All in News

IMF Sharply Cuts Iran, Saudi Growth Forecasts

◢ The IMF has sharply downgraded growth projections for Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two largest Mideast economies, citing the impact of US sanctions, geopolitical tensions and low oil prices. Iran has "been or continues to be experiencing very severe macroeconomic distress," the IMF said, adding that growth in 2020 will be flat.

British Experts in Iran to Upgrade Arak Reactor

◢ A team of British experts arrived in Iran on Monday to begin work to upgrade the Arak heavy water nuclear reactor, the UK embassy in Tehran said. Iran removed the core of the Arak facility and filled part of it with cement as part of a 2015 deal that gave the country relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Iran’s Rouhani Vows Response to Oil Tanker Attack

◢ President Hassan Rouhani vowed Monday that Iran would respond to an attack on one of its oil tankers in the Red Sea. “This wasn’t a terrorist move, nor was it carried out by an individual. It was carried out by a government,” Rouhani said, adding that officials were also assessing rocket fragments.

Iran Discovers Gas Field Near Persian Gulf

◢ Iran has discovered a gas field near the Gulf with enough reserves to supply the capital for 16 years, state media reported on Sunday. The Eram field contained 19 trillion cubic feet, the National Iranian Oil Company said, cited by official news agency IRNA.

Pakistan PM in Tehran on Mission to 'Facilitate' Iran-Saudi Talks

◢ Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Iran on Sunday on a mission to act as a "facilitator" between Tehran and Riyadh and try to defuse rising tensions in the Persian Gulf. "The reason for this trip is that we do not want a conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran," Khan told reporters as he stood alongside Rouhani.

Iran FM Pitches Persian Gulf Security Plan to Neighbors

◢ Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif pitched the Islamic Republic's Persian Gulf security plan to neighboring nations on Thursday. Zarif said that the plan, named Hormuz Peace Endeavor, offered the chance of "expansive security" and cooperation between Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

Iran Women to See Football Freely for First Time in Decades

◢ Iranian women fans are free to enter a football stadium Thursday for the first time in decades, after FIFA threatened to suspend the Islamic republic over its controversial male-only policy. Women were quick to get their hands on tickets to attend Iran's 2022 World Cup qualifier against Cambodia at Tehran's Azadi Stadium on Thursday.

Iran Says China's CNPC Pulls Out of Gas Project

◢ Iran's oil minister said Sunday that China's CNPC has withdrawn from the development of an offshore gas field and that state-owned Petropars will take over the entire project. The South Pars gas field was to be developed jointly by France's Total, China National Petroleum Corporation and Petropars under a $4.8-billion deal signed in July 2017.

Iran Boosts Nuclear Cooperation Following Diplomatic Push

◢ Iran boosted its cooperation with the international nuclear agency that’s trying to determine whether the government in Tehran failed to provide adequate information to monitors. Following meetings with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York, Iran started to provide more detailed information to IAEA officials.

Trump’s Top Sanctions Official Departing for Private Sector

◢ The U.S. Treasury Department’s top sanctions official, Sigal Mandelker, plans to leave the Trump administration after helping to increase the pace of economic penalties against American adversaries. Mandelker, who joined the Treasury Department in June 2017, has helped lead new sanctions on countries including North Korea, Russia, Venezuela, and Iran.

Iran’s Rouhani Upbeat on European Plan to Save Nuclear Deal

◢ Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he agrees with the general outlines and basic terms of a European-led plan to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement. “The plan was acceptable in a sense, in terms of its outlines, as it called for Iran not to pursue nuclear weapons and to contribute to peace in the region and regional waterways,” Rouhani was cited as saying.

Rouhani Would Not Take Trump's Call, Says French Diplomatic Source

◢ US President Donald Trump phoned his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN summit last month but he refused to take the call, a French diplomatic source said on Tuesday. "In New York, up to the last moment, Emmanuel Macron tried to broker contact, as his talks with presidents Trump and Rouhani led him to think contact was possible," the diplomatic source said.

Iran on Track to Open New Oil Terminal Outside Persian Gulf

◢ Iran said on Monday that it is on track to create a new oil terminal on the Sea of Oman that would open a new export route for its crude and allow tankers to bypass the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The National Iranian Oil Company signed a contract worth around $52 million Monday with three local companies to supply 50 pumps for the pipeline project.

Erdogan Vows to Continue Oil, Natural Gas Trade With Iran

◢ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Ankara would continue to purchase oil and natural gas from Iran despite US sanctions in comments published on Friday. "It is impossible for us to cancel relations with Iran with regards to oil and natural gas. We will continue to buy our natural gas from there," Erdogan told Turkish reporters.

Seized Oil Tanker Sets Sail: Iran Authorities

◢ The British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which had been held off the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas for more than two months, set sail Friday, an Iranian shipping organization said. The ship's seizure was widely seen as a tit-for-tat move after authorities in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar detained an Iranian tanker.