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Syria strongly condemns terrorist attacks in Iran

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Syria strongly condemned the two terrorist attacks which took place in Iran earlier today, stressing that such terrorist attacks that are backed by well-known countries will not discourage Syria and Iran from continuing to fight terrorism. In a statement, Foreign and Expatriates Ministry voiced Syria’s full solidarity with the leadership, government and people of Iran and its condolences to the families of the victims. Syria stresses that such “terrorist attacks backed by well-known countries and circles will not discourage Syria and Iran from continuing their fight against terrorism that is supported by countries and parties known in the region and beyond”, the Ministry added.

Iran Urges War on Cyber Capabilities of Terrorists

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A ranking Iranian security official warned against a major shift in the methods and approaches used by terrorist groups, calling for concerted global action to curb terrorists’ cyber capabilities and counter their modern tactics. Addressing the 8th International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues in Moscow on Wednesday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani warned of the shifting nature and geographical distribution of terrorists in the world. Pointing to the cyber-infrastructures and modern communication systems that terrorist networks employ to recruit, organize, train and control forces in different countries, Shamkhani stressed the need for serious international determination to restrict such modern capabilities and counteract terrorists’ Internet-based activities. He further noted that Iran, with years of experience in combatting terrorism and its military, security, and cyber threats, could play a significant role in the global initiatives against terrorism. Shamkhani then attributed the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group’s acquisition of advanced communication systems, modern arms and weapons of mass destruction to the double standards adopted by certain “infamous governments” which sponsor terrorist groups. The top official further deplored the UN’s weak performance in dealing with regional crises, and urged certain states to end their “failed and dangerous policies” toward Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. Security officials from 95 countries around the world have gathered in Moscow for the 3-day conference to coordinate efforts in ensuring cyber security, addressing the regional and international threats, and countering the issues leading to crises.

Iran Urges Stronger French Role in JCPOA Implementation

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on France to play a more active role in the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear agreement between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany). Speaking with his French counterpart Emanuel Macron on the telephone on Monday, President Rouhani highlighted France’s “influential” role in the course of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program that resulted in the JCPOA. The Iranian president, however, deplored a lack of commitment to the nuclear deal by certain parties, saying, “We expect France and the European Union to play a more active role in the implementation of the agreement”. He further hailed the growing economic ties between Tehran and Paris, and stressed the need for the removal of obstacles to banking and financial cooperation with the European country. President Rouhani also voiced Iran’s readiness to attract French investors to develop a partnership in various fields, including the transportation industry and infrastructures in Iran. He finally expressed Iran’s preparedness to cooperate with France at all levels in the fight against terrorism and in settling a crisis that has gripped Syria for more than six years. For his part, the new French president congratulated President Rouhani on securing a second term in the Friday’s presidential election in Iran. Macron described the JCPOA as a significant deal for the regional and international security, emphasizing that all sides should support the accord for economic development and closer cooperation with Iran. Highlighting Iran’s major role in resolving the crisis in Syria and in countering terrorism in the Middle East, the French president called for concerted action to contribute to peace and stability in the region.


Rouhani: Elections properly echoed voice of nation

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President-elect Hassan Rouhani on Sunday said the 12th government will be more efficient with fewer mistakes as elections properly echoed voice of nation congratulating the Iranian nation for creation of such epic, Rouhani promised that the upcoming government will be more accountable and is to employ powerful arms in line with national resolve. peaking in the cabinet ministers, he said the government is to spare no efforts to attain its goals through unity, Rouhani said.  In fact, pens and tongues are not able to properly depict massive presence of people in these elections and my tongue is unable to appreciate people for the active role, he said. People were determined to make decision on the fate and accomplished the task decisively, he said.  The country’s youths voiced their demands which was nothing except a better life as well as voices of girls and ladies who wanted more share in social life and the voice of all families who mind the future of their beloved children along with the voice of all ethnical and religious minorities and those suffering from lies and accusations, Rouhani said.  Result of elections brought no political parties failure or defeat, the president-elect underlined.  The future of the country does not belong to a specific political wing, but it belongs to all and in this responsibility we require assistance of all sides, he said. “We need to share hands in the struggles with the opponents in the region and the world and are determined to spare no efforts to this end,” Rouhani said.  He also thanked the Iranians residing in foreign countries who took part in these elections and proved that they mind their motherland.


Iran's 2-month electricity exports tripled

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Iran’s exports of electricity to its neighboring countries tripled in the first two months of the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 21, compared to the same period last year, Fars news agency reported on Friday quoting an energy official. According to Hooshang Falahatian, the deputy energy minister, it is not expected for the figure to stay at a 150 percent high all year, “it depends on the importing countries and maintaining the deals as well”, he said. “However, it is estimated that electricity exports will experience a 50 percent rise by the end of the current [Iranian calendar] year”, Falahatian added. The official further noted that Iraq has settled the second installment of its dues to Iran. Last January, Iran halted electricity supplies to Iraq because of the outstanding arrears, which have piled up to more than $1 billion. With the second payment done, now the dues are reduced to $800 million. Falahatian said that Iraq has been Iran’s top electricity importer so far and it is expected for exports to this country to further increase to 1350 megawatts. Iran exchanges energy with its neighbors namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, as well as the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and it is expected to export 10 billion kilowatt hours (kwh) of electricity to the countries by the yearend.


Iran election results to be released gradually: Official

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Iran’s Interior Ministry reversed its decision on how to release the results of the forthcoming presidential election, a deputy minister announced, saying the vote counts are going to be made public in a gradual process upon closure of the polls. Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Hossein Moqimi said on Wednesday night that the ministry, in charge of holding the election, has decided to publicize the ballot counts gradually after consultations with the Guardian Council and receiving the supervisory body’s interpretation of the rules. During a press conference on Wednesday morning, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli had announced that he would declare the results of Friday’s election only once they are finalized, citing a rule that forbids piecemeal release of the vote counts. During the previous elections, when the results of vote counts in different provinces were released intermittently, the number of votes of candidates swung remarkably, the minister explained, arguing that such swinging numbers led to wild speculations. Thereafter, the Guardian Council, which is in charge of supervising the elections, said it is not of the same mind with the decision not to publicize the ballot counts gradually. There are four candidates seeking presidency in Friday’s polls, including incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, Ebrahim Raisi, Mostafa Hashemitaba, and Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim. Two other hopefuls, Eshaq Jahangiri and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, dropped out of the race in favor of Rouhani and Raisi, respectively. Election campaigning drew to a close on Thursday morning, 24 hours before polls open, according to the law.


Iran-Latin America trade volume nearly $4bn

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The current volume of trade transactions between Iran and Latin American countries stands at nearly $4 billion, but there is more capacity for cooperation, head of the Americas at Iran’s Foreign Ministry said.          Director General for the Americas at Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Mohammad Keshavarz-Zadeh, made the remarks on Monday during a review session of opportunities for cooperation between Iran and Latin American countries. He stressed that there is no obstacle to expansion of ties with Latin America and there is a strong political will on the Iranian side for developing relations with that side of the world. In addition to cooperation in mine and mining industries, Iran welcomes expansion of cooperation in the fields of heavy industries, aerospace, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, he added. He stressed that Foreign Ministry will support all Iranian companies wishing to have an active presence in Latin America. According to Keshavarz-zadeh, many problems currently hampering the expansion of relations between Iran and the Latin American countries is due to a lack of knowledge of the existing opportunities and capacities. He added the visits of Foreign Minister Zarif and President Rouhani to various Latin American countries in the past two years indicates Iran’s keen interest in developing ties with these nations. The volume of foreign trade of the Islamic Republic of Iran excluding oil exports in 2016 reached nearly $90 billion, with $43.9 billion in exports and $43.6 in imports.

Iran to open polling stations in Kurdistan Region for presidential election

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The Iranian Government will open polling stations for eligible citizens living in the Kurdistan Region to cast their ballot in the country’s May 19 presidential election, an official from the Iranian Embassy in Erbil said on Monday. Iranian official Mohammed Shirzad was quoted by Mehr News Agency as saying “Polling stations are already set to open in Erbil, Binaslawa and Soran for the upcoming Iran elections”. Shirzad said people eligible to vote in the Kurdistan Region will soon be informed about the whereabouts of polling stations. “Iranians who are in the region’s prisons will be able to vote due to preparations done”, he added. The campaign for the presidential race has been underway since April 28 and will continue until May 17. The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) Secretary, Mustafa Hejri told NRT on May 2 that his party, along with five other Kurdish parties, have decided to boycott the presidential election in Iran.

Iran, Canada firm on reestablishing diplomatic ties

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Iran’s deputy FM Ghashghavi said the Canadian government has voiced eagerness to reestablish ties with Iran and the Islamic Republic is also seeking to have dignified relations with the North American country.  Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Iranian Affairs Hassan Ghashghavi made the remark in a radio interview on Saturday while discussing the holding of Iran’s 12th presidential election abroad. According to him, the elections will be held in 103 countries, while Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Canada have been excluded from the list due to lack of diplomatic ties. While Iran was not too concerned with placing ballot boxes in Saudi Arabia and Sudan due to the small number of Iranians living there, Canada – currently home to 400,000 Iranians – was a completely different story. “We made a lot of efforts to make it possible for the Iranians living in Canada to take part in the election, but unfortunately due to lack of diplomatic ties and some technical issues, we have been unable to do so”, he said. Ghashghavi went on to add that given the fact that only one week remains until the election, it will be highly unlikely that the two countries would arrive at an agreement on this issue.


Iranian televised debates to discuss economic issues

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Six men running for the Iranian presidency have faced off in the third and final round of nationally televised debates to discuss economic issues and make last-ditch efforts to defend their plans and criticize those of the rivals. Known as one of the most-watched programs in the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting history, the debate began at 16:30 local time with economy as the main theme. During the past two debates, each of which lasted for more than three hours, the candidates discussed socio-cultural and political subjects. Allotted equal minutes of speaking time each, the candidates are explicating their plans to deal with the country’s major economic problems after taking the office. Each of the candidates has been asked a question about the major economic problems and his plans to tackle them. As in the previous round, every candidate had four minutes to outline his plans, while the other five men had two minutes each to comment on the presentation. Then the candidate had five minutes to comment on other candidates’ criticism. There are six candidates in the race for the highest executive post in Iran, including the incumbent president himself. They have been singled out by the Guardian Council from among more than 1,600 applicants seeking presidency. Three of the candidates categorized as “reformists” include President Hassan Rouhani, First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, and Mostafa Hashemitaba. The other three, known for belonging to the “principlist” political faction, include Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, the chief custodian of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, and Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim.


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