In a style typical of state television, a young interviewer stands on a sidewalk in a busy area and asks passersby their opinions about the recent outpouring of protests across Iran. A man in his 60s with tired eyes responds, “I have three children. They’re doctors and engineers. And all three are unemployed.”
A veteran of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, with a crowd standing around him, defiantly tells the interviewer, “I need medication for my injuries from the war, but my medicine isn’t covered, and I’m told to go buy it on the black market. Who can afford that? I have a condition in my back and at any moment I can be paralyzed. Who am I supposed to air my pain to?”
In a sharply produced video by Avant TV, a new internet channel on the sophisticated Iranian media landscape, a steady stream of people relay that they can no longer make ends meet in Iran’s struggling economy.
The Avant TV video, released on social media five days after protests erupted in Iran, which have thus far spread to dozens of cities and almost every province, carefully stitches together an emotional array of interviews of people unhappy with the economic situation and President Hassan Rouhani’s policies. With scarce public information available about Avant TV, and with the great pains its producers have taken to present it as an independent station, the video is intended to appear to be transparent, a true representation of the will of the Iranian people.
Glaringly absent from the video are any criticism of the political establishment as a whole, which has been one of the main themes of the current demonstrations.
Avant TV is in fact not independent at all. Al-Monitor has not been able to contact it, but two pro-regime media producers confirmed that it is only the latest example of a new media outlet backed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seeking to reinforce the narrative of the supreme leader above the politics of Iran.
The head of the German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce said Germany sold 2.358 billion euros ($2.846 billion) worth of goods to Iran, and imported just $328 million worth of goods from Iran in nine months from January through October 2017.
Michael Tockuss, head of Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag (DIHK), added that German exports to Iran grew by more than 27 percent year-on-year from 2015 to 2016, and remain on a steep upward curve, according to Deutsche Welle (DW) on Tuesday.
“Germany’s trade surplus with Iran is massive,” Tockuss said.
“But that’s nothing new. The Iranians complain about it from time to time, and we try to find ways to encourage more Iranian exports into Europe and Germany, but we’ve been running big trade surpluses with Iran for forty years,” he added.
One might imagine that trade between Iran and Germany is about sending oil in one direction, and automobiles in the other, but that’s incorrect, Tockuss continued.
“We (Germany) don’t buy crude oil from Iran,” he said.
“Our refineries aren’t designed to deal with the high-sulfur crude Iran produces. Only Italy and Greece have refineries that can process it, so they’re the main European importers of Iranian oil.”
“Around 60 percent of Iran’s total trade revenues come from oil and gas sales. That’s a lot — but the other 40 percent are important too. Iran’s economy is the most industrially diversified in the region,” Tockuss went on to say.
Diplomatic and trade relations between Iran and European countries, Germany in particular, have improved greatly since the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), came into force in January 2016.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)
From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.
A Turkish banker has been found guilty in a US court of taking part in a scheme to violate Washington’s sanctions against Iran.
Mehmet Hakan Atilla and eight others were accused of moving billions of dollars’ worth of Iranian money through American banks, disguised as food and gold sales.
Al Jazeera‘s Kristen Saloomey reports from New York:
The United States’ Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned five Iran-based entities subordinate to a key element of Iran’s ballistic missile program.
Shahid Kharrazi Industries, Shahid Sanikhani Industries, Shahid Moghaddam Industries, Shahid Eslami Research Center, and Shahid Shustari Industries are being designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382 for being owned or controlled by Iran’s Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group (SBIG).
Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin (pictured) said:
“These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, which the Iranian regime prioritizes over the economic well-being of the Iranian people. As the Iranian people suffer, their government and the IRGC fund foreign militants, terrorist groups, and human rights abuses.
“The United States will continue to decisively counter the Iranian regime’s malign activity, including additional sanctions targeting human rights abuses. We will not hesitate to call out the regime’s economic mismanagement, and diversion of significant resources to fund threatening missile systems at the expense of its citizenry.“
SBIG, which is responsible for the development and production of Iran’s solid-propellant ballistic missiles, is listed in the Annex to E.O. 13382 and is currently sanctioned by the U.S., UN, and EU.
- Shahid Kharrazi Industries is subordinate to SBIG and is responsible for the development and production of guidance and control systems for solid-propellant ballistic missiles.
- Shahid Sanikhani Industries is subordinate to SBIG and is responsible for casting and curing solid-propellant for Iran’s solid-propellant ballistic missiles.
- Shahid Moghaddam Industries is subordinate to SBIG and is responsible for the development and production of solid-propellant missile motor cases, ballistic missile launchers, and ground support equipment.
- Shahid Eslami Research Center is subordinate to, and serves as the research and development organization within, SBIG.
- Shahid Shustari Industries is subordinate to, and likely was created for the development of fiber materials for, SBIG.
As a result of this action, all property and interests in property of those designated today subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. I
n addition, foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate significant transactions for, or persons that provide material or certain other support to, the entities designated today risk exposure to sanctions that could sever their access to the U.S. financial system or block their property and interests in property under U.S. jurisdiction.
Tags: featured, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), sanctions, Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group (SBIG), Shahid Bakeri Industries Group (SBIG), Shahid Eslami Research Center, Shahid Kharrazi Industries, Shahid Moghaddam Industries, Shahid Sanikhani Industries, Shahid Shustari Industries, United States
From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.
Iran’s army chief declared on Thursday that police had already quelled anti-government unrest that has killed 21 people, but said his troops were ready to intervene if needed.
Rallies in support of the government have been held across Iran for a second day.
Al Jazeera‘s Zein Basravi reports from Tehran:
UN human rights chief urges Iranian authorities to defuse tensions, investigate protest deaths
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has urged the Iranian authorities “to handle the wave of protests that have taken place around the country with great care so as not to further inflame violence and unrest,” and to investigate all deaths and serious injuries that have occurred so far.
“I am deeply disturbed by reports that more than 20 people, including an 11-year-old boy, have died and hundreds have been arrested during the recent wave of protests in Iran.
“The Iranian authorities must respect the rights of all demonstrators and detainees, including their right to life, and guarantee their safety and security.
“There must be thorough, independent and impartial investigations of all acts of violence that have taken place – and a concerted effort by the authorities to ensure that all security forces respond in a manner that is proportionate and strictly necessary, and fully in line with international law.”
The UN human rights chief stressed that Iranian citizens who take to the streets to express their discontent have a right to be heard, and that the issues they raise should be resolved through dialogue, with full respect for freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly.
“It is incumbent on the authorities that their actions do not provoke a downward spiral of violence, as occurred in 2009 .. The authorities must take all steps to ensure that this does not happen again.”
The High Commissioner urged the authorities to release from detention any protestors who have been arbitrarily deprived of their liberty, or penalised in any way, for expressing their views and protesting in a peaceful manner. “Peaceful protests must not be criminalised,” he said. “They are a legitimate part of the democratic process.”
China’a Sinopec Engineering has announce that the Group has agreed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with the National Iranian Oil Engineering and Construction Company in relation to Phase II of the Abadan refinery upgrade.
The Group puts the value of the contract at RMB6.858 billion ($1.06 billion).
The Iranian Oil Pipeline & Telecommunications Company (IOPTC) says ever since implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), import of the items and equipment needed for construction of pipelines in the country has been dramatically facilitated.
Abolghasem Zamani, director of items supply at IOPTC, said since JCPOA implementation back in January 2016 the company has been able to import many of the items it requires for construction of pipelines and telecommunication facilities in oil industry of Iran.
He said the company has ordered 141 items in the current Iranian calendar year which began on March 21 of which 74 ones were produced by domestic suppliers, 51 others were imported and 16 others concerned manufacturing or repairing by domestic companies.
“For the time being, IOPTC has no turbines send overseas for repairing and has all of its orders fulfilled by domestic manufacturers,” he noted, adding the company’s policies to rely on domestic parties have so far saved the country 13 billion dollars since March 2016.
The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is a humanitarian, non-profit, non-government organisation (NGO) working in more than 30 countries throughout the world since 1956.
DRC has been operational in Iran since the spring of 2012 working in partnership with the Iranian Government through the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrant Affairs (BAFIA), the Ministry for Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Education (MoE).
Interested parties should submit, in writing, a full company profile a valid Company Registration Certificate along with details of the service, resources, qualifications and experience offered. References may be sought.
Those deemed suitable will be contacted in order to complete the DRC Supplier Profile and Registration Process. Successful completion will permit participation in the forthcoming Invitation to Bid tender process in 2018.
Financial Service Providers (Cash Transfer Solutions)
Legal Translation Services
Mobile Communication Service Providers
Building Contractors (Small Renovations & New Builds)
Building Trades (Electrical, Plumbing, Carpentry etc.)
Air Conditioning and Heating Contractors
Transportation Services (Goods, Courier, Taxi)
Travel Agent Services (International & Domestic Flights, Transfers, Hotels)
IT Equipment and Supplies
Tailoring Equipment and Supplies
Printing Services (Booklets, Banners)
Beauty Products and Equipment (Hairdressing etc)
Cooking Pots and Utensils (Crockery, Cutlery etc.)
Furniture and Workshop Equipment
Office Supplies and Stationary
Shelter Equipment (Tents, Tarpaulins, Mattress etc.)
Cold Weather Provision (Heaters, Blankets, Clothing)
Hygiene Supplies (Feminine, Soaps, Toothpaste etc.)
Warehousing and Storage space for rental
Please note that DRC is an International organisation and as such all business transactions, contracts and correspondence are to be conducted in English. Responders to this call are to be aware that EOI submissions are not part of the contracting process and as such does not qualify as a contracting agreement.
Thirty-two crew members, including 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, have gone missing after two vessels collided off China's east coast on Saturday evening, China's Ministry of Transport said Sunday.
The collision, between a Panama-registered oil tanker and a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter, occurred at around 8 p.m. Saturday in waters about 160 sea miles east of the Yangtze River's estuary, the ministry said, Xinhua reported.
The 32 missing crew members were all from the oil tanker, which capsized after the collision. All 21 crew members on the bulk freighter -- all Chinese nationals -- have been rescued, according to the ministry.
The 274-meter-long oil tanker SANCHI, owned by an Iranian shipping company and with 136,000 tons of condensate oil on board, was traveling from Iran to the Republic of Korea (ROK). It caught fire after the collision and was still burning, according to the ministry.
The ministry said oil spilled into the sea, but did not specify the area of contamination.
The 225-meter-long bulk freighter CF CRYSTAL carried 64,000 tons of grain and was partly damaged. It is owned by a Chinese shipping company and was traveling from the United States to Guangdong, China.
Chinese maritime authorities have dispatched eight vessels, including three specialized cleansing vessels, for search and rescue. After coordination by the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center, the ROK dispatched a coast guard ship and a fixed-wing aircraft to assist in the search and rescue.
TEHRAN- According to the head of Trade Promotion organization of Iran, the country has exported $950 million of nuts during the first eight months of the present Iranian calendar Year (ended on November 21, 2017), Tasnim news agency reported.
Pistachio is the most important nut exported in the said time, Mojtaba Khosrotaj said.
“Exports of pistachio witnessed a 22 percent decrease in the first half of the current year (ended on September 22, 2017) in comparison to the previous year, but the drop has been compensated in the ninth Iranian calendar month Azar (November 22-December 21, 2017),” he added.
TEHRAN – Iranian cooperatives and unions presented over 39,000 job opportunities to the country’s workforce during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-Decemebr 21, 2017).
According to the data released by the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, the mentioned jobs were created at 2,535 newly established cooperatives and unions, ISNA reported on Saturday.
Based on the data, some 49,891 job opportunities were created during the last Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20, 2017).
TEHRAN – Two years after implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, in January 2016, Iranian banks has established banking relations with over 285 banks worldwide, IRNA reported on Saturday.
Before the West-imposed sanctions hit the country’s banking system, Iranian banks were linked with over 633 foreign partners. However, influenced by the embargo, the number had fallen drastically to 30 banks in 2015.
As reported, currently Iranian banks have established relations with banks all around the world including Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Russia, Turkey, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Iraq and Oman.
TEHRAN- Iran will hold its exclusive trade and industrial exhibition from February 12 to 15 in Baghdad, Iran’s commercial attaché to Iraq announced, IRNA reported on Friday.
According to Naser Behzad, the exhibition will be held by cooperation among Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPO), the country’s embassy in Iraq, and Iranian entrepreneurs at the place of Baghdad International Fairgrounds.
Some 100 Iranian companies are expected to introduce their latest products and services at this exhibition, he added.
TEHRAN- According to the latest report released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), the country imported one million tons of rice during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (ended December 21, 2017).
The value of the imported rice stood at $983 million, the report said, showing an increase of 86 percent from the last year’s $527 million.
Iran’s imports of rice registered 65 percent rise in terms of volume, compared to the same time in last year.
TEHRAN - Iran’s Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Masoud Karbasian praised the country’s current gross domestic product (GDP) growth saying, “What makes this growth important is that, it is not driven only by oil income.”
According to Karbasian, although this year’s GDP is going to be less than last year’s 12.5 percent but considering the fact that the country’s oil exports have not increased much since last year, the expected seven percent GDP growth is quite satisfactory.
“The country’s GDP is projected to reach seven percent by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21),” the official added.
Iran’s oil exports rose significantly during the last Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2016- March 20, 2017) since the west-imposed sanctions on the country were lifted and Iran regained most of its lost oil market share.
In July 2017, Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht announced that the country’s GDP growth, including oil sector, stood at 11.1 percent in the past Iranian calendar year, while non-oil GDP growth stood at 6.4 percent in the same time.
TEHRAN- France’s energy company Entrepose Group signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) with two Iranian parties for cooperation on recovery and utilization of flare gas from Iran’s South Pars gas field phases 14, 17 and 18 of development.
According to a report by IDRO, the MOU was signed between Entrepose Group, Industrial Projects Management Company of Iran (IPMI) and Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO) in Tehran.
TEHRAN – Like the Capital Tehran, Iran plans to construct biogas power plants in other big cities to generate electricity from wastewater, IRNA reported on Wednesday citing an official at Iran’s Water and Wastewater Company.
According to the Director General of the Utilization Control Office at Iran’s Water and Wastewater Company, Bahman Vakili, one of the world’s biggest biogas power plants is operating at a wastewater treatment plant in southern Tehran.
“Once fully operational, the power plant will generate about 80 gigawatts (GW) of electricity and 270 terajoules (TJ) of thermal energy annually, which is enough to supply a town with over 100,000 residents,” he said.
“Tehran’s biogas power plant is currently generating 60 GW of electricity and 200 TJ of thermal energy, annually,” Vakili added.
TEHRAN- The 5th edition of International Exhibition on Nuts, Dried Fruit & related industries (IRAN NUTEX 2018) was inaugurated at Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds on Wednesday, IRIB news reported.
The four-day event, which is held with cooperation of Iran Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) and some other Iranian private and state-run entities, seeks increase in Iran’s production of nuts and dried fruits as well as their exports to the world. Tens of Iranian production and processing units are showcasing their latest products and modern machineries in this exhibition.
As previously reported, 110 Iranian companies are taking part in IRAN NUTEX 2017, while business delegations from 28 countries will visit the event.
Following the successful implementation of the plan for offering barley and corn in Iran Mercantile Exchange (IME) at guaranteed price instead of the guaranteed purchase of these grains by the government, which brought satisfaction for both farmers and the government, Iran carried out this plan also for wheat. The pilot plan on barley and corn was implemented in two provinces […]
TEHRAN- The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) banned any registration for imports of rice until further notice, IRNA reported. “Regarding the mass imports of rice, more than one million tons, during the first five months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21- August 22, 2017), which surpassed domestic consumption and pulled market into recession, no further order […]
The post Iranian customs bans rice imports order registration appeared first on IRAN BUSINESS TIME.
TEHRAN – German Energy Company Athos Solar has invested near €42.5 million in Iran’s renewable energy sector constructing 35 megawatts (MW) capacity of solar farms in Hamedan Province, west central Iran. As reported by IRNA, the company has built four 7-megawatt solar farms so far and yet another farm with the same capacity is under construction. Construction of the solar […]
The post Germany going big on renewable energy co-op with Iran appeared first on IRAN BUSINESS TIME.