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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.


Three debates of presidential candidates in brief

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Candidates of the 12th presidential elections, slated to held on May 19, expressed their views about various economic, political and social issues in the framework of three rounds of televised debates. The candidates included Ebrahim Raeisi, Custodian of the Imam Reza Holy Shrine in Mashad; First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri; Mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf; former minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mostafa Mirsalim; former Minister of Physical Education Mostafa Hashemi Taba, and President Hassan Rouhani. The debates were held on April 28, May 5 and May 12 respectively. The following is a summary of the major issues raised in the debates: The first debate was focused on economic and social topics including emigration to big cities, the need to establish e-government, unemployment of the Iranian youth, tax policies, particle pollution and environmental problems. The second debate was held with the political and cultural issues in the spotlight. Major issues discussed in the second debate included the foreign policy, interacting with critics, defense policy, national security and Iranian-Islamic lifestyle as well as Iran’s nuclear rights. Commenting on the landmark nuclear deal also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in 2015 between Iran and six world major, all candidates agreed that it is an international agreement which should be respect by all parties. However, a number of the candidates including, Mirsalim and Raeisi believed that the deal has failed to completely serve the interests of the Iranian nation. Raeisi, a 56-year-old principlist candidate, said the JCPOA has failed to end Iran’s economic recession and remove all banking sanctions. Mirsalim, a 70-year-old conservative candidate, said the nuclear agreement proved to the world that Iran does not seek to develop nuclear weapons. However, Rouhani defended performance of his administration regarding the JCPOA noting that the deal has led to the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions. Jahangiri, the 59-year-old ally of President Rouhani, described the nuclear deal as one of the greatest achievements in the history of Iran without which the country’s oil exports could have been stopped. However, in the third and last debate the six candidates expressed their plans on economic challenges facing the country including smuggling and imports, dependence on oil revenues, reduce crude oil sales, banking issues, domestic production, subsidies and economic growth. Mirsalim said he plans to reduce crude oil sales in favor of exporting domestic products. He added that the sales of crude oil have made the country more dependent on other countries. Supporting Mirsalim’s idea, Raeisi said that building of refineries in various provinces would reduce crude oil sales. Meanwhile, Hashemi Taba, 70, opposed to the idea of building refineries in different parts of the country arguing that would not be economical. He also said that an “export-oriented” economy would help reduce smuggling of goods and promote the policy of Economy of Resistance. The six candidates continued their campaign by addressing people in different meetings both in the capital Tehran and other cities. However, one of the candidates, Qalibaf officially quitted the presidential race in a letter sent to the Elections Headquarters on Wednesday (May 17). He had earlier announced that he would support Raeisi in the presidential elections and asked his supporters to vote for the principlist candidate. Jahangiri, another candidate has also dropped out from the presidential race in favor of Rouhani. Releasing a statement on May 16, Jahangiri told his supporters to vote for Rouhani. Another presidential candidate, Hashemi Taba, had earlier announced in a message that he would vote for Rouhani but he did not explicitly said that he quitted the race. The Elections Headquarters announced that according to elections law any candidate wishing to quit presidential campaign should deliver his resignation in writing to the election headquarters and supervisory board.

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.

Iran: $5.5mn foreign investment in Iran’s industry in post-JCPOA

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Iran has attracted over $5.5 million in industry and mining sector after signing a landmark nuclear deal, also known as JCPOA, with the six world powers in 2015, according to Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh. Hailing Iranian government’s policy of moderation and engagement with world countries, the minister said that today Iran has activated both its centrifuges and the wheel of its economy. Referring to Iran-France partnership in automaking, nematzadeh said that such cooperation can be a prelude to further cooperation between the two countries.

Iran has no negotiations with US on JCPOA.

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FM Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said Iran raised the issue of US non-compliance with the nuclear deal and Trump’s negative remarks about Iran at the recent joint commission with the 5+1 in Vienna. Speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi talked about the first joint commission between Iran and the 5+1 groups of countries after Donald Trump took office, adding “many issues were raised at the meeting on April 25, and Iran voiced its dissatisfaction over US violations of commitments under the nuclear deal and the remarks made by President Trump against Iran that may have some adverse consequences for the country”. Ghasemi went on to add that the Commission’s members hailed Iran for adhering to its JCPOA commitments, and voiced his satisfaction over the meeting’s communiqué.

25 April 2017 meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission

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The meeting provided the opportunity to address the implementation of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) with regard to nuclear and sanctions related commitments. The Joint Commission particularly welcomed the important progress made on the Arak modernisation project, where Chinese and Iranian companies signed the first consultancy services contract on Sunday, 23 April, in Vienna. Participants discussed the importance of implementation of Annex III of the JCPOA on civil nuclear cooperation, and welcomed in this context the recent EU-Iran high-level seminar on international nuclear cooperation.

Banking problems persist despite JCPOA: Iran’s Oil Minister.

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Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said banking problems created by anti-Tehran sanctions are “still in place” despite the enforcement of the nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and six powers known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “The banking problems are still in place after JCPOA”, Zanganeh told reporters on the sidelines of the 13th Iran Petrochemical Forum in Tehran on Saturday. He further emphasized that to some extent, the problems have to do with foreign banks’ cautiousness about cooperating with Iran. While the JCPOA, a 159-page nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) came into force in January last year, some Iranian officials complain about the US failure to fully implement the accord. Back in March 2016, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said Americans have yet to fulfill what they were supposed to do as per the nuclear deal.


Zarif: JCPOA result of Tillerson predecessors revision of US wrong policies against Iran

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Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday recommended his US counterpart Rex Tillerson to learn form the country’s past statesmen’s failures in pushing forward antagonistic policies against Iran and said that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is result of his predecessors’ revision of US totally wrong policies against Iran and region. ‘US statesmen should know that they have not and will not achieve result by speaking in the language of sanctions and threat and using hostile rhetoric against Iran and Iranians,’ he said, recalling that US predecessors were not successful in implementing their unrealistic and wrong policies with regard to Iran. US foreign minister one day writes to Congress that Iran has complied with it commitments under JCPOA while the other day in contradictory statements accuses Iran of nuclear ambitions and described the deal as the one to bribe Iran. As to the repetition of empty and untrue claims of Tillerson and other US officials on Terrorism and Iran’s missile tests, he said, ‘We believe that Iran and other regional and global countries’ interests are contingent upon curbing unraveling terrorism which has unfortunately gone out of control due to US’ miscalculations and Imprudence as well as its regional allies’ instigations. No doubt that Iran as an advanced country in the fight against the evil phenomenon of terrorism is in the frontline of struggling for establishing peace and security in the region and world, in defiance of the US unwise policies, Zarif said. Reiterating the peaceful nature of Iran’s missile defense program, he described it as Iran’s legitimate and natural right which is not in contravention with any international regulations. Recalling the fact that how a dictator imposed a destructive war on Iran for eight years (former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein), Zarif said that Iranians will never allow the bitter experience be repeated again and the country’s missile program does not pose any threat to any country and is a totally rational policy.

Rouhani: JCPOA relieved nation of problems .

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President Hassan Rouhani said  that the people who paid for the sanctions and Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) relieved them of problems. Adressing inaugural ceremony of 400 developmental and economic projects via videoconference, he said, ‘Our financial transactions with the world was such that transferring or receiving money had been charging us 11 percent in charges while the figure has declined to three percent today.’ Referring to multiple achievements of the 2015 nuclear deal, the top executive said, “JCPOA saved us. One of its impacts is breaking down siege on Iran”. Describing public confidence as his administration’s biggest asset, Rouhani said that if the government has managed to do something, it was in the wake of public confidence. The people believe in the government which will leave behind all the problems with this asset, he said. Thegovernment lowered inflation rate from 45 percent to 15 percent and it was through the unity between the government and nation that non-oil exports overtook imports for the first time during the past 62 years, he said. He also hailed agriculture development projects inaugurated in Shiraz, saying that agriculture has been revolutionized in the country in recent years and it will push the country towards self-sufficiency.


Iran’s missile program irrelevant to JCPOA.

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Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi rejected the accusation posed by the G7 FMs that Iran’s missile program is infringing the UNSC resolution 2231. “The Islamic Republic of Iran acknowledges the necessity of the compliance of all sides of the JCPOA to their commitments framed in the JCPOA”, said Bahram Ghasemi. “Implementing the articles of this document in good faith, that has also come in the recent statement of the Group of 7, is essential, if JCPOA is a multilateral document of reciprocal commitments”. He stressed that the Islamic Republic of Iran expects balanced and full commitment of all signatories of the deal in a constructive atmosphere. Ghasemi asserted that Iran holds that its defensive missile program is not related at all to the JCPOA. The Iranian diplomat reassured that the design and the objectives of Iran’s ballistic missiles are in no defiance of the UNSC resolution 2231. “The Islamic Republic of Iran, free from the westerners’ misunderstandings of its missile program, is fully aware of its responsibilities to improve its defensive capabilities to safeguard its national security and enhance regional peace and stability”, noted the spokesperson of Iran’s foreign ministry.

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