_Iran’s parliament postpones second round of subsidy cuts (Washington Post)
An Iranian lawmaker says the country’s parliament has postponed the implementation of a second round of subsidy cuts until 2013 over fears of stoking already rampant inflation.
The head of the parliamentary budgetary and planning committee Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moghaddam told the semiofficial Mehr news agency the second phase of the three-part plan would likely cause a 15-percent jump in the inflation rate, which is officially running at almost 25 percent.
Iran began cutting subsidies on energy and food in 2010. The second phase, which targeted gasoline subsidies, was to take effect in March 2012.
Parliament’s decision Tuesday officially pushed back the second round of cuts to March 2013.
_IMF: Small contraction in Iranian economy (ALbavaba)
“The projection that we have shows small contraction in Iran economy during 2012 … and an increase in inflationary pressure in the same period,” the IMF’s head of Middle East and Central Asia, Masood Ahmed, told AFP in Dubai where he presented the Fund’s Regional Economic Outlook report.
IMF figures released last month forecast an economic contraction in Iran of 0.9 percent this year, and mild growth of 0.8 percent in 2013. The figures compare to 2.0-percent growth in 2011 and 5.9 percent in 2010.
“This deterioration reflects both lower oil production, which is in part because of the external constraints and the spillover impact of that on the rest of the economy,” he said.
According to IMF projections, Iran’s oil exports have dropped to 1.25 million barrels per day this year, compared with 2.14 million bpd last year.
He pointed out that the drop took place even though “other parts of the economy have done well, such as agriculture.” “It is important to remember that the economy is quite a diversified economy in Iran. The oil as a share of the GDP is not as large as other oil exporters,” Ahmed said.
Agriculture contributes some 10 percent of the Islamic republic’s GDP, while industry, including oil, accounts for about 40 percent, and services amount to about half the output.
_Iranian oil output, exports rebound – IEA (Trade Arabia)
Iranian oil output rose in October after seven months of decline due to Western sanctions and its exports rebounded strongly as China and South Korea bought more oil, the West’ energy watchdog said on Tuesday.
The International Energy Agency, adviser to industrialised nations on energy policy, said the rebound in Iranian output was adding to a bearish picture of growing oil supply while demand remained depressed due to a weak global economy.
The IEA also added that a new round of sanctions against Iran was likely to further cripple its finances although not necessarily further reduce its oil deliveries to markets.
In a short message to Tehran-Arbil Economic Cooperation Conference on Tuesday, Talabani expressed hope that the meeting would lead to the expansion of economic and commercial ties between Iran and Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
Referring to the Islamic Republic’s longtime collaboration with Iraq’s Kurdistan region, Talabani urged the participants at the summit to lay the grounds for further development of trade relations between the two sides.
The two-day forum, during which meetings between private sectors and government officials from both sides will be held, is under way in the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan region, Arbil.
The Iranian delegation is headed by the country’s Vice President for International Affairs Ali Saeedlou.
_ Iranian, Turkish Communication Ministers Meet in Tehran (FARS News Agency)
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the first meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) states’ communication and information technology ministers in Tehran on Tuesday.
“Enhancing of the relations between the two countries is the main aim of my visit to Tehran,” Yildirim said, adding, “Turkey is willing to invest in Iran’s ICT and telecommunication sectors.”
The meeting was held after Taqipour on Sunday addressed his ECO counterparts in their first conference in Tehran, and asked the ECO members to cooperate and exchange information in software and hardware fields, providing various ICT services, building infrastructures, providing e-government services, cooperation among mobile operators in various fields, including reducing tariffs for international roaming, creating and enhancing facilities for the technical testing of roaming and increasing the capacity of international gateways.
Iran has denied USD 12 billion in oil revenue deposits in its foreign exchange fund in the calendar year which ended in March 2011.
The measure was against the law as the Fourth Five Year Development Plan required the administration to deposit oil revenues to the forex fund.
Mr Gholamreza Mesbahi Moqaddam chairman of Iranian Parliamentary Economic Committee said that Iran is predicted to face IRR 540 trillion budget deficit in the current calendar year which began on March 20. Oil incomes have decreased and that the country is facing unfavorable economic conditions.
He put the current volume of oil sales at around 1.03 million barrels per day saying that the figure had been targeted at 2.5 million barrels per day.
Mr Mohammad Ali Khatibi Iran’s OPEC governor said that the country’s oil exports have remained steady in recent months. Iran’s oil exports are the same as previous months and the situation is stable.
The West is pressing Iran into shutting down its nuclear program for fear that Tehran may eventually develop nuclear weapons. However Tehran claims that all of its nuclear research is exclusively peaceful in character.
The EU imposed an embargo on purchasing oil and oil products from Iran in July this year while in October. Brussels adopted another major package of economic sanctions.