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Iran News Round Up



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Religion, Culture, and Society

Politics

Economy

  • Quoting a former official of Ministry of Industries and Mines, Sarmayeh says Iranians receive an annual increase of 20 to 25 percent in their income, while their purchasing power decreases up to 50 percent every year. The official describes the authorities’ strategies to tackle the soaring inflation and liquidation problems as counterproductive, which have adversely affected the productivity rate and investment.
  • Parliament to discuss the economic reform scheme transforming subsidies into oil dividends in two weeks.
    • Finance Minister Seyyed Shams al-Din Hosseini says the legislation is expected to pass parliament in two weeks.
  • Finance Minister Hosseini says last year’s budget calculated at $55/barrel oil, so Iran will not face difficulty so long as oil remains around $70/barrel.
  • Head of Iran Statistics Mohammad Madad says unemployment has risen to “10.2 percent this last summer” and also said that his organization continuously prepares secret reports on inflation to the authorities.
  • Sarmayeh examines causes and effects of Iran’s declining steel industry:
    • Constant decrease in steel princes in the world markets has forced Iran’s steel companies to scale down production.
    • Raw material for steel production has skyrocketed 60 to 70 percent, resulting in low productivity.
    • Manufacturers are not satisfied with the government’s support to overcome the problem.
    • At present, Iran’s annual steel production is estimated to be up to 21 million tons, evenly divided for domestic consumption and export.
  • Ahmadinejad inaugurates South Pars oil field’s phases 5, 7, and 8.
    • The initial phase of the expansion plan is projected to produce 80 million cubic meters of gas.
    • Annually an aggregate amount of 600,000 tons of liquid natural gas will be produced by the three phases.
  • Iranian economist explores the root causes of global financial breakdown and examines its effects on the Iranian economy. Tehran University Professor Hossein Tabrizi pointed out:
    • Industrial production dictating Tehran’s Stock Exchange will fall steadily.
    • Foreign exchange will decrease as a result of declining oil prices and this will slow down implementation of development projects.
    • The crisis will hamper the smooth execution of Iran’s privatization drive, including privatizing the National Bank and Agricultural Bank.
    • The global financial crisis, however, provides Iran with an opportunity to take advantage of the prevailing chaos and establish trade ties with foreign companies in dire need of expanding their trade horizons.
    • Due to economic sanctions, Iran has yet to accomplish any foreign investments despite increasing oil prices. The prevailing chaos, however, reduces the controlling mechanisms by major world powers and gives Iran a chance for foreign investment.

Trade

  • Iran to build metro in Bahrain.
  • Larijani says Iran-Bahrain economic cooperation is expanding, as evidenced by the bilateral natural gas agreement.
  • Article entitled, “Obstacles to formation of gas cartel,” critically analyses political, economic and feasibility aspects of a tripartite project by Russia, Iran and Qatar to establish an OPEC-style cartel on natural gas.
    • As the three countries possess almost 60 percent of the world’s natural gas, the initiative could fundamentally impact the global gas market.
    • The scheme was first proposed by Iran in 2006. Despite an initial agreement, Russia turned down the proposal after securing energy deals with Europeans. It is likely that Moscow yet again withdraws from the project after receiving concessions from the West.
  • Article, entitled “Big rotation in global oil market,” examines key issues that will be discussed in the upcoming OPEC summit on Friday. The author says Iran will propose major reduction in oil production by the OPEC countries.

Diplomacy

Nuclear Issue

Human Rights and Labor

Military and Security

Public Health

Photos of the Day



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