Top Stories Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:22:27 +0000 en-gb Mittal signs €1bn iron deal in Iran Global industrial giant Mittal Steel on Tuesday signed a contract worth €1 billion to produce iron in southern Iran.

According to Press TV, the contract that has been signed with Mahan Industries and Mines Development Company – a subsidiary of Iran’s Tourism Financial Group – envisages extracting iron and the establishment of a processing plant in the country’s Southern Province of Kerman.

Mahan has not specified which specific iron mine will be the subject of the deal with Mittal but it owns a major mine near Sirjan which is considered to be one of the largest in the country with a reservoir of about 1.2 billion tons. The company last year won a deal to extract 24 million tons of iron from the same mine for 14 years.

Mittal Steel is also based on the same deal expected to take charge of managing Mahan’s Bonab Steel Production Complex in northwestern Iran for a period of five years.

Located near Tabriz, the capital of East Azerbaijan Province, Bonab Complex has an annual production capacity of over 3.5 million tons and is considered the biggest private sector steel production project in Iran.

Tourism Financial Group – a major holding that controls a chain of banks, financial institutions, tourism enterprises and industrial firms – has announced in a statement that it expects the deal with Mittal to help transfer the technical knowledge in the steel industry to Iran.

It has also said it expects the deal to help Iran export steel products to regional and international markets through partnership with Mittal.


Top Stories Wed, 09 Mar 2016 06:45:09 +0000
Iran ‘self-sufficient’ in wheat: Official Iran expects to buy nine million tonnes of wheat from its farmers in the next harvest year, Deputy Agriculture Minister Abdol-Mahdi Bakhshandeh says.

“We will need no wheat imports next year. The country is self-sufficient in this regard,” the Mizan Online news agency quoted him as saying on Monday.

Wheat harvest will begin in Iran’s southern provinces in the month of Farvardin which begins on March 20, he added.

“Strategic wheat stocks are in very good conditions and we have reserves for more than six months,” Bakhshandeh said. “What is needed for human consumption has been purchased and is available,” he added.

Last year, Iran purchased 8.1 million tonnes of wheat from local farmers. Officials predict better harvest this year, citing satisfactory rainfall.

Ministry of Agriculture last month banned state imports of wheat in the coming Persian year which begins on March 20, ordering officials to stop registering new purchase orders.

In his letter, Minister of Agriculture Mahmoud Hojjati said the private sector must make purchases of pasta-making durum wheat for its needs from the Government Trading Company (GTC).

Otherwise, private importers would have to use foreign exchange at free-market rates for any buys.


Top Stories Tue, 16 Feb 2016 07:25:32 +0000
Iran, Norway to culture 5,000 tonnes of saltwater fish Iran and Norway have signed an agreement to produce 5,000 tonnes of saltwater fish through cage culture method in southern Iranian Island of Qeshm.

According to Iranian media, the agreement was signed on Friday night by Chairman of Board of Drectors of Qeshm Rivas Company, Mohsen Nateq, as the Iranian side of the agreement.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the signing ceremony, Nateq said implementation of the first phase of the project, with the capacity of producing 1,000 tonnes of saltwater fish through cage culture method has already started on Qeshm Island with the participation of the foreign side.

He added that if necessary funds are supplied for the implementation of later phases of the project, total production of saltwater fish will hit the nominal capacity of the project at 5,000 tonnes by next year.

According to a report released by the Fisheries Department of the Southern Iranian Province of Hormozgan, necessary permits for production of 35,000 tonnes of saltwater fish have been issued in the past two years.

Meanwhile, Deputy Ddirector of Iran Fisheries Organization, Seifollah Haqiqi, noted that through cooperation between Iran's private sector and Norwegian companies, a total of 35,000 tonnes of saltwater fish is expected to be produced by next Iranian calendar year (starts March 20, 2016) through cage culture method.

During recent years, Iran has been trying to diversify its revenue sources by investing in sectors other than oil, including aquaculture and production of various kinds of fish meant largely for export to neighboring countries.

Last July, an official at Iran Fisheries Organization said the country will soon export about 28,000 tonnes of various kinds of fishery products to its northern neighbor, Russia.


Top Stories Sun, 14 Feb 2016 07:07:12 +0000
Seoul to finance South Korean firms' projects in Iran The South Korean government has promised to provide financial support to companies willing to invest in Iran which is emerging from isolation.

“Government-wide assistance will be offered so businesses can gain access to the resource-rich country,” Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Joo Hyung-hwan said.

He was speaking to a group of senior executives from Hyundai Motor Co., LG Electronics Inc., Daelim Industrial Co. and other South Korean companies planning to do business in Iran.

South Korea lifted sanctions against Iran last month after Tehran’s landmark nuclear accord reached in July 2015 with 5+1 group went into effect.

Joo said a high-ranking business delegation will travel to Tehran soon to explore opportunities for renewed cooperation.

“To promote trade and investment, Seoul is committed to maintaining the current Korean-won based settlement of accounts system while adding other forms of exchange using different foreign currencies,” he said, adding, “The euro and Japanese yen can be used in tandem with the won to settle accounts.”

Joo said South Korean companies would set up joint ventures with Iranian partners and reach technical transfer deals in such sectors as car manufacturing, petrochemicals and steel production.


Top Stories Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:04:50 +0000
Iran rail expansion chugs on with major deal Iran has signed an agreement, including 5 billion euros in export credits from Italy, to expand and modernize its rail network.

According to Press TV, the agreement, signed during a meeting of traders chaired by Italy's Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Graziano Delrio and his Iranian counterpart Abbas Akhoundi in Tehran Tuesday, envisages developing high-speed rail links.

As part of the agreement, Italy's state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) will provide Iran's RAI railway company with 5 billion euros ($5.65 billion) in export credits.

"The FS group will supply assistance to the Iranian railways for both high-speed and conventional rail lines, including a complete program for training personnel," said a statement issued by the company in Rome.

The agreement was signed by Ferrovie Chief Executive Renato Mazzoncini and RAI Managing Director Mohsen Poursaeed-Aqaei during the third mission of Italian businesses to Tehran in recent months.

It came in the wake of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Italy last month, which marked the signing of a raft of deals worth $18 billion (15.9 billion).

Akhoundi said FS will carry out the planning and construction of a high-speed rail corridor linking the Iranian cities of Tehran, Qom and Isfahan.


Top Stories Wed, 10 Feb 2016 09:49:36 +0000
British Airways to relaunch direct London to Iran flights in July

British Airways has confirmed it is relaunching direct flights from London to Iran – the first British airline to offer the service in four years.

Travelers will be able to fly directly from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Tehran from July 14 when the six-weekly service launches, IRNA reported.

The flights – available to book from February 3 – will then increase to daily flights from this winter.

Up until now, only the national carrier Iran Air has offered direct flights between London and Iran, as sanctions, travel warnings and poor relations have kept foreigners and investors away from the Islamic Republic.

Iran Air’s London services are limited due to restrictions on the airline using European airspace, so most British tourists en route to Iran have had to fly indirect, often via Istanbul.



Top Stories Fri, 05 Feb 2016 09:28:46 +0000
Commander: IRGC to provide security on new aircraft

Commander of Aviation Security Division at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brig. Gen. Safar Ali Moussavi said his division will begin providing inflight safety and security for the newly-purchased commercial jet airliners.


"The IRGC doesn’t oversee the purchase of any new aircraft. However, it is in charge of inflight security. The division will start its work the moment the new planes are delivered to Iran,” Moussavi said on Saturday.

His remarks came after media reports that Europe's Airbus will deliver 100 passenger planes to Iran within the next four years. The IRGC’s Aviation Security Division is entrusted with inflight security on Iranian commercial airlines, including staying up-to-date with the latest threats to civil aviation, preparing the air marshals and air crew members to respond to in-flight incidents, and implementing in-flight security procedures during exercises.

According to Deputy Commander Colonel Gholamreza Mirzai, Iran stands among the top world countries in terms of flight security. He said last Saturday that since its establishment in 1984 upon an order by late Imam Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Revolution, at least 126 attempted hijackings and threats have successfully been foiled.

"In the past 31 years, we have had to deal with many flight security incidents. In all these cases, we have managed to either kill, injure or arrest the hijackers. We have also detained several potential hijackers on the ground,” he said.

Top Stories Sat, 30 Jan 2016 15:07:18 +0000
Iran, France to broaden academic, research cooperation,-france-to-broaden-academic,-research-cooperation,-france-to-broaden-academic,-research-cooperation

Iran's Science Minister Mohammad Farhadi and his French counterpart Thierry Mandon in a meeting in Paris said the two sides should cooperate more in academic science and research.


During the meeting held on the sidelines of President Hassan Rouhani's recent visit to France, Farhadi said some 5,000 Iranians are studying at the French universities, so it makes sense for the two sides to seize this great opportunity for greater cooperation in the field.

He stressed the need for France to ease visa restrictions on Iranian students and researchers, help form a joint academic and scientific center, and introduce student exchange programs.

French Minister Mandon welcomed the proposal, and said the recent nuclear deal has paved the way to this end, adding that the exchange program could also include Iranian and French experts.

He said a delegation of the French National Centre for Scientific Research is also due to visit Iran in the near future.

President Rouhani wrapped up his four-day visit to Italy and France on Thursday January 28. He was accompanied by a trade delegation during his visit to Rome and Paris.

Top Stories Sat, 30 Jan 2016 14:50:23 +0000
‘Silk Road’ train departs China for Iran‘silk-road’-train-departs-china-for-iran‘silk-road’-train-departs-china-for-iran

China has flagged off its first direct freight train to Iran from the trading hub of Yiwu in what is seen as the groundbreaking initiative to get Beijing’s ambitious New Silk Road connectivity project off the ground. 


The train that set off on Thursday is the first regular container train linking China to the Middle East. It will cover a journey of 10,399 km in its maiden journey to West Asia in14 days, Press TV reported.

After leaving China through the northwestern province of Xinjiang, it will pass through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan before heading for the Iranian capital.

Yiwu is already connected by trains that head for Duisburg in Germany and Madrid.

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced the new "Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Maritime Silk Road" initiative to connect stronger logistics networks with Asia, Africa and Europe by building more roads, railways and airports.

Beijing has launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with $100 billion in capital and the New Silk Road Fund with a capital of $40 billion to fund major infrastructure projects in the region, including those pertaining to the development of the New Silk Road.

Iran is strategically-located in the Middle East, sharing land borders with 15 nations, and sea channels on its northern and southwestern coasts. China sees Iran as a country that can play a crucial role in China’s New Silk Road initiative given its access to extensive delivery routes connecting to the Middle East and Eurasia.

Tehran has already pledged to support the New Silk Road initiative with an investment of $6 billion for the next six years, the Chinese media have reported.


Top Stories Sat, 30 Jan 2016 06:35:58 +0000
Iran’s ICHHTO, France’s Louvre Museum sign MoU’s-ichhto,-france’s-louvre-museum-sign-mou’s-ichhto,-france’s-louvre-museum-sign-mou

Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) on Wednesday inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Louvre, one of the world’s largest museums, in the French capital.


The MoU was signed during a visit to the museum by the ICHHTO Chief Massoud Soltanifar and his deputy for handicrafts and traditional arts, Bahman Namvar Motlaq, Tasnim News Agency reported.

Based on the MoU, the two sides agreed upon mutual cooperation in such fields as archeology and local arts.

The Iranian officials, who made the visit at the invitation of the president of the Louvre Jean-Luc Martinez, also toured different parts of the museum including the history of Persia and the Islamic art sections.

The MoU was signed hours before the arrival of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the French capital on a historic visit.

Rouhani, accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, arrived in Paris on Wednesday afternoon after visiting the Italian capital of Rome and the Vatican City.

Top Stories Thu, 28 Jan 2016 09:10:07 +0000