Nov 25

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Iran Economy Latest News 2012/11/25

Iran Economy Latest News


Ayatolah Khamenei halts Iran president’s grilling by parliament (msn news)

The decision was announced after Ayatolah  Khamenei was quoted on his website, Khamenei.ir, as saying, “I ask lawmakers not to pursue” the planned questioning.

Ayatolah Khamenei has the final word over all state matters in the Islamic republic.

A petition submitted by 77 MPs in the 290-seat parliament on November 4 required Ahmadinejad to appear before lawmakers within a month to explain his “government’s procrastination in managing” Iran’s sanctions-hit economy.

The move was put in motion after the national currency, the rial, lost more than two-thirds of its value in a 20-day span starting in late September.

Shortly after Khamenei’s remarks were published, parliament abandoned the planned grilling, ISNA reported.

“By adhering to the supreme leader, we announce that we will not pursue the task,” it quoted lawmaker Evaz Heidarpour as saying on behalf of the 77 MPs behind the move.

Ayatolah Khamenei meanwhile praised the conservative-dominated parliament for initiating the plan, saying “it showed a sense of responsibility in the assembly and a readiness by government officials to answer” questions on Iran’s economic woes.


Iran’s economy shielded from Western sanctions (CPI Financial) 

 Iran’s economy is said to have been protected by large gold reserves, high oil prices and reduced foreign imports. 

“We can’t say that sanctions did not damage us. They did, but we thrashed out plans to control the damage and were able to avoid a serious dent to our economy,” Mahmoud Bahmani, Iran’s Central Bank Governor, toldReuters.

To help protect its economy, Iran has built up its gold reserves over the last few years with its current holdings 12 times larger than five years ago, Bahmani is quoted as saying. “We believe that these reserves  are enough for us for the next 15 years, even if we don’t import foreign gold.”

He reportedly said that Iran does not use its gold reserves as a bartering tool in exchange for foreign goods, despite sanctions that bar Tehran from using US dollars and euros in financial transactions.


Iran Air Lifts Foreign Fares 90% as Sanctions Push Up Fuel Costs (Bloomberg) 

Iran Air increased the expense of tickets for travel outside the country by as much as 90 percent after a government decision to stop subsidizing jet-fuel prices sent costs at the state-owned carrier soaring.

Prices rose on Nov. 22, the state run Iranian Students News Agency said, citing guidelines issued to local travel agents. An economy seat from Tehran to London now costs 17.6 million rials ($1,430), versus 9 million previously, with a ticket to Dubai priced at 6.1 million rials, up from 3.8 million rials, it said.

Iran Air is lifting fares after the rial slumped 40 percent versus the dollar since August, with the cost of kerosene jumping 83 percent to 22,000 rials a liter, ISNA said. While the government shields importers of some goods from exchange rates by granting access to dollars at a central bank level of 12,260 rials, the Association of Iranian Airlines said in September that members would no longer benefit.

The price increases come as Iran’s economy is pressured by financial, trade and energy sanctions imposed by the U.S. and European Union to curb the country’s nuclear program.


Iran proposes to create joint bank with D8 countries (Tehran Times)


Iran has proposed to establish a joint bank with Developing-8 Group of countries.

The idea was voiced by governor of Iran’s Central Bank Mahmoud Bahmani, heading the panel of experts of Islamic Republic’s Central Bank, who participated in the second meeting of the heads of central banks of D-8 countries, which was held on November 22nd in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Proposing the idea of establishing a joint bank between the D-8 countries, Bahmani noted that it would be necessary for such a bank to use other currencies, rather than USD or Euros.
Bahmani expressed satisfaction with increased trade volume between the countries, which has increased in the last 5 years.

NEW DELHI: India has asked Iran to lay down clear norms for wheat imports from the country in order to avoid further delay by the Iranian quarantine department, which is yet to give quality clearance to Indian shipments.
“We have said that Iran should specify quality standards that are linked to international ones for the wheat that they want to import and we will identify the exportable wheat accordingly. We do not want any more confusion on the issue,” a government official told ET.


Iranian private sector allowed exporting electricity (Tehran Times) 


The Iranian Energy Ministry has allowed four power generation companies of the private sector to export 25 percent of their generated electricity, the Fars News Agency quoted Deputy Energy Minister Mohammad Behzad as saying.

Behzad said that a memorandum of understanding has been inked between the Energy Ministry and the four companies, based on which the companies are allowed to export 25 percent of their generate electricity at a specified rate higher than government rate.

_  Iranian Government Pays a lot to Maintain Unnecessary Datacenters (Kabir News) 

Iranian Government Pays a lot to Maintain Unnecessary Datacenters

During the recent years, Iranian government has tried to bring all the national information to local datacenters in the country rather than storing them on foreign based datacenters. To achieve this goal, many small and medium sized datacenters have been opened by Iranian government but Mir Mohammad Sadeghi, a top official of Ministry of Industries and Mines, believes the expenses of these datacenters are too high for government.

“Currently we are experiencing economic difficulties. We must follow the terms of ‘economy of resistance’ as defined by Leader (referring to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran). All the governmental organizations have opened their own datacenters and this requires a notable budget to maintain and support this network.” Mir Mohammad Sadeghi said.

“Also organizations don’t use full capabilities of their networks. More than 60% of established datacenters in governmental institutions are performing unprofessionally. Only 10% to 20% of them operate satisfactorily.” Mir Mohammad Sadeghi criticized the quality of local datacenters.

Iran is going to open its own Intranet in order to replace it with regular Internet as the current worldwide network offer “impure” content to users.


Turkey Reveals Iran Gold-for-Gas Trade off (Turkish Weekly) 

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has revealed a critical detail about a widely discussed Turkey-Iran gold trade boom, disclosing that the Islamic republic was transferring payments made for gas into Turkish gold.

Iranians are buying Turkish gold with the Turkish Lira, which is deposited into their bank accounts in exchange for Turkey’s natural gas purchases, the deputy prime minister said at midnight Nov. 22 during a parliamentary session. Iran cannot transfer monetary payments to Iran in U.S. dollars due to U.S sanctions against the country’s alleged nuclear weapons program.

“As Iran could not transfer the payment to [its own banks] in foreign exchange, the country buys gold with the lira and then takes the gold to its country. I do not know how Iran transports the gold, but this is the root of the matter. The gold export to Iran in reality becomes a kind of payment for the natural gas we buy from Iran in deed,” Reuters quoted Babacan as saying.


Ericsson helps Iran telecoms, letter reveals long-term deal (ahramonline)



The Swedish firm Ericsson is working with Iran’s largest mobile telecom operator to expand its network and has promised to support another Iranian mobile carrier until 2021, according to interviews and an internal company document.

The involvement of Ericsson, the world’s largest mobile network equipment maker, comes at a time when many Western companies have stopped doing business in Iran because of international sanctions or concerns about damage to their reputations. While Ericsson argues in the internal document that telecommunications are a “basic humanitarian service,” Iranian human rights groups say Iran’s regime has used the country’s mobile-phone networks to track and monitor dissidents.

Though standard telecommunications equipment does not fall under sanctions, four major equipment makers, including Ericsson, have all said they plan to reduce their Iranian business.

hey have said they will not seek new contracts, though they will honour existing ones.

Fredrik Hallstan, a spokesman for Ericsson, confirmed the company is currently working on a new expansion project for Mobile Communication Co of Iran (MCCI), but said the venture, which the carrier calls Phase V, is covered under a contract Ericsson signed in 2008. “We have not extended any agreements … with MCCI and we have no plans to do so either,” he said.


Iran oil minister stresses active presence in world markets (Steel GURU)


IRNA cited Mr Rostam Qasemi oil minister of Iran as saying that Iran is planned for unceasing production and active presence in the global markets.

Mr Qasemi said that while addressing members of Majlis Industries and Mines Commission in Assalouyeh, in the southern province of Bushehr that the enemies try to exert pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to damage the country’s economy.

He said that there were heavy pressures during the very first months of sanctions. The country is now witnessing a favorable situation that will be improved in near future. Despite the enemies’ attempts to create obstacles in the way of Iran’s oil exports, the Iranian ships transfer some two million barrels of oil each day to various world destinations.


China reduces Iranian crude imports, avoids US sanctions (Morning Whistle) 


October trade data published this past Wednesday show that China’s imports of Iranian crude oil are down 23 percent from the year prior. Iran, in effect, has lost its standing to Russia as China’s number 3 crude supplier. The Wall Street Journalnoted that, although China has previously defended its past trading volumes with Iran on the grounds that they were in line with all UN resolutions, its more recent withdrawal from Iranian purchases may be due to the looming threat of economic sanctions from the United States.

The United States has implemented economic sanctions on Iran in an effort to thwart its nuclear programs. Although officials in Tehran claim the program has purely peaceful intentions, various Western countries suspect its true purpose is to develop weaponry.

China already received exemption from these sanctions this past June. However, renewal this upcoming December is conditional upon even further reductions of Iranian imports. The Wall Street Journal speculated that the U.S. is likely to grant China’s request. For one, American leaders sympathize with the difficulty in finding substitutes for the heavy, sour crude that is produced specifically in Iran. Also, from a diplomatic perspective, it would be seen as unwise to make political waves in the immediate wake of China’s leadership transition.


World powers eye new Iran N-talks soon (Gulf Times) 

World powers said yesterday after talks on Iran’s contested nuclear programme that they were ready to resume negotiations with Tehran “as soon as possible”.
The office of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said after talks between senior officials of the so-called P5+1 nations—Britain, China, France, Russia, the US, and Germany—that the group was “committed to having another round of talks with Iran as soon as possible”.
The talks hosted by Ashton were the first on the issue since delays brought on by the US election that saw President Barack Obama returned to office.
“The meeting was part of the ongoing co-ordination effort to move the process forward to address the international community’s concerns about the Iranian nuclear programme,” the statement from Ashton’s office said.
It said that the six powers “remain united in their efforts to seek a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue” and that “necessary contact” with Tehran would be made “in the coming days”.
Political directors from the P5+1 group last met to discuss Iran’s nuclear programme in New York in September.
But the last high-level talks attended by Iran, which all but failed, were held in Moscow in June, with Tehran rejecting P5+1 calls for it to scale back its nuclear programme which the West suspect are a cover for efforts to build an atomic bomb.



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