All tagged sanctions

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 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◢ Iran's oil minister said Sunday that China's CNPC has withdrawn from the development of an offshore gas field and that state-owned Petropars will take over the entire project.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.

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.

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.

Iran Seizes 8.8 Tonnes of Narcotics Destined for Europe

◢ Iran has seized 8.8 tonnes of narcotics destined for Europe and uncovered one of the country's largest trafficking rings, police said Thursday. "This huge narcotics shipment, which was hidden in a petrol tanker and reached here via Iran's eastern border, was supposed to be offloaded and then smuggled to European countries," state television reported.

Rouhani Heads to UN in Bid to Win Iran Support Against 'Cruel' US

◢ President Hassan Rouhani set off for New York on Monday to attend the UN General Assembly on a mission to win Iran support against "cruel" pressure from the United States. Speaking before boarding his flight, Rouhani said his delegation was heading to the UN gathering despite reluctance from President Donald Trump's administration to issue them visas.

Iran Says Seized British-Flagged Tanker Free to Leave

◢ Iran's government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Monday that a British-flagged oil tanker is "free" to leave more than two months after it was seized in the Persian Gulf. "The legal process has finished and based on that the conditions for letting the oil tanker go free have been fulfilled and the oil tanker can move," Rabiei told a news conference.

Iran Accuses Foreign Forces of Raising Persian Gulf 'Insecurity'

◢ President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday denounced the presence of foreign forces in the Persian Gulf and said Iran will present a peace plan, after its arch-foe Washington ordered reinforcements to the tense region. "Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region," Rouhani said before a military parade commemorating the Iran-Iraq war.