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Rouhani stresses Iran’s resolute for cooperation with Russia in regional issues

TEHRAN, May 27, YJC - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated Tehran’s principled policy on relations with Moscow, saying the Islamic Republic is “more determined than ever” to promote bilateral and regional cooperation with Russia.

Rouhani stresses Iran’s resolute for cooperation with Russia in regional issues

TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - "More determined than ever, Iran is prepared to boost mutual and regional cooperation with Russia,” President Rouhani said in the telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Saturday.

"In the near future, we will witness much closer cooperation between the two countries,” he added.

The Iranian president further pointed to joint efforts made by Tehran and Moscow to promote peace in Syria and fight against terrorism, describing the enhancement of the cooperation in Syria as very significant.

He added that Iran is resolved to continue its trilateral cooperation with the Russian and Syrian governments.

Putin, for his part, offered his congratulations to Rouhani on his re-election, saying the results of the presidential election proved that Iranians are supporting Rouhani’s economic and social measures as well as his regional and international plans.

Rouhani emerged victorious in the elections held last Friday and secured a second term by winning 57 percent of the votes.

Iran and Russia have formed a strong alliance in recent years and have ramped up efforts to boost defense cooperation, trade ties, and cultural interaction.

They both support the Syrian government against foreign-backed militancy. Tehran and Moscow insist that the Syrian nation is the only side that has the right to shape the future of the Arab country, which has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.

<div>Trump's Riyadh visit proves 'terrorists serve to promote Washington's policy'</div>

TEHRAN, May 27, YJC - US President Donald Trump's first official trip to Saudi Arabia proves that "terrorists" sent by Riyadh to Syria and Iraq play into US hand, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani said.

Trump's Riyadh visit proves 'terrorists serve to promote Washington's policy'TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Shamkhani added the Arab monarchy was sending young people to conflict zones to radicalize and convert them to terrorists.

"Iran has been fighting against terrorism for already 40 years… The US citizens got to know what terrorism is after September 11, 2001. However, Trump made his first visit to the country which generates terrorists like a factory… Terrorists in Syria and Iraq are instruments that serve to promote Washington's policy," Shamkhani told Russia's Kommersant newspaper.

Shamkhani noted that public dissatisfaction with the hereditary transmission of power and Wahhabi mentality, among other issues, encouraged radicalization of young people.

Tehran will not agree on the participation of the United States' forces in guarding de-escalation zones in Syria, Shamkhani added.

"No. Syria has government, only it can decide who has right to be on their territory," Shamkhani said answering the question on Iran's agreement on the participation of the United States in guarding the de-escalations zones.

According to Shamkani, Syrian authorities do not want to see the "Americans supporting terrorism and destabilizing Syria." He added Tehran was ready to consider the deployment of military troops for guarding the perimeter of the de-escalation zones.

Iran, alongside Russia and Turkey, is a guarantor of the ceasefire regime in Syria. At the latest Astana talks on Syria which took place on May 3-4, the three ceasefire guarantor states signed a memorandum on the establishment of four safe zones in Syria. It came into force on May 6.

On Saturday, Trump flew to Saudi Arabia, the first country he visited as the president of the United States. The trip also took in Israel and the Palestinian lands, Brussels, the Vatican, and will end in Sicily where he will attend a G7 summit of industrialized nations on Friday

Iran signs deal on constructing first air logistics center

TEHRAN, May 27, YJC - Iran has signed an agreement with Swiss and Dutch companies to design, develop and construct its first freight logistics center at Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA).

Iran signs deal on constructing first air logistics centerTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - IKIA signed the agreement with Swiss-based ADI Consulting GmbH and the Netherlands Airport Consultant Company (NACO) in Tehran on Saturday, vice president for investment and economic affairs of the airport Hossein Tajik said."Logistics development actually means the country's development and is an essential element for this purpose,” he said.

Tajik touched on the significance of logistics, saying transporting 100,000 tonnes of cargo at the airport would create added value equal to that generated from about a million passengers for the country.

"On the other hand, we are in an area that has a market value of about 400 million people around the country,” he said, adding Iran has failed to make use of this advantage both due to internal and external factors.

Jean Godart of ADI Consulting said the project is focused on logistics which is "a way to success”, saying it could mark a big step for Iran.

ADI Consulting GmbH was established in Switzerland in 1999 to manage cargo capacity in the airfreight sector. Since then, the company has expanded into other logistics areas such as consulting in logistics business building, infrastructure development and management.

The deal came after officials said earlier this month that Iran had canceled a preliminary agreement with the French industrial group Bouygues to expand IKIA.

The company had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in January 2016 to build and operate a terminal at IKIA to handle 20 million passengers a year.  

Managing Director of IKIA Airport City Company Mahmoud Navidi said Bouygues had failed to fulfill its commitments under the agreement.

IKIA, about 40 kilometers southwest of the Iranian capital, currently handles 6 million air travelers.

After the cancellation of Bouygues' agreement, Iran put out calls for investment in the terminal which received a warm welcome from Iranian and foreign companies.

"Currently, 50 domestic and foreign companies have announced readiness to invest in the Iranshahr terminal in the form of BLT (build, lease and transfer)," Navidi said.    

The idea to build IKIA was conceived before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, with original designs prepared by a US consortium in order to make it a regional air travel hub but the airport was inaugurated only in May 2004.

In December 2015, Iran awarded the development of a town in the vicinity of IKIA to NACO which undertook to provide consulting services for the development of Phase 1 of IKIA Airport Town for a period of five years.

France’s AccorHotels opened Novotel and Ibis near IKIA in September 2016 with the participation of business leaders and representatives of 150 aviation companies such as Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer.

French-based Airbus also struck a $19 billion sale deal last year to give 100 commercial aircraft to Iran. The multinational European company has already delivered three planes.

Iranian President Rouhani urges peace, moderation as Ramadan starts

TEHRAN, May 27, YJC -Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has written to the leaders of Muslim countries on the occasion of the start of the holy month of Ramadan, calling on them to follow the path of peace and moderation to counter Islamophobia.

TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -In separate congratulatory messages on Saturday, Rouhani urged the Muslim leaders to present the face of moderate Islam to the world and to bring about a world free of violence and extremism.

"Undoubtedly, it is upon all leaders, intellectuals, and religious scholars in Muslim countries in this month of divine mercy and forgiveness to counter the false crises being created and the Islamophobia [being propagated] by enemies,” he wrote.

That, he said, should be carried out "by explaining and promoting the lofty goals of Islam, employing moderation in behavior and action, and providing a vivid image of this holy religion.”

The Iranian chief executive also expressed hope that Muslim leaders would collaborate toward the establishment of peace, calm, and security.

He further wished the people and leaders of Muslim states success and happiness.

Ramadan, a holy month on the Islamic lunar calendar, began in several Muslim countries, including Iran, on Saturday.

During the holy month, adult Muslims are required to fast from sunrise to sundown as an effective way of practicing self-discipline. They are also expected to avoid sinning and to strengthen their souls through praying, charitable deeds, and introspection.

Muslim people mark the Eid al-Fitr festival at the end of Ramadan.

Source:Press TV

Saudi rulers to take war dreams in Iran to grave: Qassemi

TEHRAN, May 26, YJC - Iran's Foreign Ministry said Saudi leaders will take their wish to provoke a military attack against the Islamic Republic to their graves.

Saudi rulers to take war dreams in Iran to grave: Qassemi

TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - The strong-worded reaction by Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi came after Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a recent interview that his country "will work to have the battle in Iran.”

"Some have been entertaining such wishes for quite a long time, but they will take them to their graves,” Qassemi said on Friday, describing the remarks "unwise and wrong".

"They are trying to buy security for themselves with these methods and such statements but security to be bought is not enduring and will be of no consequence," he added.   

The spokesman was referring to a $110-billion arms deal which US President Donald Trump clinched with Saudi Arabia during his recent visit to the kingdom.

"Naturally, security will not be achieved by purchasing numerous weapons.

Contemporary history is witness that countries with a large arsenal and military capabilities had their situation totally changed in the end and this can happen to others as well," he added.

The Saudi kingdom could only achieve lasting security by relying on its own people and establishing democratic mechanisms that enable popular electoral participation, Qassemi said.

The spokesman also said Iran will maintain its missile work with utmost determination, and will not pay heed to "empty” interventionist statements about the program.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on President Hassan Rouhani to end Iran's missile tests after he was re-elected for another four years this month.

"Such remarks are void, groundless, fallacious, and deceitful,” Qassemi said, adding

Iran’s missile work falls within the country’s national policy and defensive programs.

Iran's defense program, he said, is a deterrent endeavor, which contributes to the regional stability and security and the fight against terror.

"We will continue this program with utmost strength and sternness, and will not allow others to pass comments on it,” Qassemi said.

He also slammed Tillerson for attempting to vindicate the countries which promote terrorism and extremist ideologies.

Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan on Thursday hailed the country’s self-sufficiency in producing ballistic and cruise missiles, including those with a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles).

"All efforts in the region today are directed at weakening Iran, and preserving Israel’s security and the US arms market, but Iran is standing strong," he said.

Dehqan said, "Turning Saudi Arabia into a stockpile for American weapons is not a thing for them to be proud of,” the minister said.

"We tell Arab rulers to submit to the demands of their nations," Dehqan said, reminding them of the fate of the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and urging them to abandon "servitude" to big powers.

Iran has learned that acceding to the hegemonic powers equals a negation of national identity, the minister said.

US arms deals will fail to make Saudi secure: Iran FM

TEHRAN, May 26, YJC - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the recent US arms deal with Saudi Arabia will fail to guarantee lasting security for Saudi Arabia as claimed by the US Department of State.

US arms deals will fail to make Saudi secure: Iran FMTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - On his first overseas trip since taking office, US President Donald Trump attended a signing ceremony on May 20 for almost $110 billion worth of defense capabilities to be conveyed to support Saudi Arabia's defense needs."If past performance is an indicator of future success, another $110 billion worth of weapons will neither reduce 'the burden' on the American military nor support 'the long-term security of Saudi Arabia'," Zarif said in an article in the New York Times on Friday.

He added that Saudis provided billions to the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to arm his war of aggression against Iran in the 1980s, saying, "Look what that bought them and the world."

US State Department claimed that the package of military equipment and services supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf region in the face of the alleged Iranian threat, adding that it also bolsters Saudi Arabia's ability to provide for its own security and continue contributing to counterterrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on US military forces.

The Iranian foreign minister further said in the best-case scenario, the US president is "extorting our Saudi neighbors" and in the worst one, Trump "could be turning the United States into Saudi Arabia’s mercenary in the Middle East."

"Let me be clear: What President Trump called 'lots of beautiful military equipment' won’t drain the swamps in which terrorism and extremist militancy fester. Neither will golden chains or glowing orbs provide a magical solution to the socioeconomic and political challenges that drive radicalization," Zarif pointed out.

He stressed the importance of making a genuine effort to forge inclusive engagement among regional countries based on coexistence and the acceptance of futility of military approaches to regional crises.

He added that the recent crackdown on Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain indicated that the "region’s despots feel that they’ve been given carte blanche to stamp out peaceful dissent."

Bahraini forces raided the northwestern village of Diraz on Tuesday, clashed with people who had gathered to protect Sheikh Isa Qassim, the spiritual leader of the country’s Shia majority, and killed five of them, and then stormed into his house.

Read more:

•    Bahrain uses military tactics to quash dissent

The top Iranian diplomat urged responsible leaders in regional and world capitals alike to step up efforts to tackle the momentous challenges at hand in order to avoid the spread of terrorism and militant extremism.

He said at a time that Riyadh spends countless millions to promote fear of Iran to distract from its global export of Wahhabism, Iran has been aiding the victims of extremism in Iraq and Syria.

The Iranian foreign minister added that Iran is actively promoting a political solution to the conflicts in Iraq and Syria by helping to prevent Daesh Takfiri militants from seizing Baghdad and Damascus.

Zarif pointed to the two options that the United States and its allies face and said, "They can continue to lend moral and material support, and encourage the perpetrators to intensify their war efforts, though this has proved futile and only brings more death and destruction and further complicates the path to a lasting solution."

"Or, as Iran has stated from the start, these governments can focus on helping to forge inclusive political solutions with the participation of all the political groups involved."

Iran blasts attacks on world medical centers

TEHRAN, May 26, YJC - Iran’s UN mission strongly condemned military attacks on medical centers across the world as well as attempts at justifying the atrocities as “unintentional mistakes.”

Iran blasts attacks on world medical centers

TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Iranian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gholam-Ali Khoshroo made the remarks on Thursday at a UN Security Council debate on the protection of civilians in armed violence.

Also attending the meeting were United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Vice President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Christine Beerli, and Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy of New York-based body Human Rights Watch Bruno Stagno Ugarte.

Khoshroo denounced the targeting of health facilities in conflict zones, especially in Palestine, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria, describing such assaults as one of "the banes of our time.”

He said UN Security Council 2286, which was ratified last year, meant to prevent such attacks, but they have seen a rise ever since. The same year witnessed 23 such attacks, of which the Middle East took the brunt, the senior diplomat added.

Khoshroo said the perpetrators try to justify the atrocities by billing them as "operational mistake,” adding that their repeated use of the pretext makes it hard to believe the claims.

He referred to the October 2015 US airstrike against a hospital in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz, which killed dozens of people, including staff serving the Doctors Without Borders organization.

Khoshroo said none of the perpetrators of the attack, which has likewise been described as a "mistake,” have so far faced punishment.

As another example, the envoy said, Israel targeted Palestinian medical centers, staffers or equipment more than 416 times last year alone.

He also pointed to Saudi Arabia’s brutal military campaign against Yemen, which has taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure and health facilities.

"This invasion has been taking place right before the Security Council’s eyes. More importantly, the US has been increasingly lending military, logistical and training support to the invaders,” Khoshrou added.

Also addressing the event was the UN chief, who said 15 people including three medical staff were reported killed when a hospital in Yemen was hit in an airstrike, just a few months after the adoption of Resolution 2286,

Guterres said parties to conflicts are treating hospitals and clinics as targets rather than respecting them as sanctuaries.

"Despite our efforts, civilians continue to bear the brunt of conflict around the world,” Guterres told the 15-member council, adding that the root causes of conflicts must be addressed.

Iran Giving Turkey Free Gas for Past Debts: Minister

-- 3,743 price_dollar -- 4,227 price_eur (-0.04%) -2 4,832 price_gbp -- 1,035 price_aed (-0.17%) -20,000 11,790,000 sekeb (0.01%) 1,000 12,055,000 sekee (-0.08%) -5,000 6,490,000 nim (-0.13%) -5,000 3,705,000 rob (-0.2%) -5,000 2,545,000 gerami (-0.01%) -110 1,146,830 geram18 (-0.01%) -150 1,529,090 geram24 (-0.01%) -500 4,967,500 mesghal (-0.01%) -10 1,267.70 ons (0.1%) 100 964.00 platinum -- 17.41 silver

Total Says to Conclude Iran’s South Pars Gas Deal before Summer

-- 3,743 price_dollar -- 4,227 price_eur (-0.04%) -2 4,832 price_gbp -- 1,035 price_aed (-0.17%) -20,000 11,790,000 sekeb (0.01%) 1,000 12,055,000 sekee (-0.08%) -5,000 6,490,000 nim (-0.13%) -5,000 3,705,000 rob (-0.2%) -5,000 2,545,000 gerami (-0.01%) -110 1,146,830 geram18 (-0.01%) -150 1,529,090 geram24 (-0.01%) -500 4,967,500 mesghal (-0.01%) -10 1,267.70 ons (0.1%) 100 964.00 platinum -- 17.41 silver

Iran, Russia Ink Oil-for-Goods Barter Deal: Minister

-- 3,743 price_dollar -- 4,227 price_eur (-0.04%) -2 4,832 price_gbp -- 1,035 price_aed (-0.17%) -20,000 11,790,000 sekeb (0.01%) 1,000 12,055,000 sekee (-0.08%) -5,000 6,490,000 nim (-0.13%) -5,000 3,705,000 rob (-0.2%) -5,000 2,545,000 gerami (-0.01%) -110 1,146,830 geram18 (-0.01%) -150 1,529,090 geram24 (-0.01%) -500 4,967,500 mesghal (-0.01%) -10 1,267.70 ons (0.1%) 100 964.00 platinum -- 17.41 silver

Iran Inaugurates New Hydropower Plant

-- 3,743 price_dollar -- 4,227 price_eur (-0.04%) -2 4,832 price_gbp -- 1,035 price_aed (-0.17%) -20,000 11,790,000 sekeb (0.01%) 1,000 12,055,000 sekee (-0.08%) -5,000 6,490,000 nim (-0.13%) -5,000 3,705,000 rob (-0.2%) -5,000 2,545,000 gerami (-0.01%) -110 1,146,830 geram18 (-0.01%) -150 1,529,090 geram24 (-0.01%) -500 4,967,500 mesghal (-0.01%) -10 1,267.70 ons (0.1%) 100 964.00 platinum -- 17.41 silver

Iran Building 2 Sports Arenas in Iraq

-- 3,743 price_dollar -- 4,227 price_eur (-0.04%) -2 4,832 price_gbp -- 1,035 price_aed (-0.17%) -20,000 11,790,000 sekeb (0.01%) 1,000 12,055,000 sekee (-0.08%) -5,000 6,490,000 nim (-0.13%) -5,000 3,705,000 rob (-0.2%) -5,000 2,545,000 gerami (-0.01%) -110 1,146,830 geram18 (-0.01%) -150 1,529,090 geram24 (-0.01%) -500 4,967,500 mesghal (-0.01%) -10 1,267.70 ons (0.1%) 100 964.00 platinum -- 17.41 silver

<div>'The Silk Road: Glorious Past and Even Brighter Future'</div>

The road he traveled was the original ancient Silk Road and ever since then, the two civilizations of China and Persia had been interlinked with each other.

Later on, Persian artists and craftsmen together with Iranian products reached China by horses and camels through this road and merchant ships loaded with Chinese goods started to dock at the Port of Hormuz of Iran. This was a historic picture of mutual learning and friendly exchanges, and numerous touching stories of bilateral interactions had been passed on from generations to generations.

Nowadays, great changes are taking place along the ancient Silk Road. Chinese President H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping in 2013 put forward the initiative of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (the B&R Initiative), calling upon countries along the B&R to build a community of shared interests and common destiny together, thus injecting new vitality to the B&R.

Since the launching of the Initiative over three years ago, tangible progress has been made. Many countries, including Iran, have voiced support to this Initiative. By focusing on policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bond, the participating countries have deepened their cooperation in all these aspects and a series of early harvest have been achieved. The financing mechanism is functioning, the infrastructure connectivity is taking shape, the industrial capacity cooperation is accelerating, the construction of economic corridors is moving forward, the volume of trade and investment is growing rapidly, and people-to-people exchanges are further deepening. These achievements have laid a solid basis for the further progress of the Initiative.

For centuries, Iran has been one of the most important traffic hubs and trading centers along the B&R. Located at the conjunction of the B&R, Iran enjoys an outstanding geo-strategic position. Since the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between P5+1 and Iran in 2016, the internal and external environment of Iran has improved a lot, which provides a better condition for the cooperation between China and Iran.

As a Chinese saying goes, real friends feel close even when they are far apart. For a long time, China and Iran have maintained a friendly relationship. In January 2016, Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping paid a historic visit to Iran and leaders of the two countries reached a series of important consensuses on strengthening bilateral ties. Chinese Vice Premier Madam LIU Yandong and Defense Minister General CHANG Wanquan visited Iran subsequently, and Iranian Economy Minister Mr. Ali Tayebnia and the Foreign Minister Mr. Mohammad Javad Zarif visited China, aiming to implement the outcomes of President Xi’s visit and deepening bilateral cooperation in all areas.

For eight consecutive years, China remained as the biggest trading partner of Iran. Chinese and Iranians companies are now cooperating in many fields such as energy, transportation, machinery, metallurgy, hydro-power, electricity, telecommunication, construction materials, and automobile. The construction of the Tehran-Qom-Isfahan high-speed railway is underway, the Tehran-Mashhad railway modernization project is about to commence, the new line of Tehran metro goes smoothly, and the Yiwu-Tehran direct cargo train has made its initial voyage. Two important oil projects, namely the North Azadegan Project of the CNPC and the Yadavaran Project of the SINOPEC, had been completed late last year and their opening ceremony was launched at the presence of H.E. President Hassan Rouhani. Moreover, the CNPC and the NIOC had signed a new head agreement for the development of South Pars gas field. Nowadays, more and more Chinese companies are opening a business in Iran and the Chinese-funded R&D parks and automobile industry zones are in operation. Chinese trademarks, such as HUAWEI and CHERY are now enjoying great popularity in Iran. The exchanges between various circles of Chinese and Iranian society are also on the rise.

“There is a road communing different hearts”, says an ancient Iranian proverb. The people-to-people exchange between China and Iran is gathering pace. In late April this year, Madam LIU Yandong, Chinese Vice Premier, paid a successful visit to Iran and exchanged views on technological, educational and cultural cooperation with her Iranian counterpart H.E. Sorena Sattari, Vice President of Iran. The Confucius Institute at the Tehran University attracts a lot of Iranian college students to learn Chinese language and it’s no longer surprising to hear a flawless pronounced “Ni Hao” (“hello” in Chinese) when strolling along the streets of Tehran today. The celebrations of “Happy Chinese New Year & Happy Iranian Nowruz” had been organized for five consecutive years by the Chinese Embassy together with Iran-China Friendship Association and received huge attendance from the local community. Last August, China for the first time held in Tehran a series of cultural events focusing on Xinjiang, China. In March this year, the 2018 World Cup Qualifier in Asia between China and Iran wrapped up in Tehran, where the Chinese and Iranian national team jointly presented a wonderful football match for an audience of more than 100 thousand fans and numerous TV viewers.

The B&R cooperation between China and Iran enjoys a bright future. We will work together to create a green, healthy, intelligent and peaceful Silk Road with Iranian counterparts. Several days ago, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing. Distinguished guests from various countries, including Iran, drew up the blueprint for future cooperation. I strongly believe that cooperation between China and Iran will be inspired and promoted by this magnificent event.

By: Pang Sen, Chinese ambassador to Iran

This article was originally appeared on Tehran Times on May 22.

Iran-EU Trade Turnover Jumps by 265% in 3 Months

-- 3,743 price_dollar -- 4,227 price_eur (-0.04%) -2 4,832 price_gbp -- 1,035 price_aed (-0.17%) -20,000 11,790,000 sekeb (0.01%) 1,000 12,055,000 sekee (-0.08%) -5,000 6,490,000 nim (-0.13%) -5,000 3,705,000 rob (-0.2%) -5,000 2,545,000 gerami (-0.01%) -110 1,146,830 geram18 (-0.01%) -150 1,529,090 geram24 (-0.01%) -500 4,967,500 mesghal (-0.01%) -10 1,267.70 ons (0.1%) 100 964.00 platinum -- 17.41 silver

IME holds annual general meeting

TEHRAN, May 27 (MNA) – Holding the IME’s annual general meeting, its shareholders approved its performance and new BOD Members were elected.

According to the report by the IME’s International Affairs and PR, during the IME’s annual general meeting which was held on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, in Niroo Research Institute Conference Hall, after presenting the board of directors’ report for the year 1395 hijri (2016-2017) and explaining the IME’s highlights and developmental practices over the year by Dr. Hamed Soltaninejad, the CEO of IME, the financial statements, independence auditor’s report and explanatory notes were presented and it was announced that the IME's financial position, over 1395 and its financial performance and cash flows for the fiscal year, in terms of all important aspects and in accordance with accounting standards is desirable.

Moreover, the IME’s annual general meeting approved a 150 riyals dividend per share.  Also, over the meeting, Behrad Moshar Auditory Firm was chosen as the independent auditor and legal inspector and Ettelaat Newspaper as well as donya-e-eqtesad Newspaper as the government gazette.

At the end of the meeting, shareholders approved by majority the election of new members of IME’s Board of Directors, so that representatives of Isfahan Steel Company, Tamin Petroleum & Petrochemical Investment Company (TAPICO), Mobarakeh Steel Company, Agricultural Bank Brokerage, National Development Investment Group, Mellat Brokerage Firm, Mehr Ayandegan ( Naft Fund) were elected as board members.

IME’s Highlights in previous year (ended March 20)

On the IME’s annual general meeting, CEO of IME announced that the total value of IME in 1395 hit 817,000 billion Rials (approximately 23.3 billion USD) and experienced a significant growth of %73.

Dr. Hamed Soltaninejad pointed to IME’s strategic practices on the spot and futures market and expressed that over 1395 hijri trade value of the IME’s spot market reached 371,000 billion Rial, facing 25% growth. He said that in the metal and mineral trading floor in addition to iron ore, its products also were listed and offered in the domestic market.

He added that over 1395 hijri the transaction of oil and petrochemical products experienced %26 growth in trade volume and %34 growth in trade value, breaking a record in trade value and volume for petrochemical products over 1395 hijri.

He said that the ratio of trade volume to offer volume for petrochemical products increased from %49 to %67. Furthermore, the long-term contracts and retail transactions for these commodities were launched and National Competition Council announced its final decision regarding the continuity of offering of petrochemical products in IME.

Meanwhile, CEO of IME referred to status of trading agricultural commodities over 195 hijri in IME and stated that trade value and volume of agricultural commodities witnessed growth of %229 and %199, respectively, and 422,000 MT of wheat were traded on this market. Also, over that last year, the guaranteed price plan was implanted for feed barley and maize from all over the country as well as trading pistachio in this exchange. Technical Inspection and listing 73 warehouses for maize and feed barley as well as collaboration with poultry market players in order to complete supply chain for poultry products in IME are among the other IME’s practices in agricultural commodities market.

Afterward, CEO of IME pointed to IME’s initiations in derivatives market and explained that in the derivatives market important measures have been taken in IME leading to an unprecedented record in 4 years for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly trade volume of gold coin futures contract.

In addition, call and put options contracts were launched and the required instructions for the contracts and their collaterals were prepared. Also, instructions regarding listing commodity based exchange traded funds (ETFs) were reformed and administrative regulation for launching and trading commodity based funds were developed and approved by the board of director.

According to the Soltaninejad, evaluating oil and petrochemical products to be listed in futures market, conducting feasibility studies, specifications and prospectus of futures contracts on bitumen, linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), as well as maize and saffron are among other measures of IME in the derivatives market.

Pointing to IME’s achievements in certificates of depositary receipts (CDRs), Soltaninejad said that that launching online trading system for trading certificates of depositary receipts, a %185 growth in trade value of CDRs, launching CDRs on saffron as well as launching continuous trading for maize on the domestic production are among the most important achievements of IME in this market.

He outlined the other initiations as signing MoU with Iran Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organization and the Investment Guarantee Fund for, Pakistan Mercantile Exchange, Mellat Bank, Iran Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (ICDX).

IME’s Priorities in the present year (began March 21)

IME’s CEO, on this meeting, pointed to the exchange’s hopeful events over the year 1396 hijri and said: launching derivatives market on foreign currencies, trading options contracts on maize and feed barley, launching online trading system for options contracts, trading forwards contracts and commodity swaps, bitumen futures contracts, lunching commodity based funds are among the IME’s priorities in 1396 Hijri.


Crude prices to grow in coming days

Crude prices to grow in coming days - Mehr News Agency

Oil min.:

بیژن نامدار زنگنه وزیر نفت TEHRAN, May 27 (MNA) – Iranian Petroleum Minister Zanganeh has maintained that crude oil prices in international markets will surge in the days to come.

Following 172nd Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the 2nd OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting on May 25 in Vienna, Austria, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said no power could force Iran to cap its crude output and any decline in the country’s oil production can take place only through agreements and the country’s will.

He described the 172nd meeting as peaceful since all members shared views which led to facile decision making in accordance with market expectations.

The official said the downfall in global crude prices following the OPEC’s meeting in Vienna had come as a shock to him though he expressed hope that, the will of OPEC members will help lift up oil prices in the near future.

He also appreciated collaboration of non-OPEC members with the 13-nation oil cartel which has been more fruitful than primary expectations. Zanganeh recalled that OPEC and non-OPEC members had remained 100% and 90% committed to the November 30 oil cut deal.

On the possibility for crude prices to remain in 55 to 60 dollars per barrel if the same trend is pursued, the official said decisions are made based on market analysis and conditions though psychological aspects could also play a role. “All in all, the decision to reduce crude output should logically increase modify global prices.”

The Iranian oil minister went on to voice the Oil Ministry’s readiness to bolster relations with large and credible oil companies, including American ones, since Iran has always issued message of peace and friendship to its neighbors and to the world.

On other sectors of the oil industry, Bijan Zanganeh said gas output levels are satisfactory as significant measures have been taken and importance projects have become implemented.


Industry min. calls for attention to global food markets

Industry min. calls for attention to global food markets - Mehr News Agency نعمت زاده TEHRAN, May 27 (MNA) – Iranian Industry Minister Nematzadeh said, in order to develop activities in food industries, due attention needs to be paid to international markets.

He urged paroducers and manufacturers to take up a special look towards global markets o food industries saying “of course, domestic products and machineries have made considerable progress over recent years.”

“Appropriate growth has been observed in products, processes, equipment and material,” highlighted the official stressing that all economic activists need to make further efforts to boost their presence in foreign markets.

Iranian Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh noted that over 12,000 units were active in the country’s food industries which offered best quality products.

Iran needs to become a large exporter of food products, highlighted the official saying that, to this end, we can rely on the wide variety of products inside the country as key to success in international markets.

He also emphasized the need to consume domestic products calling on people to provide necessary support for Iranian industries.

As regards industrial machines, the same belief should hold true that domestic machinery knowhow needs to be exploited as much as possible unless one item is only available in foreign markets.

Referring to packaging industries, Nematzadeh deemed them as complementary to food industries explaining “packaging sector holds great significance in that food industries are vulnerable.”

Fortunately, Iran enjoys suitable conditions in packaging arenas both in terms of raw materials and equipment which will hopefully develop on a day to day basis.


Iran exports 200k tons of flour

Iran exports 200k tons of flour - Mehr News Agency wheat TEHRAN, May 24 (MNA) – Deputy agriculture minister has reported on exports of 200 thousand barrels of flour to regional and European countries.

Deputy Minister of Agricultural for Commercial and Agricultural Industries Ali Akbar Mehrfard said it was the first time for Iran to deploy wheat and flour to international markets adding “special facilities have been created for exports of surplus wheat which kicked off three months ago.”

Mehrfard described food industry as one of the most important industries in the export markets adding “Ministry of Agriculture seeks to expand storage of products from the farm to domestic and foreign markets in line with policies of Resistance Economy.”

“The objectives are expected to become fulfilled by the end of the Sixth National Development Plan in a bid to create production chains,” he continued.

Deputy Iranian agriculture minister said food and agriculture products of Iran are exported to more than 30 world countries and the possibility exists now to sell products to Russia and Eurasian countries thanks to creation of transport and cooling infrastructures.

Self-sufficiency in wheat production, a long-held dream of Iranian farmers and workers, came true in the previous Iranian calendar year. In addition to supplying domestic demand, even three million tons of the product can now be exported abroad. Approximately 13 to 14 million tons of wheat are expected to be produced in the present Iranian year.


Annual shrimp production to hit 30k tons

Annual shrimp production to hit 30k tons - Mehr News Agency میگو TEHRAN, May 24 (MNA) – Secretary General of Iran's Fisheries Union Ali Akbar Khodaei estimated that approximately 30 thousand tons of shrimp will be produced in the current year (began March 21).

The official made the remarks recalling that in the previous Iranian calendar year, a total of 21 thousand tons of shrimp had been produced 14 thousand tons of which had been deployed to international markets.

Khodaei, while estimating that the country will produce about 30,000 tons of the product, said shrimp harvest will kick off in one month’s time in Hormozgan Province.

He went on to estimate that, unlike the last year’s export figure which stood at 14 thousand tons, around 21 thousand tons of shrimp will be exported in the present year.

As such, volume of shrimp export is expected to climb by 9,000 tons, said the official expressing hope that the over output level will exceed the estimated figure of 30 thousand tons.

On exports to the Russian Federation, Iran's Fisheries Union head said sales of fisheries to Russia are being conducted similar to the past in that they have a slow but natural pace.

“Nevertheless, Iran’s ties with the Eurasian country become closer every year,” underlined Khodaei.

He said major export destinations for the Iranian shrimp included Southeast Asian countries, particularly Vietnam and China, Arabic neighbors, especially the UAE, European Union countries and Russia.


Tehran, Muscat after stronger banking ties

Tehran, Muscat after stronger banking ties - Mehr News Agency ولی الله سیف TEHRAN, May 23 (MNA) – In a bid to boost bilateral banking relations, Iran and Oman have reached a number of agreements including connection of bank payment systems of both sides.

Governor of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Valiollah Seif made a visit to Oman on Monday during which both sides reached various agreements to bolster joint banking collaborations one being linking of switch systems.

Leading a high-ranking banking delegation to Muscat, Valiollah Seif made the visit in order to follow up earlier agreements reached during earlier visit of President Rouhani to the Persian Gulf littoral state.

Hamoud bin Senghor al-Zadjali, Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO), and CBI Governor Seif, at a joint meeting, assigned representatives to the joint committee and made an agreement over connection of bank payment systems so that owners of Iranian and Omani credit cards will be able to use ATMs in both countries.

It was also agreed that braches of Bank Saderat Iran and Bank Melli Iran based in Oman become activated. In the same line and with the aim of promoting bilateral trade between the two sides, it was agreed that broker relations between commercial banks be developed.

It is worth mentioning that holding training courses in Islamic banking, treasury and foreign exchange arenas were among other achievements of the visit.

On the basis of the reached agreements between heads of Iranian and Omani central banks, technical directors of the two countries are supposed to discuss technical issues within a month and offer appropriate recommendations for settlement existing concerns to the joint banking working group by the end of the month.

CBI Governor Seif was accompanies by a number of CEOs of public and private banks in his one-day trip to Oman.


Iran’s share of Russian food market unsatisfactory: official

Iran’s share of Russian food market unsatisfactory: official - Mehr News Agency اقتصاد TEHRAN, May 23 (MNA) – Head of Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi has criticized low volume of trade between Iran and Russia as compared to neighboring states.

A meeting of Iran-Russia Joint Chamber was held in Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) with a focus on barriers to food exports to Russia.

Asgaroladi, while pointing to good political ties between Tehran and Moscow, said Russia in the largest consumer of food products in East European countries and conducts imports from across the world while Iran enjoys an unsatisfactory position among food exporters to the Eurasian country.

The official referred to Iran’s good economic relations with its 15 neighbors asserting that the lowest volume of exchanges belongs to Russia.

He said ascribing the low figure in trade turnover to sanctions was a mere excuse since no limitations exist now except for banking issues; “Russians themselves seem to have decided not to purchase more items from Iran.”

Asadollah Asgaroladi went on to enumerate obstacles to expansion of trade ties with Russia including banking, financial, transport and visa issuance issues.

The head of Iran-Russia chamber touched upon his recent visit to Russia saying “owner of a chain market told me that packaging of Iranian products enjoyed a lower quality than that of fruits of other countries.”

Russian trade representative in Iran Andrei Lugansky, who is also a member of the joint Chamber, deemed international sanctions as a major reason to the fall in Tehran-Moscow trade turnover.

Iran and Russia share similar structures the only difference being that the Russian one is larger, he noted. “Food distribution mechanisms in Russia are however completely different from Iranian ones as only chain markets exist in the Eurasian country.”

“Despite Russia’s eagerness, we cannot enter into contracts with Iranian partners since they are scattered and no single large company exists with which we can launch negotiations,” Lugansky stressed.

He further recalled the instance of purchasing 50 thousand tons of tomatoes from a large Turkish holding in 2015 noting that Iranians need to be capable of supplying massive volumes of food products.


Iran follows up technical projects in Iraq

Iran follows up technical projects in Iraq - Mehr News Agency مجتبی خسروتاج TEHRAN, May 22 (MNA) – Head of Iran’s TPO has travelled to Iraq to pursue progress of technical and engineering projects being implemented by Iranian companies in the neighboring country.

Iran is currently working on the al-Zawaraa Stadium with a capacity of 12,500 people as well as the 60,000-seat Altajyat stadium project in Baghdad which are approximately 41% and 30% through, respectively. The railway project between Hejama and Sava is also under construction by Iranian engineering firms.

At joint meetings between Head of Iran's Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Mojtaba Khosrotaj and Iraqis, both sides investigated obstacles in the way of activities of companies and discussed ways to overcome barriers in order to accelerate projects.

The Iraqi Ministry of Industry possesses about 140 factories which are managed by 30 state-owned companies. To produce goods, these factories tend to supply their required materials and equipment from abroad but, due to lack of competitiveness, the need of other ministries are supplied through foreign products.

Iraq’s Deputy Commerce Minister Walid Habib al-Mousavi, at his meeting with Head of Iran’s TPO Khosrotaj, made the request for participation of Iranian companies to build concrete and medal silos as well as to reconstruct and repair Iraq’s oil silos; a proposal which was accepted by the Iranian side.

A number of industrial factories of Iraq like cable, automotive, steel, chemical, construction materials and sanitary products ones are working with Iranian materials.

During his visit to Iraq, Mojtaba Khosrowtaj also met with the minister of sport and deputy industry and commerce ministers of the neighboring country.


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