• 2020-07-29

    By increasing pressure on both China and Iran, the US has encouraged the two countries to forge a common front. Though the Sino-Iranian a relationship is still a long way from becoming a new axis, the recent negotiations show that such an arrangement is possible. American foreign policymakers should take note. The US will need to try placing a wedge between China and Iran, which requires deciding which one poses the greater threat. Americans may want nothing more than to leave the Middle East once and for all. But the fact is that the strategic competition with China will not play out only in East Asia.

  • 2020-07-26

    Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif made one of his most important visits to Moscow, a “tested partner in Syria and a real supporter at the United Nations at the most needed time when the US has lost its balance”, said the source. After the deal with China, a comprehensive deal with Russia is on its way to pave the road for Iran to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as a member and no longer merely as an observer. This will involve establishing a very long -term partnership on all levels, including the military cooperation with another long-term deal to sign in the near future. These are exceptional deals with superpower countries. It is unusual for Iran to accept the terms imposed by dealing with such powerful countries; Iran is treading the minefield of article 3 of its constitution. New alliances are emerging, between countries united and strengthened by the imposition of US sanctions imposed on all of them. Meanwhile, the US is losing more ground and more allies.

  • 2020-07-26

    Iran produced just 770,000 automobiles in 2019, down from 1,418,550 just two years prior. The re-imposition of U.S. secondary sanctions interrupted new investment in Iran’s automotive sector, particularly by European automakers such as Renault, Peugeot, and Volkswagen. […] Notably, the new post-JCPOA investment was intended to facilitate the partial privatization of the state-owned manufacturers. Through the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO), the Iranian state was set to become a minority shareholder in the new Renault joint venture. A similar deal was struck between Daimler and Iran Khodro Diesel for the manufacturing of Mercedes-Benz trucks in Iran. Allowing foreign firms to be the majority shareholders of their joint ventures was an important shift in industrial policy for the “strategic” automotive sector. Such policy was also intended to address the long-running issue of inefficiency and poor productivity among the state-owned automakers. There were also a number of deals between foreign automakers and private sector firms in Iran, such as the agreement between Volkswagen and Mammut, which has produced Scania trucks in Iran since 2008. Scania’s persistence in the Iranian market has earned it a commanding market share of over 60 percent. 

  • 2020-07-23

    Iran’s Human Development Index (HDI) has increased by 38.3 percent between 1990 and 2018, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) announced in its Human Development Report 2019, listing the country in the high human development category. [...] The HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living. Long and healthy life is measured by life expectancy. The knowledge level is measured by mean years of schooling among the adult population, which is the average number of years of schooling received in a life-time by people aged 25 years and older; and access to learning and knowledge by expected years of schooling for children of school-entry age. Iran’s HDI value for 2018 is 0.797, which put the country in the high human development category; positioning it at 65 out of 189 countries and territories. Between 1990 and 2018, Iran's HDI value increased from 0.577 to 0.797, demonstrating growth of 38.3 percent.  During the aforementioned period, Iran’s life expectancy at birth increased by 12.6 years, mean years of schooling increased by 5.8 years and expected years of schooling increased by 5.5 years. Moreover, Iran’s Gross National Income per capita increased by about 59.5 percent between 1990 and 2018.

  • 2020-07-23

    The agreement between China and Iran is of great importance to Iran, including in the context of a possible easing of the pressure generated by the sanctions. From a Chinese perspective, the basis for the agreement is the principle of commercial-economic benefit, while maintaining the balance in its relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. China's goal in relations with Iran is not to create a military alliance with Iran against the United States, and certainly not against Saudi Arabia and Israel. Israel is of little importance to China in this case, and does not necessarily figure in Chinese considerations, except as part of China's concern about an Israeli military attack against nuclear facilities in Iran, which is liable to set off a regional war and destabilize the region. The Chinese will likely consider the level of risk in approving an agreement of this type, and will hesitate to advance it if they feel that their financial interests will be affected by instability in the region and in Iran. This aspect, in which Iranian activity destabilizes and threatens the region, should be emphasized by Israel to high-level Chinese parties.

  • 2020-07-21

    That the U.S. government could underperform a country like Iran fighting the coronavirus pandemic will take a bite out of U.S. prestige. But it will also drive partners to consider the very real possibility of what the world might look like without an outsized U.S. role. Most of them will want to do what they can to bring that role back. They do not want to face the world alone. That is an opportunity for whomever wins the presidential election in November, and he should seize it.

  • 2020-07-20

    If presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden wins the presidential election in November, Iran could suddenly turn from a bullish driver for oil prices into a bearish factor if it resumes up to 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil exports.   Currently, there is a consensus among analysts and international agencies that the oil market is tightening and will continue to tighten, lifting oil prices through next year. […] Iran’s current crude oil exports are estimated at between 100,000 bpd and just over 200,000 bpd, compared to 2.5 million bpd in April 2018, just before President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions on its oil. Due to the sanctions and to the coronavirus crisis, Iran’s oil production has plummeted to below 2 million bpd in the second quarter, compared to an average of 3.553 million bpd in 2018, according to OPEC’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR).

  • 2020-07-18

    A report by the Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA) published on Saturday showed that total steel output in the country had surged in the three-month period ending June 20 to top 7.135 million metric tons. The surge came despite the 8.7 percent fall reported in the global production of the metal at the end of May which had come mainly as a result of spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 2020-07-18

    An Iranian deputy foreign minister says the flight recorder of a Ukrainian passenger plane shot down by mistake near Tehran in January has been taken to France for analysis. Speaking to Etemad daily on Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Mohsen Baharvand said the black box of the Ukrainian airplane was taken to Paris on Friday by the officials from Iran Civil Aviation Organization and an Iranian judge. 

  • 2020-07-18

    India seems to be headed for some rough terrain in its relationship with Iran with a leaked draft of the ‘Comprehensive Plan for Cooperation between Iran and China’ highlighting a deep strategic partnership in the works between Tehran and Beijing.

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