• 2020-06-01

    The economy minister noted, “The first offering of the shares of state-owned enterprises in the stock exchange was announced today and the worth of offering is 165 trillion rials (about $3.9 billion), and two more offerings will be held in near future.” “Along with such government-owned companies, we also saw non-governmental organizations such as Shasta, whose initial public offering took place [on April 15], and the rest have announced both their readiness and their plans,” he added. 

  • 2020-06-01

    The head of an Iranian parliamentary committee has said 230 people were killed during the November protests triggered by a spike in petrol prices - the first time an official has given an overall death toll for the unrest. "During these events 230 people were killed, six of whom were official agents and security forces," Mojtaba Zolnour, head of the parliament's national security and foreign affairs committee, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA on Monday. "Twenty percent of them were forces keeping order and peace," he said, adding that they included "the police, security and intelligence forces, and the Basij" militia, some of which are not under government control and considered unofficial.

  • 2020-05-28

    Given that China’s oil demand has now recovered from the COVID-19 outbreak to even higher levels than before, Iran is operating at full tilt to optimise the oil available to key ally Beijing from any and all of its fields. Principally this involves optimising output from the cluster of supergiant fields in the West Karoun oil region, attempting to increase the average recovery rate from older fields, and pushing forward on production increases from fields shared with Iraq and Kuwait. All of this is geared to twin objectives: increasing Iran’s crude oil production to 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of the sixth development plan (ending in 2021/22), and ensuring that it is able to provide China with the steady flow of oil that it requires.

  • 2020-05-14

    The history and historiography of Iranian socialism and communism are myriad, plurivocal, and inevitably contentious. Like almost all national histories of socialism, they abound in emancipatory horizons, tales of unstinting bravery, and the unflappable conviction that things might have been otherwise. The first stirrings of social democracy in cities such as Tabriz during the Constitutional Revolution (1905–11), the Soviet Republic of Gilan (1920–21), the creation of the Communist Party of Iran, the activities of the group of fifty-three, the establishment of the Tudeh (Masses) Party in the course of the Allied occupation (1941-1946), and the revolutionary guerrilla campaigns of the 1970s, stand among a multitude of examples. The scholarship collectively attests to the immense importance of socialist intellectuals, parties, organizations, and movements, as well as the role they played throughout twentieth-century Iran’s politics and history. These histories feature various casts of heroes, villains, and renegades. They are imbued with tragic pathos, sectarian polemics, and lost futures. They have been characterized by unparalleled courage, commitment, and sacrifice in the struggle for revolutionary transformation, democracy, and radical equality. Yet they have also fallen foul of dubious trade-offs, miscalculations, intra-organizational violence, and blunders, as well as the perennial challenge of survival in the face of implacable and brutal state repression—first under the Pahlavis and subsequently in the shadow of the Islamic Republic. 

  • 2020-05-07

    Two months after the coronavirus pandemic broke out in Iran, we are seeing signs of a significant improvement for the total situation. The number of daily deaths has dropped below one hundred for a week in a row, the number of new COVID-19 cases has been on a continuous decline for more than three weeks, the restrictions are gradually being lifted and the streets are again vibrant. Iran’s success in combating the pandemic is the result of mobilizing all available governmental organizations and relying on its own know-how and industrial production. Alone and under the harshest sanctions seen in history, Iran has proven to be extremely effective, compared to the leading Western countries. In the face of global disasters and the vulnerability of civilians, it is traditionally common for nations to help one another, but recently we see something quite different from the U.S. regime. 

  • 2020-04-23

    In the past weeks, Iran has been pressing the international community for financial aid to help it deal with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. In March 2020 Iran appealed to the International Monetary Fund for a $5 billion emergency loan to fight the virus.  On April 7, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei approved President Hassan Rouhani's request of a $1 billion withdrawal from the National Development Fund of Iran for the fight against the pandemic. The fund, established in 2011, holds Iran's foreign reserves estimated at approximately $90 billion, obtained from the country’s oil and gas exports.

  • 2020-04-22

    Iran reported its first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections on 19 February 2020 in the city of Qom, probably brought to the country by merchants who had travelled to China, and in the following days became a center of the spread of the virus in the region, as well as the second-worst affected country in the world. In the first week of March, Iran reported dozens of dead and hundreds infected each day, next only to China as the pandemic’s epicenter. At the same time, the government closed schools, universities, shopping centers, bazaars, holy shrines, and cancelled public events and festival celebrations. As confirmed cases mounted, health ministry announced that checkpoints would be placed between cities to limit travel. The unprecedented situation has left Iran in need of masks, respirators and other medical equipment, but imports are virtually impossible due to unilateral U.S. trade sanctions. 

  • 2020-04-22

    Iran reported its first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections on 19 February 2020 in the city of Qom, probably brought to the country by merchants who had travelled to China, and in the following days became a center of the spread of the virus in the region, as well as the second-worst affected country in the world. In the first week of March, Iran reported dozens of dead and hundreds infected each day, next only to China as the pandemic’s epicenter. At the same time, the government closed schools, universities, shopping centers, bazaars, holy shrines, and cancelled public events and festival celebrations. As confirmed cases mounted, health ministry announced that checkpoints would be placed between cities to limit travel. The unprecedented situation has left Iran in need of masks, respirators and other medical equipment, but imports are virtually impossible due to unilateral U.S. trade sanctions. 

  • 2020-04-18

    Israel’s policy on its relations with China aims mainly to maximize benefits for the Israeli economy without harming the strategic relationship with the United States. In recent years, given the intensifying competition between the two powers, Washington has stepped up its demands from Jerusalem for more caution in relations with China, and Israel's awareness of American sensitivity in this matter, as an indirect but grave risk, has unquestionably increased. Israel's defense exports to China were already banned by 2005, and an advisory mechanism for the state regulators was instituted in 2020 to allow somewhat improved oversight of foreign investments. China's relations with Iran, particularly the emerging trend toward stronger military, defense, and intelligence cooperation between them, highlight the direct risks that these relations pose to Israel. This requires that Israel be more alert, exercise greater caution, and reconsider the balance in its policy between benefit and risk. In the framework of this trend, Chinese technologies will likely contribute increasingly to intensification of the military threat posed to Israel by Iran and its proxies. Information, intelligence, and technologies obtained by China, including from Israel, are increasingly likely to find their way into Iranian hands. Israel should adapt its risk management to a reality in which an important economic partner is working closely with Israel’s main enemy, and is increasingly likely to share intelligence, military technologies, weapon systems, and military and operational knowledge with it. At the same time, Israel should adapt its dialogue with the United States to Washington's new priorities landscape, whose summit is China, while the Middle East is receding into the background.China-Iran relations are the convergence of the number one threats to the  United States and Israel, respectively. This calls for joint monitoring; discussion of policy challenges, linkages, trade-offs, and tensions; design and planning of relevant responses; and coordination of efforts. Israel's new partnerships in the region make it possible to expand this circle to the Abraham Accords signatories and to additional countries.

  • 2020-04-17

    „In the recent days, the Iranian regime mouthpiece Kayhan has devoted several editorials to explaining to the Iranian public why the coronavirus pandemic has befallen the world and the lessons that the world should derive from it. In an April 6, 2020 editorial the daily postulated that the coronavirus is a product of the godless Western civilization, which takes pride in science for its own sake and which also created the atom bomb and chemical weapons. 

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