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Qeshm Island becomes UNESCO Global Geopark

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Morteza Sheikhzadeh, Director of Public Relations and International Affairs at Qeshm Free Zone Organization, said a 10-day session of UNESCO Global Geoparks Council was held in France and, on the final day of the event on May 05, UNESCO’s Executive Board endorsed the decision to assign UNESCO Global Geopark label to eight sites in Asia, Europe and Latin America including Iran’s Qeshm Island. Sheikhzadeh noted that Qeshm Island has received the label for a four-year period. The official recalled that the Qeshm Island’s application to become a UNESCO Global Geopark had been rejected in 2013 and some thought that its globalization was a mere slogan. However, infrastructure projects, including the road to salt cave, received necessary funds and the government made investments for locals to have their own sustainable income. Theses measured paved the path to globalization of the Iranian geopark. Qeshm Island UNESCO Global Geopark is an island shaped like a dolphin in the Strait of Hormuz, off the southern coast of Iran. Its exposed geological formations have been shaped by erosion generating a range of spectacular landscapes and beautiful rock deserts. Its preservation is supported by green tourism activities managed by local communities.

Iran and Italy 50% growth in trade exchanges

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Deputy Foreign Minister for Europe-American Affairs Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi in meeting with his Italian counterpart Vincenzo Amendola acknowledged 50 percent growth in trade exchanges between Tehran and Rome. Takht-e-Ravanchi said that Italy is one of important trade partners of Iran. According to the report of Foreign Ministry Media Department, Takht-e-Ravanchi reminded the existing crises in the Middle East region, and dismissed unilateral military action and expressed Iran’s readiness for cooperation and exchanging views with Italy to solve regional problems. He called Italy’s presence in Tehran International Book Fair as symbol of friendly ties between the two countries. Amendola also expressed his government’s interest to strengthen and deepen ties with Iran and talk about Italian companies’ desire for economic cooperation with Iranian firms. Italy supported nuclear deal between Iran and Group 5+1 and will do its utmost for full implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Vincenzo Amendola said. He said that regional crises has no military solution, adding that Italy as member of the UN Security Council and head of Group 7 is to use its capacity in line with achieving political solution for settling regional problems.

Trump announces first official foreign trip to include Israel.

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U.S. President Donald Trump has officially announced he will visit Israel as part of his first foreign trip since his inauguration in January.U.S. press secretary Sean Spicer issued a statement saying, “The leaders will discuss a range of regional issues, including the need to counter the threats posed by Iran and its proxies, and by ISIS and other terrorist groups. They will also discuss ways to advance a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians”. Officials said Trump would meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but declined to say where, and said dates and other details would be provided later. Trump’s visit will come ahead of Israel’s Jerusalem Day celebrations on May 24.A presidential waiver suspending the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is set to expire on June 1. Trump must decide by then whether to fulfill his campaign promise to relocate the embassy, thereby officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, or follow in the footsteps of his predecessors and renew the waiver. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, had a testy relationship with both Israel and Saudi Arabia, whose leaders viewed him as being concerned less with traditional alliances than with negotiating a diplomatic agreement with Iran, which both Israel and Saudi Arabia view as an enemy. Trump’s foreign visit appears to be aimed at reinvigorating traditional alliances in the region.

Iran calls Saudi prince’s comments ‘unveiled threat’.

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Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo said  that comments made by Saudi Arabian Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman are “unveiled threat” against Iran and violation of the UN Charter. Khoshroo’s remarks came in a protest letter to the UN Security Council and to Secretary General António Guterres. Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the deputy crown prince, said in a televised interview aired on Tuesday that “we won’t wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia. Instead, we’ll work so that the battle is for them in Iran”.  Following is full text of Khoshroo’s letter published by IRNA: Upon instructions from my Government, I wish to bring to your attention the recent unlawful and inflammatory statement made by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — who is also the Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia. On 2 May 2017, Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated, ‘We will work so that the battle is on their side, inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia.’ While categorically rejecting the baseless allegations against my country, I wish to underline that his statement reflects an unveiled threat against the Islamic Republic of Iran, in violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, as well as a clear admission of the long-known complicity of the Saudi regime in acts of terror and violence inside Iran, the latest of which resulted in the murder of 9 Iranian border guards, by the Saudi-financed armed bands. This blatant threat and admission is being made by a regime with a long record of supporting aggression and using terrorist and extremist groups for its short-sighted and dangerous ambitions in the region and beyond.

Cordial ties with Iran necessary for Pakistan.

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Few days after a high level visit by an Iranian delegation to Pakistan, the media in Pakistan have started applauding Iran’s decision to settle the recent border issue with Pakistan through diplomatic means. They have advised Islamabad government that maintaining cordial ties with Iran as a strong neighbor, is quite necessary for Pakistan. Leading Pakistani news papers ‘Dawn’ and ‘The Nation’ in their editorial comments said that although recent border attack was a bitter incident for Iran but the country wisely preferred the diplomatic path instead of deteriorating the situation. Therefore Tehran sent a very high level security delegation to Islamabad and got very strong assurances from top Pakistani military and political leaders regarding the border security. On April 26 nine Iranian border guards were martyred and two others injured by terrorists near Pakistani border in southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan, when they were patrolling at the zero border point. The terrorists after the killings and abducting one Iranian border guard fled to Pakistan’s territories.  After the border incident Pakistani media were expecting a strong reaction from Iran but they witnessed that Iran took no other path, but diplomacy, because Iran strongly believes in dialogue and diplomacy as the best way to solve different issues. This is not the first time that Pakistani media is admiring the diplomacy of the Iranian government. When Iran signed a nuclear deal with the six world powers two years back, Pakistani media also at that time applauded the diplomatic efforts of the Iranian government to reach a peaceful settlement with the West.


At least 35 miners reported dead after mine explosion in north of Iran

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All the trapped miners are thought to be dead after a huge explosion in Zemestanyurt coal mine in northern Iran on Wednesday. The blast happened at 12:45pm, at a time when workers were changing shifts. Some 50 injured miners have been so far taken out of the mine. Several officials blamed the explosion on accumulated gas and said it was affecting rescue efforts. Hamidreza Montazeri, deputy head of Golestan province’s emergency services, said that 25 people, who had entered the mine to help the trapped miners, had been taken to hospital due to gas inhalation.

Iran, Russia and Turkey examine document on reducing conflict in Syria

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The Islamic Republic of Iran, Russia and Turkey on Thursday examined details of a new document on ‘reduced-conflict districts in Syria’. Delegations from Iran, Russia and Turkey met in Astana on Thursday to study the document. Iranian delegation led by Hossein Jaberi Ansari met delegations from Russia and Turkey in Astana to exchange views on the latest developments in Syria. During the four-hour meeting, the participants examined details of the new document focusing on “reduced-conflict districts in Syria’. These delegations will also study the plan for the last public meeting in Astana. According to the declared timetable, the public meeting on Syrian developments is to be held this afternoon. According to the released information, these four districts have been identified as Idlib, North of Homs, Eastern Ghouta and south of Syria. The fourth Astana talks on Syria hosting Iran, Russia and Turkey kicked off in Astana on Wednesday.

Efforts Underway to Let Iranians in North America Vote in Presidential Election.

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Iran’s Foreign Ministry said it has been pursuing diplomacy to allow the Iranian nationals residing in the US and Canada to vote in the upcoming presidential election simultaneous with the polls at home. The Foreign Ministry has made all arrangements for holding the presidential election abroad and has taken all necessary measures in this regard, the ministry’s spokesman Bahram Qassemi said. Considering the relatively high number of Iranians residing in the US, the Foreign Ministry has taken all necessary measures to set up polling stations there, he noted. As regards Canada, Qassemi said Iran hopes to be able to have ballot boxes in that country, despite the fact that Tehran and Ottawa have no diplomatic relations. The Foreign Ministry is making efforts through diplomatic channels to obtain permission to dispatch ballot boxes to Canada, he noted.

UNICEF calls for stronger ties with ICCIMA.

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UNICEF representative in Iran has stressed the need to boost banking, hospitality, ICT and transport cooperation with Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA). At a joint meeting with UNICEF Representative in Iran Dr. Will Parks in Tehran, Vice-President of ICCIMA Pedram Soltani recounted on history and performance of chambers of commerce in the world saying “in the past 40 years, in addition to supplying needs of the private sector and their members, chambers have also sought to fulfill social and cultural interests.” The official referred to establishment of Abrar Charitable Society in ICCIMA adding the Chamber has put social and cultural development on agenda. He went on to enumerate major activities of Abrar Charitable Society including development of rural areas, supporting education of students in disadvantaged areas and participation in cultural and educational centers. Later at the meeting, Representative of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Iran Dr. Will Parks recounted on his 40-year experience of activities in Iraq and Iran as well as 40 other world countries and voiced optimism that UNICEF’s ties with the private sector, which had remained at a hiatus since 2009, will be resumed. “UNICEF seeks to attract cooperation of state and private sectors as well as other international institutions in order to accomplish its objectives in Iran,” he added. Parks also highlighted the key role played by ICCIMA, as Iran’s largest private sector body, in shaping bonds between UNICEF and firms whose activities are somehow related to children; “these ties could facilitate UNICEF activities and provide them with greater legitimacy”.



Iran, Pakistan two countries with one soul: Pak interior minister.

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Interior minister of Pakistan Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Wednesday that in a meeting with his visiting Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, the two believed that Iran and Pakistan are ‘two countries with one soul’. “In the meeting with my brother Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of Iran, we decided to send a message from this meeting to the world that the two brotherly countries of Iran and Pakistan are ‘two countries with one soul”, Ali Khan told IRNA in a phone conversation. The Iranian foreign minister arrived in Pakistan earlier on Wednesday leading a top-ranking delegation on a day-long visit. He is scheduled to meet with a number of officials of Pakistan to discuss recent border incident which resulted in martyrdom of a number of the Iranian border guards. Ali Khan told IRNA that his meeting with the Iranian foreign minister was ‘a meeting between two brothers representing two countries, whose people have strong cultural, historical and religious ties. “I think it is the wish of the people of Pakistan and also people of Iran that two countries should work closely in all fields”. Ali Khan added that the case of Iran and Pakistan is a case of two countries with one soul and there are too many common bonds between them. “Yes there are small irritants and we have decided to work on fast track basis to remove these small problems”. Ali Khan stressed.


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