place.

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