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S Korea to build smart cities in Iran

S Korea to build smart cities in Iran - Mehr News Agency


نشست خبری آخوندی و وزیر کره جنوبی TEHRAN, Oct. 17 (MNA) – Iran’s Akhundi said Ministry of Roads and Urban Development will form a joint committee with the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) on November 15.

The Iranian roads minister made the remarks at a joint press conference with his South Korean counterpart, Kim Hyun-mee.

Abbas Akhundi said Korea’s MOLIT held various structural similarities with the Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development since both bodies where simultaneously in charge of transportation and accommodation.

“At a joint meeting, agreements were reached between Tehran and Seoul in various areas like rail, air and land transportation and the two sides also agreed to establish a joint committee to made speed up the decision-making process,” he underlined.

He pointed to talks on transportation and urban planning adding “in rail arenas, negotiations were held over construction of Isfahan-Ahwaz railroad, purchase of railbuses and investment in Iranian airports.”

“Views were also exchanged over construction of smart cities,” underlined Abbas Akhundi.

The Iranian minister of roads and urban development recalled that the joint committee between the two ministries will be formed prior to the meeting on Joint Economic Commission slated for November 15.

Later at the session, Kim Hyun-mee of South Korea voiced satisfaction towards her meeting with Iran’s roads minister and stressed that Korean firms had played a major role in the Iranian economy.

Touching upon the conducted talks on urban development, infrastructure, transit and logistics, the visiting official reiterated that an operational committee with be formed at vice-minister level and called for support of the Iranian nation and government for continuation of collaborations.

“The meeting of the joint commission and the joint committee in November is expected to mull over dimensions of investment in Iran,” Hyun-mee concluded.


Iran Mercantile Exchange launches Arabic website

Iran Mercantile Exchange launches Arabic website - Mehr News Agency IME TEHRAN, Oct. 16 (MNA) – In line with one of the IME’s main strategies as ‘Developing IME’s activities to enhance the country's trading with international markets’, IME launched its Arabic Website in a conference on trade between Iran and Iraq.

According to the report by the IME’s International Affairs and PR, the more active presence of Iran in the strategic and valuable market of Iraq has always been one of the most important issues among our public and private sector managers. In this regard, benefiting from exchanging various metals and mineral products, oil and petrochemicals, as well as agricultural products in domestic and export markets, IME has carried out its research into developing trade relations and using the capacity of financial markets to increase the trade volume and facilitation of the export of Iranian goods to Iraq.

In this regard, setting up a taskforce on IME to increase Iran's exports to Iraq, presence of a high-ranking delegation from IME to Iraq to investigate solutions to strengthen economic ties between the two countries, holding a meeting session between IME and Iran & Iraq Chamber of Commerce and negotiating with Iraqi officials to develop economic relations between the two countries using IME’s capacities are some of the recent measures taken by the IME.

Following on these events, today, as part of the conference on trade between Iran and Iraq, the largest gathering of economic activists and businessmen from the two countries, the Arabic website of IME was launched to provide services to Arab merchants and businessmen.

 The Arabic website of IME, at, describes Iran Mercantile Exchange, its strategy, goals and services, and includes sections such as business calendar, commodity list, listing requirements, registration of the customers and steps to issue trading accounts, introducing active brokers, contracts and trading markets including the physical market, derivatives market, and side markets, as well as the news of this area.


Iran, Russia sign financing agreement

Iran, Russia sign financing agreement - Mehr News Agency پرچم ایران و روسیه TEHRAN, Oct. 16 (MNA) – A financing agreement has been signed on Sun. between the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR).

In a meeting with EXIAR’s CEO Alexey Tyupanov, CBI's vice-governor for foreign exchange affairs, Ahmad Araghchi, called for expediting the process of financing joint projects between Iran and Russia, and expressed satisfaction with the positive conclusion of talks on finance agreements.

EXIAR’s CEO Alexey Tyupanov, for his part, expressed hope that various projects of Iran’s private and public sectors would soon be able to be financed by Russian banks, leading to further expansion of economic ties between the two countries.

During the meeting, the two sides reached an agreement on the general outlines of the conditions for finance, under which Iranian banks can receive financing from Russian banks for projects that have obtained domestic licenses. The finance to be received from Russian banks will be used in both private and public sectors and in various industries whose projects have been prioritized by relevant executive bodies.

Following the signing of this MoU, the general financing agreement will soon be signed and implemented between Russian and Iranian banks. 


IMF Chief Lagarde declines Trump’s call against Iran

IMF Chief Lagarde declines Trump’s call against Iran - Mehr News Agency Christine Lagarde TEHRAN, Oct. 15 (MNA) – The IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde dismissed the plea of US President Trump call for cutting ties with Iran, and reassured unchanged transactions with 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.

Asked her response to Trump on Iran, Lagarde told reporters Saturday at the IMF/World Bank meetings in Washington that "we operate with 189 members and we only provide support and enter into program negotiations when a country asks for it."

She added that the IMF sees "no reason to change anything in the guidelines that we have received from [its] Board and [will] continue to operate in the same manner."

"Madame Lagarde handled this diplomatically," Pradeep Kapur, former Indian ambassador to Chile and a participant in the IMF/World Bank meetings, told the media, "She was recognizing that the US is still the IMF's largest stakeholder but that the IMF will still maintain its lending policy."

The response of the managing director was the latest in a string of recent exchanges between the Trump administration and the financial colossus.

Earlier this week, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney slammed IMF criticism of the president's plan for lowering tax rates by lumping it with skeptics who "are heavily invested in [lowering U.S. taxes] not working out."

On Friday, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin called for the IMF to slim down its salaries and benefits.

"As a public institution — just like the member institutions it monitors and advises — the IMF should serve as a model on budget discipline and efficient use of limited resources," said Mnuchin, "Achieving this goal will necessarily entail tough choices, potentially with regard to management and staff salaries and benefits."


Iran, Russia sign MoU to finance projects

Tehran (ISNA) – The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to finance joint projects between the two countries.

In a meeting with EXIAR’s CEO Alexey Tyupanov, CBI's vice-governor for foreign exchange affairs, Ahmad Araghchi, called for expediting the process of financing joint projects between Iran and Russia, and expressed satisfaction with the positive conclusion of talks on finance agreements.

EXIAR’s CEO Alexey Tyupanov, for his part, expressed hope that various projects of Iran’s private and public sectors would soon be able to be financed by Russian banks, leading to further expansion of economic ties between the two countries.

During the meeting, the two sides reached an agreement on the general outlines of the conditions for finance, under which Iranian banks can receive financing from Russian banks for projects that have obtained domestic licenses. The finance to be received from Russian banks will be used in both private and public sectors and in various industries whose projects have been prioritized by relevant executive bodies.

Following the signing of this MoU, the general financing agreement will soon be signed and implemented between Russian and Iranian banks.

End Item

France says eager to boost economic ties with Iran

Tehran (ISNA) - France says it remains determined to expand economic bonds with Iran even in the face of recent US threats against a landmark deal that helped resolve disputes over the country’s nuclear energy program in 2015.

Iran’s media quoted Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, as telling his Iranian counterpart Masoud Karbasian in New York that Paris still considered the nuclear deal – which led to the removal of sanctions against Iran in early 2016 – as “an important accord”. 

Le Maire emphasized that France would remain committed to the deal and would accordingly spare no effort in expanding economic relations with the Islamic Republic. 

The remarks by the French minister followed a decision on Friday by US President Donald Trump to decertify Iran nuclear deal. 

Trump’s announcement drew immediate reactions from the international community with America’s European partners – including France – insisting that they would struggle to keep the deal alive despite Washington’s threats to kill it.  

Elsewhere in his remarks, Le Maire praised Iran’s efforts to promote its financial transparency, adding the country had also implemented an efficient mechanism to bring its banking activities under a close scrutiny.     

The French minister nevertheless said Tehran still needed to implement wider international standards in its financial structure. 

The move, Le Maire said, was necessary for the further expansion of the Islamic Republic’s global monetary interactions. He added that Paris was ready to help Iran in that connection.  

Karbasian, who was meeting the French minister on the sidelines of a World Bank meeting, said Iran was ready to promote relations with France in all areas.  

He added that one important area of cooperation between the two countries was providing financial facilities by French banks to Iranian industries to press ahead with their projects.

End Item

<div>S.Korea's Sept Iranian crude oil imports rise to 6-month high</div>

Tehran (ISNA) - South Korea’s imports of Iranian crude oil hit the highest level in six months in September, Reuters reported.

The world’s fifth-biggest crude importer shipped in 1.83 million tonnes of crude oil from Iran in September, or 446,148 barrels per day (bpd). That is a 22.8 percent increase from nearly 1.5 million tonnes a year ago, customs data showed on Sunday.

South Korea mainly buys an ultra-light oil from Iran, also known as condensate, but the data does not provide a breakdown of imports.

Iran has continued to expand its oil production since sanctions were lifted last year. The Middle Eastern country aims to maintain its combined exports of crude and condensate at around 2.6 million bpd for the rest of the year.

Although South Korea’s intake of Iranian oil in September grew on-year, the NOC notified its Asian buyers including South Korea that it could cut condensate exports in October due to maintenance at the South Pars gas field, according to industry sources.

South Korea’s oil imports from Iran jumped 43.1 percent to 14.03 million tonnes in January-September of 2017, or 377,059 bpd, from 9.81 million tonnes over the same period last year, according to the data.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy’s total crude imports in September were steady at around 12.3 million tonnes from the previous year, or 3.0 million bpd, the data showed.

In the first nine months of this year, Korea’s crude oil imports rose 3.4 percent to 110.51 million tonnes, or 2.97 million bpd, compared with 106.86 million tonnes during the same period a year earlier.

End Item

Entrepreneurial university indicators

Tehran (ISNA) - The author of organizational training management book said universities and academic spheres can earn money via solutions such as organizational reputation, credit of scientific figures, and providing consulting services.

Noting that knowledge-based tendencies in global economy have greatly affected the academic environment, Secretary of Iran Urban Economics Scientific Association (IUESA) Dr. Seyyed Mohsen Tabatabaei Mozdabadi said, “The global economy has grown to the point that the commercialization of academic capital has created an undeniable necessity in the development of societies”.

Touching upon statistics, he added, “Globally, one out of 11 employed people, directly or indirectly, operates in the knowledge-based economy, and half of the OECD’s GDP is also derived from a knowledge-based economy”.

Mentioning that knowledge-based economy has led to the development of scientific education approaches, he further said, “Universities, as well as private companies, are struggling to gain competitive advantage and strengthen resources in international markets”.

“The reduction of budgets allocated to universities and departments has led scientific collections to seek to commercialize their products,” the lecturer of Kharazmi University added.

Stating that the academic atmosphere in Iran has also taken steps to commercialize its products, which is inadequate, he added, “One of the less-regarded issues is the idea of an entrepreneurial university”.

“Entrepreneurial university is one that combines the missions related to the development in economic, social, cultural and other aspects with university research and educational missions, and in practice, it creates a reasonable and strong relationship between the scientific spaces and researchers,” he further explained.

“In our opinion, the university is an entrepreneur that has put all its efforts in the commercialization of scientific products and created a platform and a supportive environment for the development of entrepreneurial activities,” the vice-president of IUESA said.

“Universities and scientific spaces can earn money through solutions such as organizational reputation, credit of scientific figures, and providing consulting services,” he further said.

Referring to the research regarding entrepreneurship at European universities, especially Sweden and Ireland, he said, “The research offers eight specific models of entrepreneurship, such as contract research, large-scale scientific projects, patents and licensing, branching, counseling, out-of-university education, sales of products, preparation of measuring equipment, and calibration”.

End Item

Industrialist: Austria to Continue Cooperation with Iran in Mega Projects

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Austrian industrialist underlined that his country will continue its interactions with Iran in in economic and industrial fields.

"Cooperation with Iran will never stop and that my company is expected to start major joint projects in the country in the near future," Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Austria's WABAG Company Reinhard Nowotny said.

Nowotny has traveled to Tehran to take part in the 13th International Exhibition of Water Industry and Water and Wastewater Installations.

He reiterated that the removal of sanctions against Tehran has eased cooperation between the two countries.

"As to US President Donald Trump's recent statements on Iran nuclear deal, the reaction by the White House to the 2015 deal is illogical," Nowotny said.

He reiterated that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is an international agreement which has been accepted by Washington, and said, "The United States cannot change its stance regarding the accord."

"We will continue our engagement with Iran," the Austrian CEO said.

The 13th Water Industry Exhibition attended by 258 Iranian and 105 foreign companies ended late on Thursday.

European firms, including those from France and Germany, during the four-day exhibition, signed cooperation memoranda of understanding in a bid to expand their engagement in Iran water industry.





Iran, Turkey Stress Broadening of Engineering Relations

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari and Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci in a meeting in Ankara voiced their countries' preparedness to further expand bilateral relations, specially in the technical and engineering fields.

During the meeting in the Turkish capital on Thursday, Shariatmadari and Zeybekci explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating of mutual cooperation in the technical and engineering areas.

During their meeting, the two ministers, who also serve as special representatives of the presidents and chairmen of the economic commission in their own countries, discussed promotion of economic and trade collaboration in a bid to achieve the 30-billion-dollar goal set for the volume of trade exchanges between the two neighboring nations.

"Turkey has achieved good successes, specially in the field of offering engineering and technical services," the Iranian minister said, contending that the two countries' collaboration in the field of technical and engineering services will help Iran promote to higher levels, as it has undertaken significant projects in these fields.

Zeybekci, for his part, said that Ankara is looking for assessing the business opportunities in Iran and Turkey and promoting joint projects.

In a relevant development in early October, high-ranking Iranian and Turkish officials in a meeting in Tehran signed four cooperation agreements.

The documents and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) which were endorsed in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan are related to the two countries' customs and banking ties as well as cooperation between their national libraries and state TV and radio organizations.

After the meeting, President Rouhani underlined that the banking ties between the two countries will further expand and they will increase trade relations using their own national currencies.

In relevant remarks in July, Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi announced that Tehran and Ankara are mulling to establish free trade relations after their agreement on preferential trade agreement in the near future.

"Iran and Turkey have agreed to do their best to convert the preferential agreement which is already in place between the two countries to a free trade agreement," Vaezi said in a meeting with Turkish economy minister in Tehran.

He pointed to the recent meetings between the Iranian and Turkish presidents, and said, "President Hassan Rouhani and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had emphasized to boot the value of the two countries' trade balance to the ceiling of $30 billion."





Iran, Turkey Resolved to Bolster Bilateral Ties

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian and Turkish officials in a meeting in Ankara underlined the need to broaden mutual cooperation in different fields.

A high-ranking Iranian delegation to Turkey, led by the country's First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, held a joint session with a Turkish delegation in the Turkish capital on Thursday.

Speaking at the meeting, Jahangiri referred to a recent visit of the Turkish president to Tehran and urged both sides remove all barriers to implementation of reached agreements and elevation of bilateral cooperation.

He said banking, customs and energy sectors were appropriate venues for development of relations and voiced Iran’s readiness to launch further collaboration with Turkey over bilateral, regional and international issues.

Iran’s VP also stressed the need to establish security and fight against terrorist groups inside the region reiterating that all parties could benefit from security cooperation with Iraq.

Underscoring that the referendum on Iraqi Kurdistan had been initiated by the Zionist regime and the US, the official stated that separation of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) could be detrimental to its people.

He also called for more serious steps to tackle plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar saying “efforts should be made to save the oppressed Muslims in the Southeast Asian nation.

At another part of his remarks, Jahangiri maintained that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was an international deal and no country could leave it individually; “all countries need to make efforts so that the US sticks to the agreement.”

The Iranian VP later underlined that Tehran and Ankara had to spare no effort to realize the 30-billion-dollar figure of trade turnover between the two countries.

In a relevant development on Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım confirmed the need to obtain the envisaged figure for trade transactions and called for an early meeting of the Joint Economic Commission in a bid to eliminate existing obstacles.

He also called for using national currencies of the two countries in bilateral trades adding “expansion of transportation as well as banking and custom ties could lead to stronger relations.”

Yıldırım said Tehran and Ankara could have closer cooperation over security issues and in the fight against terrorism, especially in Syria and Iraq.

The official voiced satisfaction towards trilateral cooperation of Iran, Turkey and Iraq towards the referendum on Iraqi Kurdistan and emphasized that regional issues were of great importance and, as such, required joint efforts.

The two sides at the session also underscored the need to pave the path for boosting tourism in both Iran and Turkey.





<div>President Rouhani: Iran Ready to Supply Uzbekistan's Energy Needs</div>

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined his country's preparedness to provide Uzbekistan with all its needs to energy supplies.

"The age-old and close relations between the two nations have created an extensive opportunity to strengthen and consolidate the two governments' ties in all fields and undoubtedly, development of these ties would benefit the two nations and the region," President Rouhani said in a meeting with Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Khafizovich Kamilov in Tehran on Wednesday.

Noting that Iranian technical and engineering companies are ready to show more active presence in Uzbekistan, he said, "Iran is fully prepared to supply Uzbekistan's energy needs."

Kamilov, for his part, underscored that Tashkent wants broadening and deepening of ties with Tehran in all fields.

In relevant remarks in September, President Rouhani in a meeting with his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev underlined his country's preparedness to cooperate with the Central Asian states in the fight against the terrorist groups.

"Today extremism and terrorism threaten the entire region and we are ready for cooperation with the Central Asian states to fight against terrorism," President Rouhani said during the meeting on the sidelines of the Islamic countries' summit in Astana.

Elsewhere, he stressed the necessity to speed up widening of banking ties between the two countries, adding that it can enhance the level of bilateral trade relations.

Mirziyoyev, for his part, called for the development of mutual cooperation in academic and energy fields as well as campaign against terrorism and extremism.

He also said that Tashkent supports Iran's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.





Iran, Norway Ink 2bln Euro Worth Energy Deal


Iran, Norway Ink 2bln Euro Worth Energy Deal

Iran, Norway Ink 2bln Euro Worth Energy Deal

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian and Norwegian firms signed a contract worth 2bln euro to produce 2gw of solar energy in Iran.

The deal was signed between Norway’s Saga Energy and Iran’s state-owned Amin Energy Developers at the Norwegian embassy in Tehran on Tuesday to install solar panels in multiple sites around the Central desert region of the country to produce two gigawatts of power.

The new solar project is being financed by a consortium of European private and state investors, and backed by a sovereign guarantee from the government of Iran.

"We hope to build a factory in Iran to build the panels so that we also generate jobs," said Saga's development manager Gaute Steinkopf at signing the deal.

The deal was signed just days after US President Donald Trump gave a bellicose speech, imposing further sanctions on Iran and calling for European allies to curb their financial dealings with the country.

But Norwegian Ambassador to Tehran Lars Nordrum underlined that his country "is fully committed to the JCPOA (nuclear deal) and this is proof that we have taken the opening very seriously, and we will see more investment very soon".





<div>CEO: Total to Move Ahead with Iran's Key Project</div>

TEHRAN (FNA)- French oil and gas giant Total announced that it would push ahead with an Iranian gas project even if the US decides to reimpose unilateral sanctions against Iran.

"Total would examine the consequences of a recent decision by US President Donald Trump to decertify Iran’s compliance with a nuclear deal that it signed with the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany back in 2015," Total Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said.

"We will try on our side to obtain the comfort that we can continue the project, which will be our priority," he added.

Pouyanne said Total was weighing its options and all would depend on the US Congress within the next two months.

He added that there was little financial risk to Total from the current situation because it will only make an investment decision on the project around the end of the year.

"We have launched the tenders, we are supposed to award contracts by year-end, so all that is fitting well in terms of the calendar," Pouyanne said, adding that it will have clarity by the end of the year after the decision by the US Congress.

Total signed a preliminary agreement with Iran last year to develop Phase 11 of the country’s giant South Pars gas field.

The French oil giant would lead a consortium that comprises China’s CNPC and Iran’s Petropars over the project which is estimated to need an investment of around $5 billion.





Iran, Brazil Underline Broadening of Banking Cooperation

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Economy Minister Masoud Karbasian and his Brazilian counterpart Henrique Meirelles in a meeting in Brasilia underlined the need for broadening mutual cooperation, specially in economic and banking affairs.

During the meeting in the Brazilian capital on Tuesday, Karbasian and Meirelles explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating of bilateral relations, between the two countries' banks in particular.

"We welcome Iranian banks to open their branches in Brazil," Meirelles said.

The French finance minister reiterated that Iran-Brazil economic relations have shown satisfactory results.

He underlined investment in Agriculture, specially medium-sized and heavy weight industries, and said, "Brazil welcomes talks between certain major Brazilian companies and their Iranian partners, specially in energy generation."

Meirelles also voiced interest in meeting Iranian aviation fleet needs and said that the hurdles will be hopefully removed.

The two sides agreed on holding Iran-Brazil joint economic cooperation commission session in Iran by next two to three months.

In relevant remarks in November 2016, former Iranian Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia and Brazilian Minister of Industry and Commerce Marcos Pereira in a meeting in Brasilia underlined the need for broadening of mutual cooperation in different fields, specially economic and trade areas.

During the meeting in the Brazilian capital, Tayyebnia and Pereira explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating bilateral economic ties.

"Tehran attaches importance to expansion of commercial cooperation with the South American countries mainly in the fields of agriculture and industries," the Iranian economy minister said.

He underlined that Brazil enjoys high potentials in agriculture and animal products.

"Iran has various potentials in exports of gas, oil derivatives, petrochemicals and handicrafts which can help enhance level of economic cooperation between the two countries," Tayyebnia added.

The Brazilian minister, for his part, expressed the hope to witness a growth in the volume of trade exchanges between the two countries.

He also hoped that several memoranda of understanding (MoU) on expansion of economic cooperation between Iran and Brazil would be inked in the future.

In October 2016, Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said Iran is interested to develop its relations with Brazil and is also ready for cooperation with the Latin American country in various fields of energy, including LNG and deepwater drilling.

“Both countries are oil-rich and Brazil has valuable experience in deep-water oil production,” he said at a meeting with the visiting Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Armando Monteiro.

“Iran needs Brazil’s experience in deep water drilling in order to use them for producing oil in the Caspian Sea,” the Iranian minister added.





Norway Inks Multi-Billion-Dollar Deal on Solar Energy Cooperation with Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- A Norwegian solar company signed a 4-billion-dollar investment deal with Iran just days after US President Donald Trump called for isolating Tehran.

"Norway is fully committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and this is proof that we have taken the opening very seriously, and we will see more investment very soon," Norwegian Ambassador to Tehran Lars Nordrum said in a signing ceremony of a deal between Norway's Saga Energy and Iran's Amin Energy Developers aimed at the installation of two gigawatts of solar panels in various locations in the country’s deserts.

The project is being financed by a consortium of European private and state investors.

"We hope to build a factory in Iran to build the panels so that we are also generating jobs," said Saga's development manager Gaute Steinkopf.

The joint measures come just days after Trump refused to formally certify that Iran was complying with the 2015 nuclear deal and warned that he might ultimately terminate the agreement.

While Trump did not pull Washington out of the JCPOA, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the pact. Reimposing sanctions would put the US at odds with other signatories to the accord and the European Union.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that Washington’s traditional allies are siding with Tehran over the nuclear deal.

On Monday, European Union foreign ministers reaffirmed their support for the historic nuclear agreement, saying the accord is working and is a key part of non-proliferation efforts.





<div>Minister: Gov't Supports S. Korean Firms' Investment in Iran's Oil Industry</div>

Minister: Gov't Supports S. Korean Firms' Investment in Iran's Oil Industry

TEHRAN (FNA)- South Korean Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mee underlined that his government supports the companies willing to invest in Iran's oil industry.

"The government supports the South Korean companies' investment in Iran," Kim told reporters after meeting Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh in Tehran on Tuesday.

Asked about the partnership of the Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) in Iranian projects, she said, "The company's managers are in negotiations with the Iranian firms and the managing-director of the company had a meeting with the Iranian deputy oil minister in May."

Market figures showed last week that South Korea’s imports of crude oil from Iran hit the highest level in six months in September in a fresh sign that the Islamic Republic is pushing ahead with plans to regain the market share it lost as a result of several years of sanctions.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-biggest crude importer, purchased 1.83 million tons or 446,000 million barrels per day (mb/d) of Iran’s oil last month (September).

The rise came as Iran – together with Iraq that exported 3.98 mb/d last month – took advantage of production cuts implemented by Saudi Arabia.  Lower exports by the Saudis provided an opportunity to the two neighbors to win buyers in key markets like China and the US.





Iran, Belarus Reiterate Broadening of Mutual Cooperation

TEHRAN (FNA)- Senior Iranian and Belarus officials in a meeting in Minsk on Tuesday underlined the need for expanding bilateral ties in different fields, specially trade and economy.

During the meeting in Belarus capital on Tuesday, Iranian Ambassador to Minks Mostafa Oveysi and Speaker of the Council of Republic of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating mutual cooperation.

The two sides discussed different topic, including trade and economy as well as political questions and exchange of visits between the two countries' senior officials.

The two sides also reviewed the outcomes of the recent talks on agriculture, health, medical equipment and fisheries held between economic delegations of the two countries.

The Belarusian official, meantime, stressed the importance of the implementation of the development plans between Minsk and Tehran.

In relevant remarks in early February, Myasnikovich in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran voiced his country's willingness to expand trade and economic relations with Iran.

"Belarus attaches special importance to expansion of relations with Iran and we have many plans to boost cooperation in many areas," Myasnikovich said during the meeting.

The Belarus speaker said that many companies from Belarus are active in Iran and many Iranian companies in Belarus.

"Belarus companies are interested in further expansion of economic relations between Tehran and Minsk and support growing activity of Iranian companies in Belarus," he added.

Zarif, for his part, said that with the removal of sanctions imposed against Iran there will be no problem at work for development of Iran-Belarus economic and banking cooperation.





Iran “Playing No Role in Iraq’s Kirkuk Operation”

By editor on in Politics, Security

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior member of Iran’s Expediency Council, rejected the notion that the Islamic Republic helped the central government in neighboring Iraq to take full control over the disputed region of Kirkuk, which was previously held by Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

“Iran has no role in the Kirkuk operation,” Velayati told reporters on the sidelines of his meeting with Special Envoy of France to Syria Franck Gellet in Tehran on Tuesday.

He further pointed to the independence referendum recently held in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region and said the majority of Iraq’s Kurdish people are opposed to the ambitions of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani.

“We saw that the region (Kirkuk) was captured by the Baghdad government almost without any clashes,” said Velayati, who is also an international adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

Iraqi forces completed an operation to take control of all oil fields operated by state-owned North Oil Company in the Kirkuk region on Tuesday, according to a senior military officer.

They took control of the Bai Hasan and Avana oil fields northwest of Kirkuk on Tuesday, after seizing the Baba Gurgur, Jambur and Khabbaz fields on Monday, he said, Reuters reported.

Oil officials in Baghdad said all the fields were operating normally.

The fields were previously held by Kurdish Peshmerga forces, but they pulled out of the area in the face of an advance by forces of the Iraqi central government.

Tuesday’s deployment of Iraqi government forces in Dibis, where Bai Hasan and Avana are located, is part of an operation ordered by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to take control of Kurdish-held areas outside the three provinces that form Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

The latest incidents come amid simmering tensions between the central government in Baghdad and the KRG over a recent controversial referendum on the secession of the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region.

The plebiscite took place on September 25, sparking strong objection from Baghdad. Iraq’s neighbors and the international community also voiced concerns about the repercussions of the vote, which was only supported by Israel.

Kirkuk, with some 10 percent of Iraq’s oil reserves, has long been contested by Baghdad and Erbil.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Dentons advises Quercus on €500m Solar Energy Deal

Tags: featured, Iraq, Kirkuk, KRG, Kurdistan

Dentons advises Quercus on €500m Solar Energy Deal

By editor on in Finance, Industry, Investment

Dentons Europe LLP has advised Quercus, one of the world’s largest renewable energy investors, on a deal worth more than €500 million with Iran’s Ministry of Energy for the development, construction and operation of a 600 MW solar energy photovoltaic (PV) plant in Iran.

This is Quercus’ first investment outside of Europe and represents the largest single investment in the renewable energy sector in Iran since the lifting of international sanctions.

Construction of the plant is set to commence in 2018 and will take three years to complete, with 100 MW becoming operational every six months. Once complete, it will have a total capacity of 600 MW, making it one of the largest in the world.

Quercus is a renewable energy investment company, which has built a 40-plant portfolio in the UK, Italy and overseas. Following significant demand from existing and potential investors, Quercus is now venturing into the Iranian market, as the country gears up to install 5GW of renewable energy capacity by 2020. Quercus will create a new, specialist team for the delivery of this project.

Dentons Europe LLP advised Quercus on all aspects of the deal and represented the client in negotiations with the Ministry.

The team was led by partner Ramin Hariri, with support from partner Vincent Lacombe, who advised on restructuring and tax issues. Partner Navid Sato, counsel Maryam Ebrahimi, and associates Nima Nasrollahi, Sara Habibi and Arash Shahrokhy from APP Legal Institute, the law firm associated with Dentons in Iran, also worked on the deal.

In the past two months, the Iran Team at Dentons Europe has closed deals in Iran with a combined value of more than €7 billion in the oil and gas, renewable energy, railway and automotive sectors.

(Source: Dentons)

“Iran’s Facebook” Shuts Down

Iran “Playing No Role in Iraq’s Kirkuk Operation”

Tags: Dentons, DJ, featured, Quercus, renewable energy, solar energy, United Kingdom

“Iran’s Facebook” Shuts Down

By editor on in Communication, Politics, Security

By John Lee.

Iran’s oldest social media network is to close following years of conflict with censors.

According to a report from AFP, company director Mohammad Javad Shakouri Moghadam said was entirely blocked three times and the last time it took 28 days to unblock it; he said the actions allowed foreign sites such as Instagram to take over.

Cloob website was launched 12 years ago as the Iranian answer to Facebook and Google’s now-dead Orkut, and at its peak had some two million users in the country.

More here from AFP.

(Source: AFP)

Iranian Official Urges Enhanced Economic Ties with Iraq

Dentons advises Quercus on €500m Solar Energy Deal

Tags: censorship, Cloob, Facebook, featured, Google, human rights, Orkut, press freedom, social media

Iranian Official Urges Enhanced Economic Ties with Iraq

By editor on in Agriculture, Industry, Politics

Chairman of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce Yahya Ale-Ishaq has hailed the political ties between Tehran and Baghdad, saying the two sides’ economic ties should also be strengthened.

Speaking in a forum of Iranian and Iraqi traders, Al-e Eshaq said the economic relations between Tehran and Baghdad have not developed on par with the political and security ties.

The official called for removal of obstacles in the way of the two countries’ economic cooperation, especially in the fields of banking, transportation, and customs affairs.

He further noted that that Tehran and Baghdad eye boosting their annual trade exchange to $20 billion.

Iran and Iraq enjoy cordial political, security and cultural ties but due to some internal and regional problems including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL) terrorism in Iraq, they have not been able to increase their trade volume.

Iran’s main exports to the neighboring country include agro products, foodstuff and fruits such as watermelon, tomato and cucumber, which account for 37% of the total exports.

Other Iranian exports to Iraq include canned food, tomato paste, chicken, egg, meat, construction materials (mainly rebar, tiles and ceramics), steel and evaporative cooler.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Assessing the Impact of Shifting Iran-KRG Relations

“Iran’s Facebook” Shuts Down

Tags: featured, Iraq

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